President Elect Trump picked Steve Bannon to be his chief strategist. Here’s a good profile of him and the alt-right , found via Next Draft .
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a good overview of Breitbart, the website Bannon ran for the last several years.
Sarah Posner, writing in Mother Jones , quotes one of the former editors of Breitbart.
“Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it,” former Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro wrote last week on the Daily Wire, a conservative website. “With Bannon embracing Trump, all that changed. Now Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with [technology editor Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”
And she continues.
Trump’s new campaign chief denies that the alt-right is inherently racist. He describes its ideology as “nationalist,” though not necessarily white nationalist. Likening its approach to that of European nationalist parties such as France’s National Front, he says, “If you look at the identity movements over there in Europe, I think a lot of [them] are really ‘Polish identity’ or ‘German identity,’ not racial identity.
Bannon dismisses the alt-right’s appeal to racists as happenstance. “Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe,” he says. “Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that’s just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements.”
During our interview, Bannon took credit for fomenting “this populist nationalist movement” long before Trump came on the scene. He credited Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)—a Trump endorser and confidant who has suggested that civil rights advocacy groups were “un-American” and “Communist-inspired”—with laying the movement’s groundwork.
Bannon, himself, has expressed in the past his doubts over the continued problem of racism in the United States.
“I don’t think it’s a systemic race problem in this country,” Bannon continued after Hunter pressed him repeatedly about the legacy of racial disparity in America. “My own life experience. I’ve just seen in communities like Richmond, Virginia and in the United States military when I was a naval officer,” Bannon later said. “I don’t see systemic racism in the military. I don’t see systemic racism in these communities.”
“Cities like Richmond and Baltimore and Philadelphia have black mayors, have black city councils, have black police commissioners. How can it be systemically racist if these men and women today are actually in control of the city?” Bannon questioned.
Ashley Carman, reporting in The Verge , of a year-ago interview between President Elect Trump and Bannon.
Trump voiced concern over these students attending Ivy League schools and then going home: “We have to be careful of that, Steve. You know, we have to keep our talented people in this country,” Trump said.
When asked if he agreed, Bannon responded: “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think . . . ” he didn’t finish his sentence. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
While Bannon didn’t explicitly say anything against immigrants, he seemed to hint at the idea of a white nationalist identity with the phrase “civic society.” Taken in tandem with the stories Bannon allowed to go up on Breitbart News, including pieces that attacked women, feminists, political correctness, muslims, and trans people, Bannon’s comment wouldn’t come as a surprise.
You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.