Since the election, I have been trying to stay extra cognizant of not letting the media guide my viewpoints on politics.
I don’t mean to say that the mainstream media is necessarily trying to sway people in a certain direction — in fact, I’m one of the staunchest defenders of print and broadcast journalism whenever I hear it criticized — but, you know, the results on Nov. 8 offered a bit of a reality check after the media kinda got the whole thing wrong.
One of the terms that has popped up intermittently in the media this year, and even more so lately, is the “alt-right” — which is basically just a more digestible way to say white supremacy. Or racism.
It’s one of those things that you know is out there, but choose not to think about. The amount of racists that live in America. Unfortunately, this election has brought this topic to the forefront of presidential politics like never before.
Not all Trump voters are racist. But it certainly appears that all racists were Trump voters.
The media has heavily focused on a conference that took place this week involving these alt-right folks, or white supremacists, or racists; whatever you wish to call them.
At the conference, they praised the election of Donald Trump and celebrated him with Nazi salutes.
Oh. Good. I hate that “alt-right” has been so focused on that I can’t unknow it. It’s like when you open a word of the day calendar and see something like “sesquipedalian.” I’d rather just never know it existed.
While the rhetoric that took place at this conference was certainly alarming and even shocking, given that we’re in the year 2016, it’s still worth mentioning that there were only about 200 people in attendance. Oh, and Tila Tequila is apparently one of them. So there’s that.
But anyway, I point out the attendance because it’s not like there were hundreds of thousands of people there stating their case. They also weren’t donning white hoods (although they may have very well put them on later).
It appears that people are worried that this will become the new norm.
Call me naive, but I truly believe that the overwhelming majority of Americans — Republican or Democrat — strongly condemn this line of thinking.
Is it frustrating that the chairman of Breitbart news — a haven for the alt-right — is a chief strategist for our next administration? Is it maddening that Donald Trump chose to stay mute on this topic while rebuking Saturday Night Live and Hamilton? (He finally denounced the alt-right in an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday.)
Yes to all of the above. But I refuse to believe that post-civil rights America can ever become a breeding ground for racism so damningly overt that it’s right there in the public eye.
One can argue that the perpetuation and survival of the alt-right is being pedaled by the news media for their consistent coverage of it. Which is one of the reasons why I hate even talking about it.
However, this has obviously been on people’s minds in the past couple days and I thought it was necessary to address it.
I get that people are scared to death right over what the next four years will bring.
But let’s just stop and be realistic. We are not becoming Nazi Germany. White supremacy is not the new normal. It exists and that sucks, but at the same time, we are an increasingly globalized country and we know better. Of that I am confident.
So let’s collectively acknowledge that this is a small but deeply unfortunate part of our society, denounce it, and then stop talking about it so that we don’t continue to give them the attention they so desperately crave.