Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Should Journalists use the term Alt-Right?

Lauren Walinski
Staff Writer

Donald Trump, the new president-elect of the United States, has gained a following amongst a group which calls itself the “alt-right.” The group holds beliefs that the United States government should not extend equal rights to minorities such as women, people of color, Jewish people, and LGBTQ+ people, beliefs which directly violate the United States Constitution. The group calls itself the “alt-right” to make these beliefs sound more acceptable to the general population, since the name is unspecific. Because of this group’s controversial beliefs, many journalists are unsure whether they should be using the term “alt-right” or find another, since they do not want to hide the beliefs these groups hold.
 According to the AP Stylebook, a guide by the Associate Press which many journalists refer to in order to write their articles, the term “alt-right” should be avoided. The only time the term “alt-right” is okay to use in an article, according to the AP stylebook, is if it is specified to be what the group calls itself. A description of the group’s beliefs should also be given, so they cannot hide their bigoted beliefs behind an unclear name. The AP Stylebook also says that the group should be called what it really is and what it has been called in the past: white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and racist. This way the group cannot hide the beliefs they hold.


  1. The question should NOT BE whether or not the "alt-right" supports Donald Trump, but rather,where is the clearly defined significant evidence, if it exists, that Donald Trump supports the alleged beliefs of the "alt-right.
    It should be a simple question of logic 101. If "A" supports "B", does it follow that "B" supports "A"? Of course not.

    1. The question WASN'T whether or not the alt-right supports Trump (or vice-versa). The question was (as the article is titled, if you read it) "Should journalists use the term Alt-Right?" However, I can answer your question as well. If you want evidence of the alt-right's support of Trump, I've got it. I'll be focusing on just one member of the alt-right for my proof: a leader of the alt-right movement, Richard B. Spencer. Sources are at the bottom so as not to take up space.

      Richard Spencer is a figurehead of the white-nationalist movement and is even credited with coining the term alt-right (1). He has been shown supporting Trump on several occasions. Not only did he and other alt-right leaders meet about their support for Trump, they also spoke about their views on creating a white state without Jewish people and their beliefs that white people are inherently better than people of other races (2). Spencer also held a meeting after Trump's election to show his support of Trump in which he and his supporters were seen giving the Nazi salute and cheering "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!"(3) Alt-right leaders also credit Donald Trump with legitimatizing their movement, as Spencer is quoted saying "Trump brought us from zero to 1. We were talking to ourselves, talking to our own ideas…Now we are still doing that, but we are connected with a campaign, connected with attacking liberals. We’ve come so far"(4) as well as "I think if Trump wins, we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with the ‘R[acist]’ word, all sorts of things. People will have to recognize us." (4). Even if Trump does not support the alt-right directly, the alt-right definitely feels as though he does.

      1: (yes, I know wikipedia isn't the best source, but it's better than no source. Spencer having coined the term is mentioned in other sources of mine as well, though)
      3: (yes, I know you dislike CNN, but if you click the link, there's video! You cannot deny the validity of a video!)

  2. I think the question should now be why is Mel Band harassing a student journalist? It's inappropriate.

  3. If the staff writer did not include the first sentence of the article which has nothing to do with the article,she would have written a good news piece. Leaving it in, which is the case,substantially detracts from the stated intent of the article found in the title.It also questions the intent of the writer- to get information about the Alt.Right or to connect Donald trump to the Alt. Right.
    Now interestingly, the video from CNN (#3) mentioned as a source in the staff writer's reply to my post, confirms the fact that Donald Trumopp in no way shape or form endorses the Alt. Right. The video, moderated by John Berman of CNN who reads and puts on the screen a statement from Bryan Lanza, Trump- Pence President Transition Committee.
    " President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American.To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentaion of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds."
    So just to sum up,if "A" endorses "B" it does not follow that "B" endorses "A".

    1. My article was never about "does Trump support the alt-right?" or even "does the alt-right support Trump?" it was about "should the term alt-right be used?" and that's what I wrote about. I mentioned Trump because the alt-right is in public eye due to their support of Trump, which is a fact I gave you evidence of when you replied to me about it. I found that with the alt-right's rising presence and their support of the president-elect of our country that it was important their bigoted beliefs were not ignored or glossed over. Nowhere did I say Trump supports the alt-right, but I admit I did give evidence that the alt-right FEELS they are supported by him. That doesn't mean they ARE supported by him, it just shows how they feel about him. Since in my reply I was talking about how they supported him, I thought their feelings on him were relevant.
      So you're right that if "A" endorses "B" it does not follow that "B" endorses "A" though I never said Trump endorses the alt-right.

  4. She's a high school student and this piece is clearly filed under "opinion". It's inappropriate that you continue to harass her.

  5. It would be interesting to see if anyone would write an article about the Alt Left- people who do not believe in the three qualities that define a nation, qualities that are necessary for the continual existence of a nation- Language, Borders, Culture.