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The White Supremacist Movement Is Down - but Definitely Not Out

Rejected submission by aristarchus at 2019-02-06 01:14:20 from the Neo-nazi-going-out-of-business-sale-postponed dept.

From Haaretz []:

A little over a year ago, Richard Spencer was riding high — a finalist for the Dallas Morning News’ “Texan of the Year” award for his “uncommon negative impact” as a newfangled kind of white supremacist.

Yet today, Spencer and his allies in the so-called “alt-right” — a term he coined to describe the neo-white supremacist movement emboldened by President Trump’s candidacy and victory — are in a very different place. They’re the targets of multiple lawsuits, banned from popular social media platforms and online payment providers, monitored by federal agents and antifa activists, and riven with infighting over tactics.

Which is all well good, but:

And on a scale of 100, the popularity of “alt-right” as a search term fell by more than half between January 2018 and January 2019, according to Google Trends., founded by Spencer in 2010, hasn’t been updated in seven months.

“There are only two or three groups that are really doing stuff, as opposed to a dozen last year,” said Spencer Sunshine, an associate fellow at the think tank Political Research Associates.

But even as the movement’s leaders and organizations struggle, their ideology has continued to inspire violence.


The white supremacist movement is cyclical, said Marilyn Mayo, a senior research fellow at the ADL’s Center on Extremism. “That’s what we’re seeing – they went through a period of great expansion, then they contracted…but it doesn’t mean that they’re gone.”

The Anti-Defamation League reported last week that right-wing extremists were responsible for more murders in 2018 than any year in the last two decades.

Experts say the alt-right’s “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville — perceived as a watershed moment for them at the time — was a curse in disguise. The widespread media coverage of the rally and its leaders led many marchers to be publicly exposed, or doxxed, in some cases causing people to be fired or drop out of school. Fear of further doxxing “pulled people away from the movement,” Mayo explained.

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