In his “victory” speech, president-elect Donald Trump bragged about starting a movement in America, a movement set on “draining the swamp” and ending an era of Establishment politics. And while in theory this is sounds like a good thing, Mr. Trump also served as the figurehead to a much larger, much more terrifying movement: the rise of the “alt-right.”
On Monday Vice President for Standards at the Associated Press, John Daniszewski, defined just what the “alt-right” is for journalists covering politics and current affairs.
The AP provides guidelines for newspapers, blogs, magazines, and similar news outlets nationwide, so this clarification is crucial to ensure reporting is valid and accurate.
The “alt-right” have been characterized as racist white nationalists, with many who credit Donald Trump with reviving their efforts and giving a voice to the white supremacist “movement” in America.
First off, let’s look at how the AP defines the so-called “alt-right”:
‘The “alt-right” or “alternative right” is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States in addition to, or over, other traditional conservative positions such as limited government, low taxes and strict law-and-order.’
The AP advises that all use of the term “alt-right” should “be precise and provide evidence to support the characterization.”
Instead of allowing for these types of groups to define themselves, the AP encourages reporting their “actions, associations, history and positions to reveal their actual beliefs and philosophy, as well as how others see them.”
Here’s how the Associated Press advises usage of the term “alt-right”:
‘“Alt-right” (quotation marks, hyphen and lower case) may be used in quotes or modified as in the “self-described” or “so-called alt-right” in stories discussing what the movement says about itself.’
According to a University of Virginia professor, Nicole Hemmer, the “alt-right” sees “political correctness [sic] as the greatest threat to their liberty. They believe saying racist or anti-Semitic things – it’s not an act of hate, but an act of freedom.”
The “alt-right” has long existed in America, so blaming Donald Trump entirely for its inception is an inaccurate assertion. It may be more beneficial to look at Trump as a figurehead who has catapulted the views and beliefs of white nationalists and alt-righters into the forefront of American political discourse.
It’s worth noting, however, that the alt-right differentiates its self from traditional American conservatives. Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos made the distinction in a sort of manifesto called “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right.” According to Milo and Yiannopoulos, members of the “alt-right” see themselves as “natural conservatives” with an “instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar.”
Many alt-righters doubt that full “integration” of different ethnicities and religions is ever possible. And if it does occur in some form, it won’t be in a peaceful fashion. Instead, they believe border walls are a safer, more realistic option. No, I’m not making this up.
Feature Image via Getty Images. All rights reserved. Image has been modified from its original form.