The alt-Right movement is under increasing scrutiny for its racist and/or anti-Semitic undertones. And because of this many of the same people are accusing Donald Trump of being equally guilty because of his association with the movement.
But are these attacks fair and is there a specific person or people who can be seen as THE alt-right, which is also known as alternative right.
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Well one need only judge the movement by its own words. One of its leaders, Richard Spencer, is the founder of the right-wing racist so called think tank National Policy Institute which pushes a white supremacist agenda. He basically proved what a hate filled and bigoted group the alt-righters really are when he spoke before a gathering of supporters in Washington D.C. last week. Spencer told the audience that America is a White nation and quoted Nazi propaganda in German. He called white people “children of the sun” and made anti-Semitic comments. Spencer was rewarded for this with Nazi salutes from a cheering crowd.
Richard Spencer even had the audacity to use the Yiddish word “golem” which refers to a mythical being who protects Jews when criticizing the media. “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem, ” said Spencer about journalists for their coverage of Donald Trump.
Spencer also called Trump’s election “the victory of will, ” which is something straight out of Nazi propaganda.
People like him, and alt-righters everywhere, see Donald Trump’s election as merely the first step towards a new white racist take over in America. “I am part of a movement that is bigger than Trump, ” Spencer told his fans. “Trump was a first step towards an awakening of identity politics, towards an awakening of a new European spirit in the world.”
Former KKK leader David Duke has been a big supporter of the alt-right, as well as of Donald Trump.
ICYMI: David Duke endorses Steve Bannon because white nationalists bigots must stick together. pic.twitter.com/WOxBctLn5F
— Shout Politics (@shoutpolitics) November 21, 2016
So should we blame Donald Trump for all of this? Well Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has said no. But he did call on Trump to do more to disavow such people.
Greenblatt said that, “to have a group like this convening steps away from the White House proclaiming that what happened two weeks ago was a great victory for them and their ideas, there is value for the president-elect stating clearly that these are not American values, that their ideology is in conflict with American ideals.”
The US Holocaust Museum issued a statement condemning Spencer’s speech.”The Holocaust did not begin with killing: it began with words, ” it read. “The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.”
(See Spencer compare something to the Night of Long Knives, which was the name given to Hitler’s purge of all of his remaining enemies after he took power in Germany.)
So should people be scared right now about a resurgence in Nazi and other racist activities in America? Yes they should. Is Alt-Right racist and ant-Semitic? Yes it is?
But are people who have been brought in to work in the new Donald Trump Administration like Steve Bannon racists? Well that is a bit more complicated. Many people have denounced Breitbart News, which Bannon had once run, as being a tool of the alt-right. But others have dismissed these critiques as liberal propaganda.
In any event, Doanld Trump should certainly be more forceful in his denunciations of the alt-right.