White Nationalist ‘Alt-Right’ Celebrates a Banner Month by the Forward

White Nationalist ‘Alt-Right’ Celebrates a Banner Month

The “alt-right” started 2017 strong.

Donald Trump, hero to the white nationalist movement, was inaugurated as president. Richard Spencer, would-be head of the movement, launched a new website and announced plans for a national tour. And the Reddit channel /altright/, a main congregating point for the largely-online movement, saw 5,000 new subscribers in just one month.

“We started at 11,870 and as of this posting, we have 16,445, wrote the Reddit user TomorrowBelongsToUs. “Keep spreading the word. This is the place to red-pill people.”

“Red-pill” is a term used by the “alt-right” to signify one’s political “awakening” to white nationalism.

“Act like your posts and responses are reaching thousands of people whom you want to red pill, because they are! Be welcoming to new people and always follow reddit’s rules,” TommorowBelongsToUs went on.

On a thread dedicated to the surge in “alt-right” subscribers, users debated what it meant that there was an uptick in interest—among a wider range of groups than some had expected.

“I am strongly in favor of welcoming people who can be an asset to our movement, and even welcome blacks to discuss with us,” wrote One_Winged_Rook, “but Jews simply have no place here.”

The user went on: “They are not welcome by me, and it’s something I feel we should all agree on.”

The “alt-right” has conflicted and complex views of Jews and Israel. The question of how Jews fit into the movement — and the “white nation” more broadly — is a source of division within “alt-right” ranks.

Other users were surprised that their “alt-right” sub-Reddit had not been shut down.

“TBH it’s shocking we haven’t been shoah’d,” the user LeoMacht wrote.

“Shoah” is a reference to the Holocaust. The term is used here as a verb and has taken on meaning in the “alt-right” to mean killed or shut down.

Another user shared that they were one of those thousands of subscribers who had recently been drawn to the “alt-right.”

“I came here on a whim because I kept hearing people refer to the alt right like some kind of nazi hate group and I wanted to see what it is all about,” wrote Revrant. “Needless to say, it isn’t a hate group. I feel like the SJWs and BS like that basically created the alt right, or the need for the alt right.”

“SJW,” or “social justice warrior,” is a is a pejorative term used to refer to progressive activists.

Revrant went on: “People get tired of them trying to re-define reality.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com


Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum .

White Nationalist ‘Alt-Right’ Celebrates a Banner Month

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