The Term "Alt Right" Is Here to Stay - 2016-12-01
There has been a lot of debate lately about whether media outlets should use the term "alt right." Some argue that the term whitewashes or normalizes a grouping that is, at its core, racist and anti-Semitic. The problem is not so much with the term "alt right" but in how people define or not define it. It is crucial that whenever the term "alt right" is used, it be defined clearly and put in the proper context.
The ADL defines the alt right as a loose network of people and groups that promote white identity and reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit racism or white supremacy and anti-Semitism. It has come to encompass a range of folks—from the "intellectuals" who are the ideologues of the movement to the young Internet trolls who create memes and harass journalists online to misogynists who are also white nationalists. The people who define themselves as part of the alt right understand that white identity and white nationalism is central to the core of alt right ideology.
The alt right did not come into existence in the last year. Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the alt right, coined the term in 2008. Spencer was using alternative right to refer to people on the right who distinguished themselves from traditional conservatives by opposing, among other things, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and open immigration. Spencer went on in 2010 to create an online publication called Alternative Right, where he explicitly promoted white nationalism. Spencer was by that point an open white supremacist.