The Slur Heard Round the World
by Melissa Ryan
“He’s been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He’s seriously globalist, there’s no question, but you know what, in his own way he’s also a nationalist because he loves our country.” –President Trump, 3/8/2018
Yet another example of how Donald Trump is normalizing white supremacy and nationalism, this week he referred to his outgoing National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn as a globalist. President Trump is actually the third member of his administration to refer to Cohn as a globalist. Both OMB Director Mick Mulveney and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used the term to describe Cohn previously.
— OMB Press (@OMBPress) March 6, 2018
Globalist is used as an anti-semitic slur by the Frog Squad, a core of Donald Trump’s base. If you’re wondering how it became socially acceptable for the President and multiple White House Staffers to use a slur in official communications, I have an answer: it’s the inevitable result of the radicalization that’s been happening online for the past couple of years as the International Alternative Right movement continues to absorb disparate online communities. Given that President Trump couldn’t bring himself to denounce neo-nazi’s after Charlottesville, the fact the normalization of anti-semitic slurs in the White House isn’t shocking. It’s long past time to stop pretending like Trump’s behavior is an anomaly.
Generation Identity: European Far-Right Group to Launch in America
Simon Murdoch of HOPE not hate
A few weeks ago, in this newsletter we published an article by HOPE not hate on Identitarianism in America that explained the increasing influence of this European far-right movement in the USA.
HOPE not hate can now reveal that Generation Identity (GI), the most important European Identitarian network and the group behind the Defend Europe project, is launching stateside, currently recruiting activists and already has events planned.
Find out all the details here.
Threads of Note
- Italian Elections: US news reporting on last week’s Italian elections largely ignored the role of mis/disinformation campaigns. If you’d like to learn more DFR Lab has two analysis, one outlining the state of play online right before the election and a second from just after election day, covering foreign influence campaigns. El Pais analyzed Kremlin influence as well. Both BBC News and The Atlantic have good takes on the political implications for Italy, Europe, and beyond.
- Online Organizing: Social media is the worst right now, but here are a couple of examples of successful online organizing that reminded me why I fell in love with politics on the Internet so many years ago. Buzzfeed has the story of a private Facebook group that teachers in West Virginia used to organize, make memes, and coordinate on messaging. The New York Times interviews Parkland Student activists about their own social media mobilization.
- The spread of true and false news online (Science Magazine)
- Democratic Defense Against Disinformation (Atlantic Council)
- A guide to NRATV: NRA’s news outlet is a hybrid of Breitbart and Infowars (Media Matters)
- What is real and what is not? Using science to help address the challenges of “fake news” (Harvard Shorenstein Center
- The Twitter Exploit: How Russian propaganda infiltrated U.S. News (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- The alt-right is going on trial in Charlottesville (Vox)
- Christopher Steele, the man behind the Trump Dossier (New Yorker)
- Facebook’s political nightmare is about to get worse (Buzzfeed)
- Britain First leader and deputy leader guilty of hate crimes (BBC)
- Creator of Pepe the Frog is suing Infowars (LA Times)
- The Russians who exposed Russia’s trolls (Digital Forensics Research Lab)
I wrote a piece for Media Matters on reddit’s Russia propaganda problem and why reddit’s users might be in a better position to demand more from the company than users of other social networks. I also talked to Amanda Marcotte for her article, “Alt-right” vs. YouTube: Hitting white supremacists where it hurts
Thanks as always for reading. Talk to you next week!
Ctrl Alt Right Delete is a newsletter devoted to understanding how the right operates online and developing strategies and tactics to fight back. It is authored by Melissa Ryan and a product of Factual Democracy Project.
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