In a dictionary-definition display of White Fragility, various Alt-Right and “Alt-Lite” figures spent yesterday clutching their pearls over an Anti-Defamation League article, “From Alt-Right to Alt-Lite: Naming the Hate,” that highlighted some of the Internet’s most unsavory, far-right personalities. Some of these racists didn’t seem to enjoy being called racist and labeled the ADL’s article a “Hit List,” then accused the ADL (an international Jewish organization formed to fight antisemitism that now works to eradicate all forms of hate) of inciting terrorism.
“American Nationalist” and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to denounce the list in a Periscope video labeled with the clickbait title, “The ADL is trying to get my family murdered.” In the livestream watched by over 50k viewers, he announces, “The ADL has targeted my family for murder and assassination.” He goes on to reference the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, though he incorrectly places the altercation at a basketball game.
Cernovich insists that placing him on a “hate list” is absurd despite the fact he advocates IQ-testing for all immigrants, claims date-rape does not exist, and believes in “white genocide” – a White-Nationalist conspiracy theory that immigration, interracial marriage, and abortion rights are causing the “extinction” of white people. In addition to peddling racism and misogyny, Cernovich is one of the key figures responsible for promoting the debunked #pizzagate conspiracy theory – the libelous assertion that then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was part of a child-sex-trafficking ring that operated out of a DC-area pizzeria basement. As preposterous as the theory seems, hundreds of believers harassed employees of DC restaurant Comet Ping Pong and its owner, James Alefantis, culminating on December 4th, 2016 when Edgar Maddison Welch opened fire in the restaurant in order to “self-investigate” signs of a child-sex-ring, of which he found none.
In his video, Cenrnovich debuted the hashtag #ADLTerror, unleashing a cascade of needless hyperbole and right-wing tears from the most unpleasant corners of Twitter. After Cernovich called the ADL a “terrorist organization,” prominent Far-Right figures began to echo his sentiment on their own Twitter feeds and YouTube channels, claiming that being labeled as hateful is “dehumanizing” and opens up them up to violence. Coincidentally, many of the views these Alt-Right figures spew are dehumanizing to immigrants, women, and minorities which many leftists similarly point out is a gateway to violence, though the right insists their own dehumanizing rhetoric is “just words.”
Alt-Right YouTuber Tara McCarthy – featured on the ADL’s list directly below Richard Spencer – posted a video critique of her own. She takes no issue with the ADL’s assertion that the goal of her show is to “help make ethno-nationalist views more socially acceptable, and to educate people on the dangers of globalism and replacement migration from the third world,” noting, “I actually am quite astonished at their level of accuracy.” What she doesn’t understand is why these beliefs – which are xenophobic at best and white-supremacist at worst – are wrong.
McCarthy, and others like her, retweet pieces of “Race Realist” propaganda that assert Black people have lower IQs or that migrants are inherently violent and still claim that the views they hold are simply a difference of opinion. However, as Robert Jones says, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity.” These alt-right “opinions” are, in fact, rooted in the oppression of others. Labeling hate as hate is not the work of the “thought police,” as many on the right have been screaming onto their twitter timelines, it is the work organizations like the ADL were created to do. We have freedom of speech in America, the Alt-Right can spew as much bigoted vitriol as their little hearts desire, but the ADL has the right to call them on it.