Why Care2 Will No Longer Use the Term ‘Alt-Right’

You have likely heard the term “alt right” more frequently in the past few months. Maybe you assumed the words were simply describing some super conservative right-wing politicians. But if you have been paying attention to the group behind “alt-right,” you will know the term is nothing more than a rebranding for white supremacists.

Who Are The Alt-Right?

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the “alt-right” as the following:

“a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization. Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew ‘establishment’ conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.”

The credit for being clever enough to popularize “alt-right” instead of using the terms “neo-Nazi” or “fascist” goes to Richard Spencer (seen above), who is head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute. As Spencer has even stated himself, the core of alt-right ideology is the preservation of “white identity.” 

He coined the term, and thanks to his marketing campaign, leading conservative politicians can work closely with neo-Nazis while avoiding accusations of racism.

In fact, it’s been so successful that Steven Bannon, a top adviser to Mr. Trump, boasts that he turned Breitbart News into “a platform for the alt-right“ but at the same time he denies any connection to white nationalist movements.

Many mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times and CNN have freely adopted the “alt right” term. A case in point comes from a The New York Times piece published on November 20th: “Alt-Right Exults in Donald Trumps Election With a Nazi-Era Salute.” The article itself is a brilliant exposition of the rise of the neo-Nazi movement headed by Richard Spencer, but it repeatedly accepts the term “alt-right,” provided by Spencer and his followers, without question.

In a hopeful move, the Associated Press recently clarified that the term is merely a “public relations device” for racist beliefs. The AP style guidelines, which are adopted by many news outlets across the country, now advise writers to consider the following when writing about the “alt right” movement:

“Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.”

Care2 Will No Longer Use This Term

The job of journalists is to describe the world with accuracy. When the media uses the term “alt-right,” it obscures the truth and normalizes white supremacy. 

This is why we at Care2 are committed to not using this term going forward. When we describe a neo-Nazi movement that believes the U.S. should be governed by and for white people, we will state so explicitly.  

As ThinkProgress put it:

“The point here is not to call people names, but simply to describe them as they are. We won’t do racists’ public relations work for them. Nor should other news outlets.”

Take Action!

If you agree that the media must start telling the truth, please sign our petition calling on the New York Times Editorial Board to take the lead by desisting from using “alt-right” and “white nationalist” in place of Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist or fascist.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

121 comments

Sarah H
Sarah H3 months ago

Why do we have to label everyone?

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Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Marija K
Marija K4 months ago

''Care2 Will No Longer Use This Term [alt-right]

The job of journalists is to describe the world with accuracy.''

--Oh, don't get me started on journalist accuracy on this content farm...

By the way, Tila Tequila the white supremacist...hilarious..

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Karen H
Karen H5 months ago

Trump and his cronies are gaslighting America. Gaslighting is when a person asserts something so intensely that another person starts doubting their own perspective. It works with denial, too, especially when "righteous indignation" is added. Distorted historical "facts" are often used to "prove" the "truth". We have to be careful not to lose sight of our own judgment and be sucked in by these devious liars who tell us "alt-right" doesn't mean racist Neo-Nazi fascist bigots.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran5 months ago

good for you guys!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus5 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Anne P.
AnneAWAY P5 months ago

Thank you, Care2!

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David F.
David F5 months ago

Will Care2 authors use the word Alt-Left?

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Lori Hone
Lori Hone5 months ago

They are disgusting piles of human waste

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Philip S.
Philip S5 months ago

I am no Rep, just an independent that sees both establishment parties floundering, one (Dem) much more than the other. I did leave out a group of racist besides cops and old people, there are some yahoos that racism is all they have but they are such a small group of people who don't vote anyway. I do agree that SPLC is a racist group that is just as dangerous as the organizations that they purport are dangerous.

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