The sudden rise of the 'alt-right' or the alternate right movement with Donald Trump's US election victory was clearly evident on Saturday when the members of the movement gathered in Washington celebrate Trump's win and gave him an apparent Nazi salute.
The alt-right movement is associated with racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, masculinity and their staunch opposition to Multiculturalism. Ever since the controversial views proposed by the President-elect during his presidential campaign, alt-right leaders and even the notorious Ku Klux Klan have shown a support for Trump's presidency.
Reports state that the president of the alt-right National Policy Institute Richard Spencer was recently hosting an event where the audience members were reportedly seen giving a Nazi salute in a video. "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!," Spencer was heard saying during the event.
Spencer's remarks during the event were laced with racism where he made references to "the black political machines" and Latino housekeepers. He also denounced Hillary Clinton and her diverse supporters saying, "Her coalition was made up of mutually hostile tribes only united out of a hatred of 'whitey' -- that is to say, out of a hatred of us."
You must have heard about the alt-right leaders and the alt-right movement throughout the United States Presidential campaign and particularly now. So let us get a better understanding of what the alt-right movement is, how did it start and why do they love Donald Trump so much.
What is the alt-right movement?
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Alt Right is "a range of people on the extreme right who reject mainstream conservatism in favour of forms of conservatism that embrace implicit or explicit racism or white supremacy."
The movement involves white nationalists who "want to preserve the white majority in the US, claiming that whites losing their majority status are equivalent to white genocide." The member of the Alt-Right movement are racist and are strictly opposed to multiculturalism as they believe it is a threat to white supremacy or as they term it the white "tribe".
The movement consists of young white male 'intellectuals' who rebrand white supremacy and label it as white identity movement.
How did the alt-right movement originate?
The alt-right movement originated on the Internet and is majorly and online initiative where the members use websites like 4chan and 8chan, chat boards, social media and memes to spread their message of white nationalism and white supremacy.
When did the movement originate? There is no particular timeline; however it said that the movement came about during the presidency of George W Bush and America's invasion of Iraq.
What identifies and unites the alt-right members?
Alt-right people are basically advocates of their own demographic and they identify as white young men with allegiance to their "tribe". What unites the alt-right members is their strong stance against multiculturalism, immigration, feminism and especially political correctness.
"They see political correctness really as the greatest threat to their liberty. So, they believe saying racist or anti-Semitic things — it's is not an act of hate, but an act of freedom " Nicole Hemmer, University of Virginia professor and author of a forthcoming book Messengers of the Right, explained on Morning Edition.
Why do alt-right leaders love Donald Trump?
US President-elect Donald Trump has always been vocal about his views against Muslims, immigrants and particularly Mexicans. During his presidential campaign, the billionaire had proposed of building a wall along the Mexican borders to keep immigrants at bay whom he termed as rapists and drug peddlers. He had also proposed to impose a ban on people of Muslim faith entering in the United States.
Clearly all these propositions ring true to the white supremacists' ideologies. The alt-right movement has started hailing Trump as their president also because of the recent appointment of billionaire Stephen Bannon as Trump's chief Strategist in the White House. Bannon is considered as a leading figure for the alt-right movement as he chairs the Breitbart News Network, which is seen as a haven for white-supremacists. The website promotes racists, anti-Muslim, sexist, anti-immigrants and anti-LGBTQ ideologies through their content.
Hence, Trump's appointment of Bannon is seen as his support for the alt-right movement by the members.