November 19, 2016

TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION:

Plans by far-right news website to launch in France thrills nationalist party of Le Pen (David Usborne, 15 November 2016, Independent)

The far right in France on Tuesday extended its welcome to the ultra-conservative Breitbart News Network which had earlier revealed plans to launch French and German versions of its site. 

Any French incursion by Breitbart, which has already used the ascent of Donald Trump dramatically to widen its US footprint, will be seen as a punt to boost support Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party, as well as to build revenue. [...]

On Tuesday, Ms Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who has her own seat in the French Assembly, voiced enthusiasm for Breitbart giving her party's supporters new voice in France.

"All alternative media are generally positive. Donald Trump is the demonstration of that... they're among the useful tools," she said during a visit to Moscow. Speaking to the Agence France Press, AFP, she added that there had been "some small contacts for some time" between the FN and the Trump campaign in the United States.

Of course, he also employs Geert Wilders, Jewish Watchdog Slams Dutch Politician Geert Wilders for Work With Foreign Rightists (Haaretz, May 07, 2014)



A Jewish watchdog group has criticized Dutch right-wing populist politician Geert Wilders for working with ultranationalist parties in other countries that have been labeled as anti-Semitic, such as France's National Front and Austria's Freedom Party.

"He has always said he will not join up with the extreme right but now this is happening," Dutch News quoted Esther Voet, the director of the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, as saying. "It is a slippery slope."

Wilders told the Telegraaf he is "not afraid" of being lumped together with the extreme right and refused further comment, said Dutch News, adding that Wilders is hoping to form an alliance of anti-EU parties, including the French National Front and Austrian Freedom Party, after the European elections later this month.


MORE:
Responding To The Alt Right: Are They Bigots, Or Just Stupid Children? (BEN SHAPIRO MARCH 24, 2016, Daily Wire)


As those who follow this column or my Twitter feed know, I've been hit with a massive amount of anti-Semitism, some of it threatening, since making clear my distaste for Donald Trump. For just a taste, view my piece here. One of my most ardent anti-Semitic detractors has been former KKK honcho David Duke.

Many of those tweeting such bile reside on what they call the "alt right." This is a movement of online trolls, generally populists and nationalists, who revel in using taboo language. One of the great mouthpieces of the alt right is Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News, whom I consider a friend and with whom I occasionally engage in spirited bouts of insult-fighting.

Milo appeared on Dave Rubin's podcast today to explain why people like me shouldn't be bothered by the apparent bigotry of those on the alt right. Here was his explanation:

Generation Trump, the alt right people, the people who like me, they're not anti-Semites. They don't care about Jews. I mean, they may have some assumptions about things, how the Jews run everything; well, we do. How the Jews run the banks; well, we do. How the Jews run the media; well, we do. They're right about all that stuff...It's a fact, this is not in debate. It's a statistical fact....Jews are vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. It's just a fact. It's not anti-Semitic to point out statistics....The anti-Semitism on the internet, which is really important, I want people to understand this because nobody seems to, when Jonah Goldberg of National Review is bombarded with these memes, and anti-Semitic "take a hike, kike" stuff, it's not because there's a spontaneous outpouring of anti-Semitism from 22-year-olds in this country. What it is is it's a mischievous, dissident, trolly generation who do it because it gets a reaction. Right? That's been the case for young people for generations....They can get to people in positions of power, and people in positions of power and keep biting, they keep taking the bait....It's a direct response to the language policing, it's a direct response to being told they can't say things.

So Milo seems to be making two points here. The first: not all stereotypes are rooted in falsehood (true). The second: trolling people with viciously nasty language is a positive good because it rips away taboos surrounding language (false). Then Milo wraps all of this in the mantle of political incorrectness.

As someone who despises political correctness with the fiery hatred of a thousand suns, I find this problematic. Here's why: I believe there's a difference between political incorrectness and bigotry, or political incorrectness and vulgarity. I have this problem with Trump, and I have this same problem with the alt right that simplistically embraces Trump because they mesh being a jackass with being politically incorrect. They're not the same thing. It is politically incorrect to point out that black Americans commit a wildly disproportionate share of crime, or that Jews comprise an outsized percentage of successful media moguls, doctors, and lawyers. It is also politically incorrect to point out that cultural stereotypes are sometimes rooted in reality -- Milo's right about that. It is racist, however, to tweet the word "n*****" at a black person, and it is anti-Semitic to tweet a meme of a stereotypical hook-nosed Jew controlling the world or greedily collecting shekels. There is a difference between the two.

And it actually does the cause of political incorrectness a grave disservice to merge the two. It makes it easy to dismiss solid information and data by writing it all off as the work of bigots. The alt right isn't tearing down taboos regarding language, if that's really what they think they're doing. All they're doing is re-enshrining in the American mind a basic falsehood about the right itself: that we are bigots who use selective data-picking to back our political viewpoints.


Here's What Donald Trump's New Chief Strategist Thinks of Women and Minority Groups (Claire Landsbaum, 11/17/16, New York)

He's spoken out against religious minorities. In a 2007 court declaration, Bannon's ex-wife said Bannon asked her how many Jewish students attended a school where she was considering sending their children. "He said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews," she wrote. A spokesperson for Bannon denied the allegations. And according to Mother Jones, Bannon frequently stacked his radio show -- "Breitbart News Daily" -- with guest speakers who decried Islam.

He's a favorite of the white-nationalist movement. Under Bannon, Yiannopoulos wrote an article that pretty much summed up Breitbart's stance on diversity politics. "Only rich, well-educated, well-connected heterosexual white males have the required detachment and lack of emotional connection to the issues at hand to make the right calls," it reads. In his messy breakup with Breitbart News, Ben Shapiro wrote that under Bannon, "Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers." Leaders of the movement are positively gleeful about Bannon's appointment, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Trump's choice of Bannon as chief strategist drew criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and commentators on both sides of the aisle. "It is a sad day when the man who presided over the premier website of the 'alt-right' -- a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists -- is slated to be a senior staff member in the 'people's house,'" the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.

Meanwhile, David Duke -- the former KKK grand wizard who's been outspoken about his support for Trump -- called Bannon's appointment "excellent" in an interview with CNN. He went on, "You have an individual, Mr. Bannon, who's basically creating the ideological aspects of where we're going. And ideology ultimately is the most important aspect of any government."


Posted by at November 19, 2016 12:23 PM

  

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