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Far-right activists hope to use alt-lite label to distance themselves from white supremacists

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A subset of far-right activists are seeking to distance themselves from the problematic label of “alt-right.”

As The Intercept reports, in the days since Charlottesville, the far-right has adopted yet another phrase to identify followers of its ideology, this time in an apparent effort to ward off claims of racism and neo-Nazism.

The term, according to followers of this allegedly milder ideology, is “alt-lite.”

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Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who founded the “Proud Boys” movement, says his group does not tolerate racial discrimination. Instead, their interest is in “Reinstating a Spirit of Western chauvinism.”

On his “Rebel Media” YouTube show, McInnes said that while the alt-right is made up racial chauvinists, the alt-lite is made up of cultural chauvinists.

But critics doubt that is much of a distinction.

“The split between the white nationalists of the ‘alt-right’ and the often racist demagogues of the ‘alt-light’ is strategically significant, and factored into the far-right’s failure to mobilize further post-Charlottesville,” the Intercept’s Leighton Akip Woodouse writes. “But the actual difference between the two may be more a matter of style than substance.”

McInnes publicly disavowed the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, weeks before it took place.

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The Anti-Defamation League describes the movement as “a loosely connected movement of right-wing activists who reject the overtly white supremacist ideology of the alt right, but whose hateful impact is more significant than their “lite” name suggests. The alt lite embraces misogyny and xenophobia, and abhors “political correctness” and the left.

(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Proud Boys played a prominent role in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Dr Birx proves that no amount of gushing compliments can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with Trump: op-ed

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One of President Trump's top infectious disease experts, Dr. Deborah Birx, is known for avoiding Trump's wrath, but that changed when she recently decided to speak frankly on the growing spread of coronavirus across the country. While Trump walked back his public criticism of her, the dust shows that no amount of "gushing compliments or massaging statistics can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with this man," the Washington Post's Molly Roberts writes.

While Birx appeared to be in control of the facts when she first emerged as a figure on the coronavirus task force, she soon became someone Democrats couldn't trust.

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‘Malignant’ GOP voters will keep backing ‘dumber and angrier’ candidates no matter what happens in November: Conservative

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Even if the Republican Party suffers crippling losses in November's election, that won't solve the problem of the "malignant Republican voter."

President Donald Trump's conservative opponents have been publicly debating whether the GOP deserves to survive, but The Week columnist Damon Linker says reducing the party to cinders and ash won't root out the party's rotten core.

"The head of the party is a corrupt and malicious imbecile," Linker wrote. "Republicans in Congress are a mix of Trump enablers, obstructionist-demagogues out to maximize the wealth of their donors, know-nothing conspiracist loons, and a few reformers experimenting with the most politically palatable way to blend nationalism with socialism. All of them are primarily motivated by the drive toward self-promotion within the right-wing media complex. And when we move further down the Republican hierarchy to the state and local level, things only get worse."

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2020 Election

‘Survival of organized human society’ at risk: New campaign rallies progressives to vote Trump out

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"As progressives and leftists, we are not going to minimize our disagreements with Joe Biden. But we're also clear-eyed about where things stand. We have a moral responsibility to defeat Trump."

With the goal of boosting progressive voter turnout in swing states that could play a decisive role in November, advocacy group RootsAction.org on Wednesday launched a grassroots campaign aiming to prevent another disastrous four years of President Donald Trump's "war on truth, on decency, on our planet, and on working people."

Organizers of the new "Vote Trump Out" initiative argue that while progressives have major substantive differences with Joe Biden on a number of key issues, "supporting the Democratic nominee in swing states is the only means we have to defeat Trump."

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