the Alt-Right is killing us

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The Alt-Right is literally killing people, writes Kate Harveston:

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently counted more than 100 victims injured or killed by members of what is being dubbed the "alt-right." All of the perpetrators hold some common characteristics: white, male and under 40 years old.

On the surface, the majority of the alt-right's "members" appear to be politically disillusioned individuals encouraged to believe that their voices have been drowned out by a left-leaning mainstream news apparatus. Many other strong cultural movements have spawned from these same conditions, though.

From the civil rights struggle of the 1960s to the 1980s punk scene and beyond, movements found success through their ability to cater to a specifically disenfranchised group. These movements historically offer a sense of solidarity and organization to individuals who feel they have otherwise been scorned by society.

"However, this time seems different," Harveston writes, "as the violent alt-right is becoming increasingly empowered and dangerous. How will we counteract this threat in the coming years?"

Our country is undergoing an epidemic of mass shootings unrivaled by any other democracy today. And while these violent acts seem entirely random, almost all the shooters are white men under or around 30 years old -- awfully consistent with the alt-right. [...]

This is a movement fed on misinformation and toxic online forums. How, then, can we begin to strip the violent power from a movement that is fractured, independently operating and widely anonymous?

"A few ideas have been floated," she continues:

We should consider the positive aspects of the internet and our ability to share moving and convincing stories with all members of the community. [...] Gun control legislation is seen as the primary means by which our country can prevent future violent incidents. [...]

Directly confronting members of the alt-right has resulted in violence -- Charlottesville being the clearest example. Other indirect forms of confrontation, including censorship and "outing" online users or alt-right event participants, have been more effective.

"One thing we know," Harveston concludes, is that "The American epidemic of gun violence will continue if nothing changes:"

Since Columbine in 1999, there have been endless mass shootings. Now, a fresh wave of violence is sweeping the nation, and it seems to be most prevalent in a particular demographic: young white males. This issue won't disappear with the older generation. We need to be discussing actionable legislation that will help pave the way for a safer future -- because what we're doing clearly isn't working.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 18, 2018 12:45 PM.

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