Alt-Right: The political movement that inspires mass-shootings?

According to Moonshot CVE, the audience available to Alt-Right propaganda remains “phenomenally larger” than that available to ISIS-type recruiters

Alt-Right: The political movement that inspires mass-shootings?

A recent report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which counts and analyzes incidents of hate in the United States, revealed that the radical group known as Alt-Right has inspired at least 13 youths to commit murders and massacres, leaving more than 100 people injured and/or diseased.

The SPLC  published in its study  'The Alt-Right Is Killing People' that 13 young men inspired by the racist and xenophobic speech of the political movement, carried out shootings and hate massacres in universities and churches throughout  the USA and Canada.

The list of hate crimes driven by the Alt-Right ideology is headed by four young people: Elliot Roger (22 years old), who murdered six students at the University of California; Dylann Roof (21 years old), who executed nine African-American parishioners in a church in South Carolina; Christopher Sean (26 years old), who ended the lives of eight of his classmates and a teacher at a school in Oregon, and Alexandre Bissonette (27 years old) who shot six Muslims in a mosque in Quebec, Canada.

A dark alternative

The Alternative Right or Alt-Right began its popularity back in 2016 when a movement of young white extremists -mostly skilled users of blogs and social media- revealed their total support to the presidential proposals of then-candidate Donald Trump.

The members of this supremacist group are mostly men between the ages of 17 and 35, have affiliations with neo-Nazi collectives, defend extreme migratory policies, reject the homosexual community, and consider superior the so-called “pure” white race.

According to previous SPLC reports, in the last 17 years, the appearance of hate groups has suffered a regrettable increase of more than 100% in the US. While in 1999, there were 457 organizations of this nature, in 2016 the figure increased to 917 groups, most of them linked to the well-known Ku Klux Klan.

Several experts agree that supremacist organizations’ spread is due to the political and economic transformations registered during past years. These changes have affected the middle class, increasing the amount of citizens that wrongly blamed minorities and immigrants for stealing their resources, benefits, and opportunities.

Nine of the 13 cases of violent crimes committed by the inspired Alt-Right young men, occurred in 2017 during Donald Trump's first term. Specialists consider that the current US administration has been slyly approving supremacist ideas and, as a consequence, groups with xenophobic and discriminatory ideologies feel supported and free to endorse their thinking.

According to Moonshot CVE, an organization that fights violent extremism through the Internet, the audience available to Alt-Right propaganda remains “phenomenally larger” than that available to ISIS-type recruiters. As the report remarks, “this accessibility makes it easy for gradual indoctrination, particularly, on social media platforms where tech companies long ignored the warning signs that their platforms were contributing to the radicalization of far-right extremists”.


Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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