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Mainstreaming Racism

To say Donald Trump made a controversial pick when he named Steve Bannon his chief strategist is an understatement. Bannon runs the website breitbart.org, which is in Bannon's own words "a platform for the alt-right."

The term alt-right was coined in 2008 by Richard Spencer in 2008, a self-proclaimed white nationalist who has called for "peaceful ethnic cleansing." Spencer's think tank, the National Policy Institute, gathered for its annual conference this week in Washington, D.C.

If anyone harbors any doubts that this group is simply neo-Nazis rebranded, take a look at this video.

Among other things, Spencer said:

"No one will honor us for losing gracefully. No one mourns the greats crimes committed against us. For us, it is conquer or die."

"The mainstream media, or perhaps we should refer to them in the original German, 'Lügenpresse'…It's not just that they are leftists and cucks. It's not just that many are genuinely stupid. Indeed, one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem, animated by some dark power to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before."

"To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror. WE build, WE produce, WE go upward, and WE recognize the central lie of American race relations. We don't exploit other groups. We don't gain anything from their presence. They need us, and not the other way around."

"We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet. We were meant to overcome, overcome all of it, because that is natural and normal for us."

"America was, until this past generation, a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us."

This is the movement president-elect Trump's chief strategist has given a platform to. And while Steve Bannon may mouth the right words to distance himself from the movement, he is still culpable for his role in bringing neo-Nazis and white nationalists out of the shadows. For example, a Breitbart article last December on holocaust denial in Europe led to a lengthy discussion in the comments, with the majority of commenters taking the side of denial. An article from May of this year criticizing Iran led to a similar discussion. Even Breitbart's report of Bannon's disavowal of racism brought out the unashamed racists. I won't quote any comments here, but you can follow the links if you dare.

Trump, for his part, has given lip service to the idea that he wouldn't hire someone associated with the alt-right, but has not backed off from his support of Bannon.

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