The Alt-Right Is Not Who You Think They Are 1

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 The statements imply an outdated theory of racism.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.

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An Alt Right Update 1

Because a few hundred people having an Un-PC theme party in the park threatens civilization, says antifa intellectual Matthew Lyons of the (ironically named) Ford Foundation-supported Political Research Associates. While I agree with much of this analysis, particularly points 2, 3, and 4 (with 1 being plausible and 5 being more often instigated by the antifa), here’s the money quote:

“And even a strong leader wouldn’t necessarily overcome the basic political differences separating Alt Rightists from their conservative fellow travelers. In the long run, if the Alt Right wants to coalesce with system-loyal rightists, it either has to win more people to its dream of right-wing revolution, or abandon it.”

In other words, there will be no right-wing revolution. The Alt-Right will become another Republican interest group, like the religious right before them.  Look for the Alt-Right/Alt-Lite configuration to become the xenophobe and white identity politics wing of the Republican Party along side the foreign policy hawks, neocons, economic conservatives, social conservatives, and the religious right. And like the religious right, the right-wing establishment will throw them an occasional rhetorical bone and do nothing for them. As a Facebook commentator has said:

Not sure though why the GOP will ally with guys who largely don’t go to church, are economically left, oppose US intervention, and make for the least loyal Republicans. Ain’t gonna happen.

If the religious right couldn’t even restore school prayer, ban abortion, or prevent homosexual marriage, there is no way the Alt-Right will be successful in halting immigration.  As the commentator said, it ain’t gonna happen.

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What the Alt-Right Really Means 1

By Christopher Caldwell

New York Times

Not even those most depressed about Donald J. Trump’s election and what it might portend could have envisioned the scene that took place just before Thanksgiving in a meeting room a few blocks from the White House. The white nationalist Richard B. Spencer was rallying about 200 kindred spirits.

“We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace,” he said. “We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.” When Mr. Spencer shouted, “Hail, Trump! Hail, our people! Hail, victory!” a scattered half-dozen men stood and raised their arms in Nazi salutes.

Mr. Spencer, however you describe him, calls himself a part of the “alt-right” — a new term for an informal and ill-defined collection of internet-based radicals. As such, he poses a complication for the incoming president. Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, whom Mr. Trump has picked as his chief White House strategist, told an interviewer in July that he considered Breitbart a “platform for the alt-right.”

Perhaps we should not make too much of this. Mr. Bannon may have meant something quite different by the term. Last summer “alt-right,” though it carried overtones of extremism, was not an outright synonym for ideologies like Mr. Spencer’s. But in late August, Hillary Clinton devoted a speech to the alt-right, calling it simply a new label for an old kind of white supremacy that Mr. Trump was shamelessly exploiting.

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You Can’t Whitewash The Alt-Right’s Bigotry Reply

Against the Alternative Right.

By Cathy Young

The Federalist

Who’d have thought that in 2016, we would be discussing whether mainstream Republicans and conservatives should be nicer to white nationalists? Yet here we are.

The debate is, of course, about the “alternative right,” suddenly propelled into visibility by its fervent embrace of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. Recently, it was the subject of a long, sympathetic article by Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart.com, the Trump-loving site that some, including ex-Breitbart writer Brian Cates, have long accused of courting the alt-right. (For the record, I have had a cordial professional relationship with both authors, have been on a panel with both of them and have appeared twice on Yiannopoulos’s webcast.)

In a nutshell, the article argues that, while the alt-right does have some actual—but, worry not, utterly irrelevant!—white supremacists and neo-Nazis in its ranks, it is mostly a loose alliance of maverick intellectuals, traditionalists who feel unrepresented in the mainstream political establishment, and cheeky young rebels who post racist slurs and memes just to annoy the pearl-clutching guardians of political correctness.

While this taxonomy of the alt-right is interesting, it is ultimately—as it were—a whitewash, full of far-fetched arguments and misleading claims that consistently downplay this movement’s ugly bigotry.

Those ‘Dangerously Bright’ Alt-Right Intellectuals

Take the article’s section on the “intellectuals” behind the alt-right, which offers a respectful account of the movement’s online hubs such as Richard Spencer’s AlternativeRight.com and Steve Sailer’s VDARE. Sailer is credited with having “helped spark the ‘human biodiversity’ movement, a group of bloggers and researchers who strode eagerly into the minefield of scientific race differences—in a much less measured tone than former New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade.”

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A Guide to the Alternative Right Reply

In defense of the Alternative Right.

By Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannoupolis

Breitbart.Com

A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the “alternative right.” Young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies, they have become public enemy number one to beltway conservatives — more hated, even, than Democrats or loopy progressives.

The alternative right, more commonly known as the alt-right, is an amorphous movement. Some — mostly Establishment types — insist it’s little more than a vehicle for the worst dregs of human society: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other members of the Stormfront set. They’re wrong.

Previously an obscure subculture, the alt-right burst onto the national political scene in 2015. Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore.

It has already triggered a string of fearful op-eds and hit pieces from both Left and Right: Lefties dismiss it as racist, while the conservative press, always desperate to avoid charges of bigotry from the Left, has thrown these young readers and voters to the wolves as well.

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