Alt-lite

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The "alt-lite", also known as the "alt-light"[1] and the "new right",[2] is a loosely-defined political movement consisting of various politically-oriented groups, activists and commentators with right-wing views, who to varying degrees oppose mainstream conservatism. The alt-lite is frequently contrasted with and compared to the political alt-right, with which it shares some features. According to Oren Segal of the Anti-Defamation League, the alt-lite "operates in the orbit of the alt right".[3] Others have described it as an offshoot of the alt-right, in that it claims to reject identity politics—including the white nationalism and racialism of the alt-right—though they share other key features and beliefs.[4]

History[edit]

Some have traced the recognition of the alt-lite, as a distinct entity from the alt-right, to what is seen as the consolidation of the alt-right as a white nationalist movement. In a speech given to a meeting of white nationalists in November 2016, Richard B. Spencer (who is often credited with creating or popularizing the term "alt-right") quoted Nazi propaganda and declared "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" while members of the audience responded to this by giving Hitler salutes.[5][6]

Subsequent to this, various figures who had been linked to the alt-right distanced themselves from Spencer's remarks and suggested that two factions had emerged from the alt-right.[2][7][3][5] This was the result of a "rift" within the wider alt-right movement between those favoring white nationalism and explicit racism on the one hand and more moderate forces on the other. Some members of the latter group at first adopted the term "New Right" to describe themselves, with Mike Cernovich saying of the division that "[t]he lines are drawn and the fracture is more or less complete".[7] The term "alt-lite" is thought by the Anti-Defamation League to have been created by members of the alt-right to distinguish themselves from right-wing groups and ideologies who reject white supremacy and white nationalism.[3]

The division between alt-right and alt-lite received further media attention in June 2017, when the two factions found themselves divided over the issue of Spencer's attendance at a "Free Speech" rally in Washington, D.C.[8] Certain individuals protested Spencer's involvement by organizing a competing rally on the same day, with Spencer referring to such individuals as "alt-lite" and saying that "the movement needs a good purge".[9]

Beliefs[edit]

People associated with the alt-lite have distanced themselves from the ethnic nationalism of the alt-right.[1] As with the alt-right, the alt-lite commonly shows broad support for Donald Trump, criticism of and/or opposition to political correctness, Islam, feminism, welfare and illegal immigration. The movement is also seen as engaging in conspiracy theories, including the propagation of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. It has been described as a "misogynistic" and "xenophobic" movement by the Anti-Defamation League.[3]

Alt-right figures have described Breitbart News and Steve Bannon as "alt-lite" for presenting a diluted form of alt-right ideas.[5]

Wired has referred to the alt-lite as "the alt-right's relatively mild-mannered sibling".[10]

Individuals associated with the alt-lite include Mike Cernovich, Laura Loomer, Gavin McInnes, Stefan Molyneux, Jack Posobiec, Lauren Southern, Tomi Lahren, Paul Joseph Watson, and Milo Yiannopoulos.[3][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marantz, Andrew (June 6, 2017). "The alt-right branding war has torn the movement in two". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Ziv, Stav (July 19, 2017). "'Alt-right' or 'alt-lite'? New guide from ADL classifies right-wing activists". Newsweek. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Staff (July 18, 2017). "From Alt-Right to Alt-Right: Naming the Hate". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 
  4. ^ Keegan Hankes. "With Questions of Ideological 'Purity Tests,' the Alt-Right Stumbles". Southern Poverty Law Center. 
  5. ^ a b c Pearce, Matt (November 29, 2016). "The 'alt-right' splinters as supporters and critics agree it was white supremacy all along". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ Staff (November 21, 2016). "'Hail Trump!': Richard Spencer Speech Excerpts". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Kearney, Laila (December 29, 2016). "Trump fans' 'Deploraball' party shows rift in alt-right movement". Reuters. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ Krupkin, Taly (June 23, 2017). "The Jewish Provocateur Caught in the Turf War as the 'Alt-right' Battles the 'Alt-light'". Haaretz. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ Moyer, Justin (June 23, 2017). "'Alt-right' and 'alt-lite'? Conservatives plan dueling conservative rallies Sunday in D.C." The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ Ellis, Emma Grey (May 10, 2017). "The Alt-Right's Newest Ploy? Trolling With False Symbols". Wired. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  11. ^ Krupkin, Taly (July 20, 2017). "'Alt-lite' Trump Supporters Blast ADL Over Inclusion on 'Hate List'". Haaretz. Retrieved July 20, 2017.