|Alt-Right/Neo-Nazi leader Richard Spencer|
The Southern Poverty Law Center (click here) was introduced to me by my friend Eddy back in the eighties. Back before the internet made it easy to support a group as upright as this. Back before I understood how important they are. And way before Donald Trump, Usurper of the Presidency, called them fake news. I will not call Donald Trump the United States President.
He will be referred to here as Trump, or "the usurper." He might be your president, but he sure as hell isn't mine.
Today I will teach myself about the current state of affairs. I'm going to read, and get myself caught up. If nothing else, I can thank the new right and it's hate politics as the catalyst to get me involved in my country again - or at least with trepidation, awe, and activism. Take the ride with me if you choose, but I am not here to debate. I am here to explore. And honest to God I don't care what anyone thinks.
Go practice your free speech with someone who actually likes debates. I don't. Well, OK, I do. Just not so much lately. I have become grumpy and foggy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center
Like I said, I found out about Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) through my friend Eddy back in the eighties. At that time there was a white power Nazi group up in north Orange County Placentia or Yorba Linda (you know, Nixon town) that had a robo-phone message laying out their philosophy. Think of it as old school recruitment. This was before people like Metzger (click here) figured out how to recruit the most disillusioned of United States skinhead outliers and use them to kill people of color.
You had to seek that group out if you were interested. They weren't exactly an outreach church group. Occasionally someone would distribute their literature to area houses in the form of fliers dropped off late at night. Like I said, it was in the eighties.
We really didn't take them too seriously. We'd call the number, laugh and leave obnoxious messages. They had zero marketability. None, and nowhere to publish their drivel, either. We never, for a second, gave them another thought. We chalked their movement up to the rantings of stupid rednecks, hillbillies, or outlaw bikers. Not for a second, in my generalized and culture-centric superiority, did I even consider that they could be anything else but that.
I was short sighted. It never dawned on me that some of them might actually be intellectuals, or artists, or even parents. In my view it was easier to classify as them: stupid, arrogant, and hateful white people.
|Alties getting their Sieg Heil on.|
It is no surprise that the SPLC is a left leaning group. What has been a surprise was the volume of criticism when their post election data was seen by certain groups as being skewed. Bloggers on the far right have been generally merciless in their response to SPLC over the years, and this election was no exception. That these bloggers tend to lean way over on the right side of libertarian shouldn't suggest that their concerns are unwarranted or incorrect. Just a banana step more skewed than the data they are challenging.
In this atmosphere of digital warfare there are people on both sides of this issue fighting it out, exposing personal information, and wrecking (or attempting to wreck) one another's livelihood by infusing their professional life with their political beliefs. This should come as hardly a surprise - what, with hardcore anarchists to the left, and quasi-white nationalists to the right - today scrapping it out on the streets (click here). Things have become increasingly volatile.
But this seemingly ridiculous concept - often presented by people from outside of this country - blows my mind. It is hardly novel - a group of angry white men asserting their ethnicity (lots of young people do the same) - but there is something about it that smells very strange. It is insanity bordering on performance art that is being taken way too seriously, and giving an unfortunate platform to quasi-intellectuals that speak quite well, are quick thinkers, and preach divisive poison.
Yes, I do have a bias. I will review the literature, but I promise it will be slanted. I, too, am allowed to use propaganda and choose my own sources. I also enjoy free speech. I too am a proud American, and patriotism does not belong to the right. It belongs to all of us. Maybe it is time that we take our country back from theses fascists who use nationalism to destroy our freedom.
The Alternative, or Alt-Right, is a term frequently dropped in the news. Like any other frequently over-used term, it means different things to different people. The Alt-Right seem to be the scourge of the right, enemy of the left - increasingly high profile thanks to a couple of demonstrations that have catapulted some of their most vocal speakers into the limelight, and the choice of Breitbart chairman Stephen K. Bannon to chief strategist and senior adviser to Trump.
That Breitbart and the Alt-Right were active during the election - and the target of Hillary Clinton - should come as no surprise. Typical political mud slinging is what elections in America have become. They aren't merit based. They are propaganda and publicity based. That Trump took their very obvious and enthusiastic support under his wing should come as no surprise. He is a master manipulator.
What should come as a concern is exactly why Trump continues to coddle the Alt-Right. For someone so clearly needing to be loved, Trump continues to offend and divide. There really is no defending them. Their rhetoric is filled with subtle, or even at times outright, racism.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Alt-Right is defined this way (click here):
..... a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization. Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.
The term Alt-Right was coined by famed fist magnet/"Hail Trump" shouter Richard Spencer to essentially embrace the agenda of 'European ideology.' I suppose we must infer that this is 'western' European ideology, whatever the hell that means.
Spencer is the president of a nationalist (read that as white) think tank, the National Policy Institute (click here) and Washington Summit Publishers (click here). It is more of the same, a pollutant that goes back at least 150 years in its pseudo-science beginnings. And again, the specter of social Darwinism rears its ugly head. You may recall that much of the foundation of Eugenics was founded in California (click here) and the foundation of the current rhetoric has been lifted, altered, and renewed.
White power, anti-semitism, exclusionary power tripping. Same old crap, and it. is. crap.