We recently reported on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s ad emphasizing the support of white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan for her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. The ad pointed to Trump’s selection of Stephen K. Bannon, former CEO of Breitbart News, as evidence that Trump was embracing the racist “alt-right” vote.
Alt-Right “White Nationalism”
As Sarah Posner reported in Mother Jones, Bannon is proud that Breitbart News has become the “platform for the alt-right movement.” Trump chose Bannon because he wants those voters. When Posner interviewed Bannon at the Republican National Convention, she asked him specifically about the racism of Trump’s alt-right supporters.
Bannon insisted that these white voters are “nationalists” like Polish and German nationalists in Europe, so it’s not really about race. As Posner pointed out, however, French nationalist Jean Marie Le Pen was fined for inciting racial hatred.
But when Posner asked again, Bannon responded:
“Are there some people who are white nationalists who are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe. Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that’s just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements.”
Here’s a link to a list and descriptions of major players on the alt-right scene.
Bannon and Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy
Bannon took over as CEO of Breitbart.com after Andrew Breitbart’s 2012 death. Ben Shapiro, who was editor-at-large at Breitbart News until March 2016, wrote in the Daily Wire that Bannon’s embrace of the alt-right white supremacists contradicted two of Breitbart’s key principles: anti-racism and an abhorrence of cozy relationships between the news media and the people they cover.
“Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it. He used to brag regularly about helping to integrate his fraternity at Tulane University. He insisted that racial stories be treated with special care to avoid even the whiff of racism.”
But all that changed under Bannon’s administration. Shapiro says that Bannon helped Milo Yiannopoulos push “white ethno-nationalism” as a legitimate response to political correctness and allowed white supremacists to take over the comments section, turning it into a “cesspool.”
Shapiro also says that Breitbart would absolutely have hated the evolution of his site into a mouthpiece for the Trump campaign and Bannon’s denials that of that role.
Here’s a link to the piece by Milo Yiannopoulos that directly connected Breitbart News to the alt-right movement.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.