Opinion: Further explaining the alt-right

Stephen D’Abreau

Stephen D'Abreau

Earlier in the year, I covered the alternative right and tried to give people a look inside the minds of this obscure area of political ideology. This was back when then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton mentioned it in a speech, and the major media outlets scrambled, like Clinton, to understand an online community that embodies anti-political correctness, Pepe memes and unorthodox nationalism.

Alas, with Steve Bannon — current editor of Breitbart — being selected as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief White House strategist, it seems the media frenzy continues again with no formal understanding of the alternative right.

Bannon controversially opened up Breitbart to platform certain people connected to the alternative right, and now CNN, MSNBC, FOX and many Democratic and Republican representatives have been scandalized by this association.

But to understand what element of the alt-right Bannon actually is connected with, you have to go back to the source: Breitbart itself, and the alt-right writers and editors Bannon brought on – namely, and most importantly, Milo Yiannopoulos.

Yiannopoulos is a gay, ethnically-Jewish, British journalist and editor for Breitbart, responsible for such outlandish headliners like “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy” and “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet.”

He’s been unverified on Twitter and banned from speaking at some universities. He is the meme-making provocateur and unofficial anti-PC “Queen” of the alt-right – in his own words.

This is what Bannon means when he says he “gave platform to the alt-right.” He helped give platform to Yiannopoulos and others like him.

If you get past his obviously over-the-top and provocative articles, you’ll find a gay, British ethnic-Jew — on his mother’s side — practicing Catholic with outlandish, comedic, but often interesting and poignant anti-establishment opinions, all while he constantly brags about his black boyfriends.

Now, Milo and the alt-right are obviously, deeply controversial. But there are two takeaways from this: first, the wild accusations of homophobia and anti-Semitism directed toward Bannon for his connection to the alt-right are not truly accurate since his biggest alt-right connection responsible for the crazy headlines you see on CNN is a gay British ethnic-Jew.

The second, and more important, takeaway is how poorly and ill-equipped the major media outlets are to understand or handle the alt-right. It’s a wild world where proud gay provocateurs write articles like “Gay rights have made us dumber” to confuse the establishment, and voice highly unorthodox opinions – with copious memes. It’s no wonder the “Pepe the Frog” meme is designated an anti-Semitic symbol by the Anti-Defamation League: The conventional media and systems are totally incapable of wrapping their heads around the alt-right.

So I encourage you, if you actually want to understand what Bannon gave platform to, check out Yiannopoulos and read his crazy, comedic, controversial, weirdly subversive and provocative articles yourself. But remember: Any report from FOX or CNN will not give you any insight.

Stephen D’Abreau is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].