Persecute me – the Rise of the Alt-Right
It is a new buzzword in the American political spectrum – the Alt-Right. It’s a demographic that Secretary Clinton has condemned, and Mr.Trump has actively sought to court. The Alt-Right, for those uninitiated, is a terrifying political development, proof positive of willful ignorance and perpetuated, hand-me-down styled racism and sexism. It is a hateful invention of lonely white men, and we should do everything in our power to oppose it.
This is the ballast escaping from our nation as it balances back out – as our society diversifies, and as women and minorities become more powerful and influential, threatened white men were always bound to push back in defense of the clout that they once wielded without effort or meaningful opposition.
As someone who works in IT, I know these people quite well. By necessity, I spend time in the same corners of the internet as them, and after countless hours of rubbing digital shoulders with them, I’ve learned to identify their quirks.
At first, these start out as jokes with a little dirt on them. Some anti-Semitism here, a bit of jovial racism, followed with some crass sexism, on the face of it, harmless and innocuous, if a little immature.
Hovering maliciously within these places are the recruiters, and you can always tell them by the slurs in their language. They are petulant and persistent, eager to lash out at anyone sensible, and quick to isolate any media, outside of its context, that seems to superficially prove their torpid points. Videos are edited to vilify ethnic groups or outspoken activists. Memes are re-purposed to insult and defame multiculturalism or SJW’s (social justice warriors).
You can picture them, broiling alone in their fear, at home, dreading an influx of Islamic immigration, or ‘race mixing’, or of a imaginary Jewish cabal that controls the world from atop their ivory towers. It is a paralyzingly stupid ideology that is recruiting at an alarming rate.
What else could motivate a person to create a hundred Twitter accounts to harass a woman who has the gall to create a video game? Why would a sane person bother to monitor a forum or thread with religious fervour? What outcome could possibly justify the effort?
These hateful ideologies succeed much to our surprise. Brexit caught the entire world off guard, and even those responsible for the campaign were shocked to see it work. These types of bigoted provocateurs aim to demoralise – wearing sensible people down slowly, bit by bit, over time, and they are quite content to play the long game.
The gamble is a secure one – it’s infinitely easier to spew falsehood than it is to solidly refute it, and rational people aren’t as motivated to spend their time debunking garbage as irrational people are at spreading it.
What is most terrifying about this movement is how swiftly members from one noxious ideology can move laterally to the next. Sexists become racists. Anti-semites become men’s rights activists. They are all comfortable bedfellows because they have each been rightfully tossed out of the mainstream.
As a semi-pacifist, I’m conflicted about war in this respect. Violence is plainly cyclical and counterproductive, but the ancillary benefits of fighting fascism first-hand make future flirtation with it far less likely. These war-free generations don’t have the stitches and scars from these philosophies, and they have little reason to be spooked by their potential carnage.
In Bible college, I was always struck by the persecution complex of Christians. They felt irrationally oppressed, even as a majority. One fellow student revealed to me during routine conversation that he refused to get ‘christian themed’ tattoos – on the basis that he intended to fight undercover for the Christian resistance when the religion was made to be illegal by the American government. This is not a fear of persecution, it is a delusional hunger for it to begin.
The Alt-Right wants to be fought in the same manner. Opposition is a powerful method of confirmation, and as easily as antisemitism gives way to white supremacy, so the Alt-Right gives way to ‘prepping’ – the delusional hoarding of goods and weapons in preparation for the dissolution of modern society.
They yearn for a battle that will never come, and they imagine resistance where there will never be any, and the rational ones in our society are left to carry them around our necks like millstones, soothing their troubled minds, opposing their idiotic policies, forced to take the high road in order to preserve the form of government that has delivered decade upon decade of domestic peace. If you’re sensible, speak up, online or on the street, and refuse to be worn out by their doddering and fearful rhetoric.