I am angry. I am angry for Charlottesville. I am bitter for Americans of color, queer Americans, and Jewish Americans who have to witness the rise of power that hunted down their ancestors like animals. I am angry at myself, for not screaming loud enough. I am angry at the privileged people who don’t realize how pressing of an issue this is for everyone else, the ones who think that their privilege is being taken away when other groups are merely just trying to gain equal rights. I am angry for my brother, a young Latino boy who is growing up in a world where people fail to condemn acts of white terrorism. I am angry for my ancestors, who fled Europe during the first wave of Nazism; I am angry, and I have had enough of arguing – it’s time to lay down some facts.
FACT NUMBER ONE:
The person who coined the term alt-right is a white supremacist. Richard Spencer is a known white supremacist and head of the National Policy Institute, a “think tank” for white supremacists across America. He wants to build a “white society” and “Ethnostate,” and has said that America “belong[s] to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is.” He thinks gay marriage is “unnatural,” that Martin Luther King Jr was a “fraud,” and, perhaps most alarming, is his stance on Trump:
“Trump has never denounced the alt-right. Nor will he.” Spencer has said that he is also “proud” of Trump.
If a self-proclaimed white supremacist is happy with our president, we are doing something wrong.
FACT NUMBER TWO:
The alt-left was made up to make the alt-right appear reasonable. Here’s a quote from a New York Times article:
“Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the ‘alt-left.’ Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and ‘anything vaguely left-seeming that they didn’t like.’”
The alt-left doesn’t have concentrated ideology. Some far left members are anarchists, some are extreme socialists, some are still Bernie supporters, some are so far left that they verge on conservatism again...the list goes on. The alt-right, meanwhile, has concentrated ideas and knows what they want: an America free of diversity. Free of gays, Jews, black people, Hispanics, and immigrants (ironically so).
They are not fighting to change people’s minds, they are fighting until there is nobody left for them to fight anymore.
FACT NUMBER THREE:
White genocide isn’t happening, and nobody is killing off white people.White genocide, as the New York Times puts it, “is a white nationalist belief that white people, as a race, are endangered and face extinction as a result of non-white immigration and marriage between the races.” Of course, this isn’t happening. These people have taken the word genocide and twisted it into something it isn’t. The world is only becoming more diverse, and more accepting of different identities. By 2050, National Geographic predicts that the average person will be of mixed race.
FACT NUMBER FOUR:
Using the term alt-left just creates a divide.Please, please, help me, help minority groups debunk the myth of the alt-left. Call them anarchists. Call them extreme leftists. Just don’t call them alt-left. This creates an even bigger division in our country, one that we cannot have if we start to fight against the rising tides of neo-Nazism and white supremacy in our nation.As a young gay Jew, I am scared when I hear “Jews will not replace us,” and when I don’t hear our supposed leader condemn that. I am scared when people call me “unnatural.” I am worried for my future, for our future. But I have faith that we will persevere. We can get through this together. Rally with people. Protest. Write letters to your local congressman.
Featured Image via Unsplash.