Very much an in-group, the alt-right are, in short, racist internet trolls who think white men are oppressed. Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart’s tech editor, is one of the poster boys for the online neo-Nazi movement, whose trolling became so intense that Twitter recently kicked him off the site. Trump recently hired the head of Breibart as has his campaign CEO.
Coined in 2008, the term “alt-right” suggests a movement largely made up of white nationalists who use the Internet to promote their ultra conservative views which include anti-Semitism and nativism.
One Slate journalist cleverly referred this politically divisive faction as “Hipster Nazis.” They are against multiculturalism and immigration, and generally maintain that Anglo culture is somehow threatened by the aforementioned sociopolitical factors associated with modernity.
The hashtag #AltRightMeans began trending on Twitter just hours before Clinton’s Nevada speech, and a multitude of Twitter users targeted the alt-right for its radicalized bigotry and hypocrisy.
#AltRightMeans Angry little awkward Caucasian Supremacists with WiFi whining about infertility & being a TINY global minority on the planet— #DoYouKnowWarfare (@MaxDfs123) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans being cool with gay people as long as we don't ask for equal rights.— Marv (@Marv_Vien) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans convincing yourself that your centuries-old White Supremacist ideas are new & edgy because you attach anime characters to it.— D (@Delo_Taylor) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans the slip on your hood is showing— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans someone told you your skin color makes you superior and you believed them because you're a big ol' dumbass.— A?anda (@GrnEyedMandy) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans being the ideological progeny of every fascist movement ever but thinking people who hate you because of it are fascists.— #BlackAugust (@BlackAutonomist) August 25, 2016
#AltRightMeans Supporting historical genocide while whining about your perceived victimhood.— Michi (@cbn2) August 25, 2016
Let's be clear here: #AltRightMeans fascist. "Alt-right" is a euphemism for far-right. It's not new; it's 100 years old.— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) August 25, 2016
The tweets attacked the alt-right movement’s notion that “white identity is injured” and “under attack,” as described by political scientist Dan Cassino for The Guardian.
Cassino explained, “The founding myth of the alt-right is that the disadvantaged groups in American politics are actually running things through a combination of fraud and intimidation. By doing this, they’re actually oppressing white men.”
The existence of the internet’s alt-right may be under the radar to a large part of voters, particularly the elderly. But, the fact that Clinton deemed it a widespread enough problem to address it head-on during a campaign speech suggests that she and her political advisers presume the alt-right trolling problem will continue to escalate.
Banner photo credit: Reuters