There has been a lot of squawking on Twitter about how the Alt-Right is just a re-branding of white supremacy and the media shouldn’t give credibility to the term.
A lot of that is true.
It is also true that there is this river of tourettes-like impulse that runs through some subset of our population. Some part of the alt-right is akin the same frustrating people who think that coal-rolling is an acceptable form of rebellion. They got told that there were words they can’t use and now they absolutely must use them. Perpetually stuck in the “you aren’t the boss of me” mode with no recognition that transgressive behavior in direct reaction to disapproval just puts you at the mercy of the disapprover. You’re a reactionary, not an original, following a different set of social dictates. Just because the dictates are different doesn’t make you less of a sheep.
The Alt-Right has plenty of these people, who make the racists seem bigger than they are… people who are tolerant of racism because someone told them that they shouldn’t be racist and thinking that no one gets hurt out of it because no one they know gets hurt.
Excusable? I’m not going to try. Defensible? Not putting my effort there either. I’m just not sure we do ourselves any favor by feeding them when what they want most is to transgress and get everyone else’s attention. Which isn’t a primer on how to conduct effective outreach and re-direct that energy towards something constructive. I’m guessing to do that, you would have to find a new way for the crowd to establish that they are smarter than everyone else.
Lemme know how it goes.