Twitter suspends Richard Spencer, other prominent alt-right accounts

The Washington Post reports: Ever since alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous sent actress Leslie Jones a string of deeply offensive tweets, insulting the comedian’s race and intelligence, Twitter has made banning abusive accounts a priority.

At the time, the company offered a statement, which read in part:

. . . our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others . . . we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension.

We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders

Recently Twitter suspended many more accounts associated with the alt-right, which is the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “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.”

Included among them was the verified account of Richard Spencer, which The Washington Post described as a leader of the alt-right and “one of the most media-savvy thinkers in the movement.” [Continue reading…]

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White nationalists see Steve Bannon as advocate who will hold Trump to his campaign promises

CNN reports: White nationalist leaders are praising Donald Trump’s decision to name former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, telling CNN in interviews they view Bannon as an advocate in the White House for policies they favor.

The leaders of the white nationalist and so-called “alt-right” movement — all of whom vehemently oppose multiculturalism and share the belief in the supremacy of the white race and Western civilization — publicly backed Trump during his campaign for his hardline positions on Mexican immigration, Muslims, and refugee resettlement. Trump has at times disavowed their support. Bannon’s hiring, they say, is a signal that Trump will follow through on some of his more controversial policy positions.

“I think that’s excellent,” former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke told CNN’s KFile. “I think that anyone that helps complete the program and the policies that President-elect Trump has developed during the campaign is a very good thing, obviously. So it’s good to see that he’s sticking to the issues and the ideas that he proposed as a candidate. Now he’s president-elect and he’s sticking to it and he’s reaffirming those issues.” [Continue reading…]

The Hill reports: Conservative commentator Glenn Beck called President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for a top adviser a “nightmare” who has ties to the white nationalist movement.

“You know, if people really want to in the press would like to call Donald Trump a racist, you might want to stop on that one and spend a little time on [Steve] Bannon,” Beck said on his radio broadcast Monday.

“Bannon has a clear tie to white nationalists — clear tie,” Beck added of the former Breitbart News executive and Trump campaign CEO. “He’s built Breitbart as a platform for the alt-right.

“He’s on record saying that. He’s on record defining the alt-right. He knows what it is. He’s a guy that wants to tear this system down and wants to replace it with a new system.”

Beck said Bannon’s role in Trump’s future administration should inspire fear about the pair’s intentions for America.

“He’s a nightmare,” Beck said of Bannon. “And he’s the chief adviser to the president of the United States now.

“He is a frightening — no, no, no, he is a terrifying man, terrifying man. … It speaks volumes.” [Continue reading…]

In an editorial, the New York Times says: Anyone holding out hope that Donald Trump would govern as a uniter — that the racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and nativism of his campaign were just poses to pick up votes — should think again.

In an ominous sign of what the Trump presidency will actually look like, the president-elect on Sunday appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor, an enormously influential post.

Many if not most Americans had never heard of Mr. Bannon before this weekend, and for good reason: He has kept a low profile, even after taking over Mr. Trump’s campaign in August. Before that, he worked as the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, parent company of the far-right website Breitbart News, which under Mr. Bannon became what the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

Mr. Bannon himself seems fine with that description, telling Mother Jones last summer that Breitbart was now “the platform for the alt-right,” a loosely organized group of mostly young men who believe in white supremacy; oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism; and delight in harassing Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable groups by spewing shocking insults on social media.

To scroll through Breitbart headlines is to come upon a parallel universe where black people do nothing but commit crimes, immigrants rape native-born daughters, and feminists want to castrate all men. Here’s a sample:

Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage” (This headline ran two weeks after a white supremacist massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.)

Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy

Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield

If you don’t find the headlines alarming, check the reader comments. Or take a look at who’s rejoicing over Mr. Bannon’s selection. The white nationalist Richard Spencer said on Twitter that Mr. Bannon was in “the best possible position” to influence policy, since he would “not get lost in the weeds” of establishment Washington. The chairman of the American Nazi Party said the pick showed that Mr. Trump might be “for ‘real.’” David Duke, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, called the choice “excellent” and said Mr. Bannon was “basically creating the ideological aspects of where we’re going.”

Mr. Bannon is in some ways a perplexing figure: a far-right ideologue who made his millions investing in “Seinfeld”; a former Goldman Sachs banker who has reportedly called himself a “Leninist” with a goal “to destroy the state” and “bring everything crashing down.” He has also called progressive women “a bunch of dykes” and, in a 2014 email to one of his editors, wrote of the Republican leadership, “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty.”

A few conservatives have spoken out against Mr. Bannon. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart News editor who resigned in protest last spring, said Mr. Bannon was a “vindictive, nasty figure.” Glenn Beck called him a “nightmare” and a “terrifying man.”

But most Republican officeholders have so far remained silent. Some have dismissed fears about Mr. Bannon. Other Republicans have praised him, like Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, whom Mr. Trump announced as his chief of staff on Sunday, and who said Mr. Bannon could not be such a bad guy because he served in the Navy and went to Harvard Business School. Some saw the pick of Mr. Priebus as evidence that Mr. Trump would not be leaning so much on Mr. Bannon. But don’t be fooled by Mr. Priebus’s elevated title; in the press release announcing both hires, Mr. Bannon’s name appeared above Mr. Priebus’s. In a little more than two months Mr. Bannon, and his toxic ideology, will be sitting down the hall from the Oval Office.

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Swedish Nazi group hails Trump in largest demo yet

The Local reports: Sweden’s neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) mounted the biggest march in its history on Saturday, with its leadership saying the election of Donald Trump in the US marked the start of a world revolution.

Five people were arrested and two were injured in Stockholm on Saturday as an estimated 600 far-right demonstrators marched from the central Kungsträdgården park to Mynttorget, the square where Sweden’s parliament is based in historic Gamla Stan.

“A number of people have been held. They were aggressive at one of our barriers,” Kjell Lindgren, a press spokesman for the Stockholm police said. He said that police had registered two cases of violent rioting, which carries a maximum four-year sentence. At least twenty others were detained for the duration of the march.

The NMR, set up in 1997, promotes an openly racist and anti-Semitic doctrine, and press commentators had questioned the wisdom of authorising Saturday’s rally, given the likelihood of violence. [Continue reading…]

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The alt-right supported Trump. Now its members want him to satisfy their demands

The Washington Post reports: Mike Adams, a conservative Texas blogger, greeted President-elect Donald Trump’s victory with this post: “The evil, demonic, mass murdering Hillary Clinton has been defeated. This is VICTORY for all Americans, even the uninformed, ignorant morons who voted for Hillary.”

But a few hours later, as the news sank in, Adams posted again with a more hopeful tone: “Today I declare ‘LOVE WINS’ because it is love for America that inspired us to collectively achieve this great victory.” He said he was going to send Trump a video with his suggestions about how to reform health care.

Adams and thousands of others on the furious far-right of American political discourse, who have railed for years against the “criminal” and “treasonous” excesses of the federal government under President Obama, woke up Wednesday to find themselves in the odd position of being, essentially, insiders.

Members of the so-called “alt-right,” who reject establishment conservatism and spread their far-right ideology online, were eagerly courted by candidate Trump. Now this vocal constituency feels emboldened by its new ally in the White House, presenting Trump with a major challenge to satisfy its pent-up demands while trying to unite a deeply divided nation.

Adams, who blogs about health, wellness and politics on a Facebook page that has 2 million “likes,” said he sees the Trump election as a long-awaited chance to be heard by the White House. In addition to sending Trump his health-care ideas, he is urging him to fight abortion and nominate Supreme Court justices who will protect his right to own a gun. [Continue reading…]

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Far right celebrates Trump victory

emporer-trump

The fascist Daily Stormer declares: We won, brothers.

All of our work. It has paid off.

Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor.

Make no mistake about it: we did this. If it were not for us, it wouldn’t have been possible.

We flooded the tubes, we created the energy, we made this happen.

We were with him every step of the way.

And the great news is, we’re going to be given credit for it.

The media is finished. They are going to lash out. They will implode completely.

History has been made.

Today, the world ended. A new world has been born. [Continue reading…]

Former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, expresses his deep gratitude to Julian Assange and Wikileaks for helping elect Trump:


Alex Jones declares that now “we have the keys to the Universe”:

 

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‘Republicans against Trump’ protester: Trump is a fascist who is turning his supporters into animals

 

The Guardian reports: The man whose protest saw Donald Trump rushed off the stage by Secret Service agents has said the Republican nominee’s supporters turned on him when he held up a sign reading: “Republicans against Trump”.

The man, who identified himself as Austyn Crites from Reno, told the Guardian he was holding the sign at a rally when Trump supporters wrestled him to the ground.

The 33-year-old – who says he has been a registered Republican for about six years – said he was kicked, punched and choked, and feared for his life when the crowd turned on him at the gathering in Reno, Nevada.

Crites cited Trump’s treatment of Mexicans, Muslims and women as the reason he decided to protest again Trump, who he described as “a textbook version of a dictator and a fascist”. [Continue reading…]

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A scholar of fascism sees a lot that’s similar with Trump

Jonathan Blitzer writes: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an American-born professor of Italian history at New York University, specializes in male menace. What interests her is the manufactured drama of world-historical strongmen — their mannerisms, speech patterns, stagecraft, and mythomania. Late last year, Ben-Ghiat had just published a book called “Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema,” about the years of Benito Mussolini, when another spectacle wrested her attention. One of the candidates for the American Presidency was looking a lot like her principal academic subject. As President Obama put it, the United States now had its own “homegrown authoritarian.”

Earlier this week, Ben-Ghiat sat at a table in her office, at N.Y.U.’s Casa Italiana, on Twelfth Street, inspecting two signatures on the screen of her laptop. One of them belonged to Donald Trump, the other to Mussolini. The scrawls — loopy, cursive, steepled — looked so similar that they seemed to blur together. Ben-Ghiat, who wore a gray sweater and dark skirt, is gracefully soft-spoken, her manner reserved. “I’m interested in how their language and writing are a kind of emanation of their bodies,” she said.

When Mussolini was a Socialist, he wrote his name as “Benito Mussolini.” “Then he dropped the Benito,” Ben Ghiat said. “He even had his stage name, which was Il Duce.” Trump also likes talking about himself in the third person. “He’s selling his product, which is himself,” she said. It’s a cult of personality peddled as good business. During the primaries, he recited a loyalty pledge in which he led his supporters in a promise to vote for him. (“I do solemnly swear that I — no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever — will vote . . . for Donald J. Trump for President.”) While administering the oath, he raised his arm before the crowds in a quasi-Fascist salute. (“I mean, we’re having such a good time,” Trump said later. “Sometimes we do it for fun, and they start screaming at me, ‘Do the swearing! Do the swearing!’ ”) [Continue reading…]

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Extremist militias recruiting in fear of Clinton winning election, activists say

The Guardian reports: In the past 12 months, Jessica Campbell has had her car’s fuel line cut and its wheel nuts loosened. Late last year, she had a GPS tracker surreptitiously attached to her vehicle. She is now accustomed to being tailed by unfamiliar vehicles on Interstate 5 near her home in Cottage Grove, just outside Eugene, Oregon. Strangers have regularly come uninvited onto her property; someone even stripped the barbed wire on her fence “just to send a message”. Online, she has repeatedly been threatened with rape and death.

And last week, when she showed up at the Canyon City community hall in Grant County, she told me that someone shot at her and her entourage. They misread their GPS, took a wrong turn and stopped to get their bearings when a crack rang out with what Campbell thought was a .22 bullet whizzing by their vehicle.

Such threats are part of the pushback her work has sparked in rural Oregon.

Campbell co-directs the Rural Organizing Project, a not-for-profit group that sets out to confront the rightwing insurgency that has been bubbling away in parts of rural Oregon and throughout the west. A political organizer since high school, she now coordinates groups attempting to respond to divisive tactics from rightwing activists on immigration, race and public land ownership.

This extremist surge received national media attention during the occupation of the Malheur national wildlife refuge by the Bundy group, but it has continued to rise alongside Trump, with his legitimization of white nationalist politics and his apparent inspiration of insurrectionists across the country. [Continue reading…]

The SPLC identified 998 active extreme antigovernment groups in 2015: The antigovernment movement has experienced a resurgence, growing quickly since 2008, when President Obama was elected to office. Factors fueling the antigovernment movement in recent years include changing demographics driven by immigration, the struggling economy and the election of the first African-American president. [Continue reading…]

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Trump’s political police at the gates of America

Timothy Egan writes: Give me your extreme-vetted, your ideologically certified, your elite. Send only the smartest, the best-connected, the richest to our shores. No losers, no freethinkers, and no ugly people, please.

In the hate speech that Donald Trump gave on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday night, he all but deported the Statue of Liberty, laying out one of the darkest visions of the American experience that any major-party nominee has ever given. Despite the media misread by some who presented the speech as a pivot, it got rave reviews from neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan supporters, and prompted some of Trump’s few Latino advisers to resign in protest. “Excellent speech,” said David Duke, the former Klan leader.

In Trump’s America, those working in the shadows are not the lawn cutters, Sheetrock hangers, fruit pickers or nannies we see in every community, but the criminal dregs. Under his rules, this country would have closed its doors long ago to those who made the United States the great experiment, unique to the world. He would have shut off the flow of people whose best and perhaps only asset at the time was desire for a better life. [Continue reading…]

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Here’s how Islamists and the Far Right feed off each other

Maajid Nawaz writes: As I’ve been arguing for years, radicalization occurs due to a combination of perceived grievances, an identity crisis, charismatic recruiters and an ideology, and in all cases probably involves mental trauma.

There is a negative symbiosis between Islamist and far right extremism.

It is no revelation that jihadist terrorists use far-right posters in their own propaganda to prove that the world is at war with Islam. And it is no surprise that the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik cited al-Qaeda writings in his own manifesto to validate his murder of 77 innocent people. Each faction relies on the other to exist. Each needs the “other” — the enemy — to point to as the cause of all its ills.

But the world of politics has become — quite horrifically — like a football game. Each of us cheers for our own tribe and disparages the opposing team even when they have a reasonable point to make. We are always the “victims”; they are always our oppressors.

People are playing politics with evil while human lives are lost to hate. We must take stock, and recognize that by raising our political pompoms every time an event appears to confirm our narrative, and by playing up our own victimhood, we are only feeding into the recruitment narratives of all terrorist groups. The first stage to the emancipation of any community is to shed this perpetual state of victimhood, and begin to take responsibility for our own actions, and our own advancement.

We have reentered an era of competing extremes. The 1930s never looked so close, from so far. It didn’t have to be like this. Islamists and far-right extremists, a plague on both your houses. [Continue reading…]

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