Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Alt-Right Is Not Who You Think They Are

This is relatively consistent with my own observations of the Alt-Right.

By George Hawley

The American Conservative

In tweets following the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, former President Barack Obama quoted words from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The sentiment has resonated with millions of Americans and garnered some of the most “likes” in the history of Twitter. It also offered a stark contrast to the reaction of President Trump.

Yet while a moving sentiment, Mr. Obama’s comments, if taken literally, represent an incorrect interpretation of today’s racial challenges and the nature of the so-called alt-right. The statements imply an outdated theory of racism. Among many anti-racists, there has long been a naïve hope that racism is handed down from one generation to the next. If that cycle is broken, this view goes, then racial harmony can finally prevail.

Although scholarly literature provides some evidence for this argument, the alt-right shows that it does not tell nearly the entire story.


1 reply »

  1. Credit where it’s due to Hawley’s attempt, but conservatives still read like astrologers attempting to understand alchemy when they talk about naturally occurring tribalism (among whites).

    Peel out “white nationalist,” and insert “zionist,” for what would assuredly result in the immediate termination of any pundit who dared publish such a work.

    It’s difficult to tell what movement conservatives thought would happen to the legacy population of the United States after her long-standing demographic history was dramatically altered in a historical fortnight. Nothing intelligent, appears to be the case.

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