Trump’s New “CEO” runs an Empire of Racism and Climate Denial
August 20, 2016
Mainstream society has only just now begun to figure out the alt-right. This relative tardiness makes sense: Prolonged alienation from mainstream society is the only explanation for the noxious concoction of racism, illiberalism, and psychological derangement that defines the movement. But after years of incubating online in harmless irrelevancy, the alt-right is getting attention. This is in large part owing to the way that certain parts of its online coalition have latched onto Donald Trump as their conquering vanguard.
Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who calls Trump “Daddy,” has penned the most comprehensive alt-right apologia. According to him, the movement’s deployment of white-nationalist imagery and rhetoric is provocative satire. And one might well ask, What’s so weird, after all, about Trump fan sites posting Trump-related images and links?
UPDATE: David Duke and radio buddy on the takeover of the Republican party. “The Yids are flipping their lids.”
To find an answer to that question, watch this video.(above)
It is in the form of a commercial; uploaded on Wednesday, it currently has more than 600,000 views. The video has a stylized, futuristic aesthetic common to Japanese popular culture, a semiotic hallmark of the alt-right. But its origins are decidedly American: It was created by meme generator Mike Diva. Perhaps Diva created this video out of an artistic impulse or as a clever ploy for money; he’s selling the video’s song on iTunes for $0.99. But people are genuinely watching this stuff. They are posting in these “Trump General” threads, and waging furious comment wars on Reddit about the reasons neo-Nazis should be welcome in “The_Donald.” People are spending hours rebuking journalists on Twitter who pronounce their disdain for Donald Trump. The defense that it’s somehow lighthearted satire is hard to maintain when you look at the all-consuming investment that the online people have in the Trump campaign.
Nice piece by Rachel Maddow explaining the back ground of Donald Trump’s new campaign “CEO” Stephen Bannon, formerly chairman of the right wing website Breitbart.
Maddow focuses on some of the most egregious racist, anti-semitic and mysogynistic outbursts from one of the right wing’s most feverish swamps, but neglects to point out something that makes perfect sense to anyone that has followed this blog – that there is some weird, poisonous, toxic, incestuous relationship between racism and climate denial.
I was honored not long ago to be the target of one of Breitbart’s (near instantaneous) attacks on my video discussing the accuracy of satellite temperature data.
But it didn’t take long to assemble a list of headlines illustrating the website’s curious predilection for mixing vile white supremacist rhetoric with anti-science screeds.
I get it that a lot of folks are uncomfortable dealing with this. I’m the only climate activist online that has consistently pointed out the peculiar, pernicious, but persistent connection between climate denial and racism.
When I started this project some 8 years ago, many folks cautioned me, “don’t use the term climate denier, it makes people think of holocaust denier, and that’s over the top”.
I went ahead with it, because I believe calling things what they are is the only way we are ever going to find our way through this – and “climate denier” is now standard rhetoric for journalists and politicians alike, including the current President – because it is the only accurate descriptor for what we see playing out.
The connection between prejudice, resentment, and science denial may not be obvious, but tyrants, illusionists, and swindlers have known for millennia, if you want to control people, you have to freeze their ability to reason. Science, the respect for facts, reason and evidence, obviously, are among mankind’s most powerful tools for rooting out and rising above tyranny and brute force. Obviously, in many cases, this does not serve the interests of the powerful.
It will likely take psychologists and philosophers a long time to tease out the fundamentals of this, but – now that a climate denying political party has nominated a climate denying presidential candidate who has appointed a virulently racist and sexist white supremacist to head his campaign, and could conceivably bring that team into the most powerful office on earth, at a moment critical to the survival of civilization, and maybe, life on the planet – what should we make of this?
Donald Trump has used his Twitter and Facebook accounts to promote Breitbart News articles at least 186 times — often sharing stories that fawned over him and his presidential campaign. Trump recently hiredStephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, to be the CEO of his campaign.
Prior to Bannon’s hiring by the campaign, Breitbart News and Trump had long engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart became embarrassingly pro-Trump during the Republican presidential primary, leading to objections by several now-former staffers. (Former Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro accused Bannon of turning the site into “Trump’s personal Pravda.”)
Kurt Bardella used to work under Stephen Bannon at Breitbart, where he served as the conservative website’s spokesman. Bardella walked away from the site in March as part of the staff protest that took place when Breitbart seemingly proved its allegiance to the Trump campaign by siding against their own reporter during the Corey Lewandowski–Michelle Fields saga.
Bardella spoke on ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics this week, where he described how Bannon would frequently rip on minorities, women, and immigrants during Breitbart editorial meetings.
“If anyone sat there and listened to that call, you’d think that you were attending a white supremacist rally,” said Bardella. “This is someone who has a very low moral compass, and the idea that this is the type of person that Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, as president, would have closest to him is very disturbing.”
Another Maddow piece below fleshes this out.