“If you were to change the name Alt Right to Black Lives Matter, I don’t believe that you would see a marked difference between the two.”
The recent violence that erupted in Charlottesville, VA opens up a discussion that I believe this country really needs to have. In fact, it opens up several discussions. For the case of this article, I would like to focus on the rise of the Alt Right.
For starters, I have three points that must be made very clear. First, the Alt Right, just like any hate group, is disgusting in their philosophy. I believe that in life there are some things that can be looked at as right or wrong. Any group that espouses classification based upon singular stereotypes is disgusting. Hating a group of people based upon something as insignificant as race shows a person to be woefully ignorant to the point of mental defect.
Second, I completely support their right to hold to their beliefs. That is the point of the American dream, you are free to believe as you choose. I believe that any racist view is wrong, but the Constitution protects even the speech that disgusts us. In fact, the Constitution is specifically written to protect such speech.
Third and final point, just because the Constitution protects freedom of speech and thought, it does not mandate acceptance from or by anyone else. People can choose to spew whatever garbage they want, but offensive vitriol will undoubtedly cause a counter reaction in people.
Like most lies, the Alt Right has attempted to tie itself loosely to conservative values and beliefs. However, it does so in a very disingenuous fashion. For example, the Alt Right stands firmly with the conservative platform of limiting immigration and standing against the mass resettlement of Syrian refugees into our country. Yet, the important distinction is the why.
Constitutional conservatives believe in limiting immigration to ensure that only those who can better the nation and assimilate into our culture are allowed in. The Alt Right only wants those that are white to be able to come in. Constitutional conservatives understand that allowing in Syrian refugees is a security risk and does nothing at all to affect the actual situation in their home country. It is essentially a shell game, trying to confuse the issue and make it look as if we are doing something to help. The Alt Right only wants to prevent Syrian refugees from coming into the country because they are not white.
This is an important distinction.
In researching this group, I came upon an article on altright.com that explains what it means to be Alt Right. The first item on their list is race and states “Race is real. Race matters. Race is the foundation of identity.” As a true believer in the Constitution, I cannot disagree more with this statement.
The Declaration of Independence states this very clearly when it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
All is a pretty universal term. Therefore, race doesn’t matter.
In fact, I would argue that race is only the foundation of identity for those who are racist. This does not simply hold to white racists either. Anyone who identifies others based upon race is part of the same ideology.
As a general rule, those who align themselves on the right side of the aisle typically do not associate themselves with racial politics. However, they do align themselves strongly with a nationalist view of our country. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nationalism as “loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially: a sense of national consciousness … exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.”
In an attempt to give some sort of validity to their cause, the Alt Right is declaring themselves as supporting nationalism, however their view is racial nationalism. A twisted and sick belief that in some way only those of European decent has had a positive influence on our nation.
In the same regard, the Alt Right has chosen to align itself with Donald Trump and his political movement. It does make sense as Trump is frequently politically incorrect and brash. The media as a general rule has already labeled him as a racist, so it is no surprise that such an organization would align themselves with that label.
Additionally, the Trump agenda does in fact align itself with much of the Alt Right agenda as long as you don’t look too closely at the fine points. Again, Trump is a hard-core nationalist. He believes strongly in the idea that America has a destiny to lead the world in every measurable way.
The difference is that he does not tie a racial bias towards this view, only a belief in Americanism. Remember too that Trump is a believer in the power of the statement that “all men are created equal.” Everyone, despite your lineage or family name is born with equality, with the ability to choose their own destiny in this country. The Alt Right avoids those caveats, just as the media does when comparing them to the President.
So, in today’s modern age, how is such a group able to gain any support? I believe that the simple answer is that their behavior is in keeping with the beliefs and values of the left leaning politics and the national media. If you were to change the name Alt Right to Black Lives Matter, I don’t believe that you would see a marked difference between the two. How about instead changing their name to the New Black Panther Party.
The left and the media support and defend hate groups all the time. Well, they support certain hate groups, as long as those groups match with their agenda. Because the President does not cater to their ideologies, there is simply nothing he can say or do that will appease the left.
Donald Trump came out immediately after the violence and stated, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” He was immediately condemned by all sides for not coming out against the racist movement. In my mind, this is completely a case of identity politics. Trump blamed many sides for the violence, and as much as the media does not want to admit it, this is a true statement. The riot broke out because Antifa, an anti-fascist group, confronted the white supremacists.
An upcoming article by the Atlantic states, “Since Antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, Antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.”
How is this, by definition, not a violent group worthy of condemnation? Trumps condemnation was an accurate portrayal of two evil groups who both showed up intending to cause mayhem and injury. Should he have called out the groups by name? Possibly, but his remarks were accurate in either case.
The Alt Right is celebrating the reporting coming from the left-wing media because it supposedly strengthens their beliefs. It is because of the media that they continue to gather strength. The more the left plays racial politics, the more all of these groups grow in strength and support.
It is only through the understanding that race is simply one small part of the total of what someone is that we can destroy the hate that plays at the fringes of society. Martin Luther King, Jr., said it best with,
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
When we can understand that every American is born free and equal then all of these barbaric hate groups will cease to exist.