The ‘Alt-right’ movement

 

Sir, – I am writing to complain about the dreadful article that appeared on your website (“The Alt-right movement – everything you need to know”, Opinion & Analysis, January 7th). I was aghast by the glossary at the bottom of the article, which included definitions for racial and cultural slurs such as “cuckservative” and “Dindu Nuffin”. More than ever we need to be kind and accepting of people of all race and creed. Do we really want to end up like America? – Yours, etc,

LAURA GAYNOR,

Strandhill, Sligo.

A chara, – I note that the Nicholas Pell article did not once describe the “Alt-right” movement as fundamentally racist, or that it is a movement which espouses white nationalism. He also did not note that a recent conference in Washington featuring Richard Spencer (mentioned in the article) drew controversy after participants, with the encouragement of Spencer, raised their right arms with shouts of “Heil Trump!”. Perhaps it wasn’t quite everything we needed to know. – Is mise,

EOIN KEANE,

Kilmihil, Co Clare.

Sir, – I read with some astonishment a piece in the online edition of The Irish Times headlined “The Alt-right movement: everything you need to know”, which provided a glossary of terms in use by an extremist political movement associated with the rise of Donald Trump in the United States.

This glossary, composed of slurs against just about every demographic of our population, conspicuously left out the one word which could most economically tell you “everything you need to know” about the “Alt-right” movement. That word is Nazi. Despite what popular culture might lately suggest, a Nazi is not someone who flares up over the use of poor grammar; or a pejorative suffix intended to demean a feminist. It’s one who supports white nationalism, racial cleansing, and oppressive fascist regimes which deny any and all of a country’s populace the power, freedom and civil liberties to meaningfully resist the dominance of a self-serving authoritarian dictator.

Whatever else it may be – and I stand by my assessment of it as neo-Nazism – I wonder whether “Alt-right” is also an acceptable synonym for that which is, simply, “wrong”. – Yours, etc,

STACY GROUDEN,

Dublin 6.

A chara, – I’m writing regarding Nick Pell’s reprehensible glossary you published online. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that this was published as some sort of misguided attempt at balance rather than the overt attempt at clickbait that it appears to be.

I have no issue with an elucidatory glossary regarding the “Alt-right” being published. What I do object to is that the language used in the descriptions is polarising in its own right. An objective, balanced approach to this topic would not include the one-sided descriptions that make this article a piece of overt propaganda.

I love The Irish Times. Since secondary school, which was some time ago, I have looked to it as the paper of note for Ireland. To see this dreck published by you, to see the hateful forces that are currently threatening to sink the US and the UK, being normalised by your paper is disgusting and disappointing.

In the interests of balance, can we see an article explaining that the term “Alt-right” and neo-Nazi are interchangeable? That the normalising of these people by the mainstream media has led to surges in racially charged hate crimes? That this “young, energetic upstart faction of the Trump coalition”, a laughable description, spends its time targeting non-white, non-Christian people specifically? The Irish Times is better than this article. At least, I thought it was. – Yours, etc,

ROB DALTON,

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

Sir, – I read the article on the so-called “Alt-right” movement with disgust and dismay. This piece portrays it as a “young, energetic upstart faction” with an “irreverent sense of humour”. The article goes on to define a number of slang terms used by this group, which included racist, sexist and homophobic terms, all couched in language suggesting they were just zany zingers, as opposed to deeply offensive slurs.

In reality, the term “Alt-right” just refers to neo-Nazi fascists with entrenched, stated and clearly avowed racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, white supremacist views. They are not a band of plucky rapscallions, just out to have some fun at the expense of the uptight establishment. These are the ones who shout “Heil Trump!” at rallies, the ones who publicly suggest bringing back lynching, the ones who would set back progress towards basic equality and human dignity for all by a hundred years. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN MITCHELL,

Portmarnock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – I would suggest caution to those objecting to the publication of Nick Pell’s basically descriptive article on the “Alt-right” movement. Much has been made of how the use of social media and news “echo-chambers” won Brexit and the election of Donal Trump. These news forums are said to have influenced the views of the dissatisfied by propagating a narrow range of beliefs and ideas that were accepted unchallenged as fact simply by virtue of their communication and repetition.

Might it be wiser for the “mainstream” to develop a deeper understanding of what motivates populist movements rather than demanding that the readership of The Irish Times remain content listening to the echo of their own views? – Yours, etc,

ROBERT NICHOLSON,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.