Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Associated Press Defines "Alt-Right" - "Conservatives" Will Not be Happy

One of the tools that Republicans and other anti-equality advocates have used is euphemisms and deliberately misleading terms and definitions.  Through this exercise, racism, homophobia, religious based discrimination become on their face acceptable - at least until one looks at the ugliness under the carefully manufactured veneer.  Sadly, too many so-called journalist, usually out of laziness but sometimes out of complicity (think Fox News), allow the subterfuge to go unchallenged.  The result is that the public is mislead and that which is ugly and abhorrent is slowly normalized.   Now, the Associated Press has set out reporting standards that at least in terms of the "alt-right" will go to expose this movement for what it truly is: groups that are racists, white supremacists and misogynists.  Here are highlights from a blog post:
The “alt-right” or “alternative right” is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States in addition to, or over, other traditional conservative positions such as limited government, low taxes and strict law-and-order.
The movement has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.
The movement criticizes “multiculturalism” and more rights for non-whites, women, Jews, Muslims, gays, immigrants and other minorities. Its members reject the American democratic ideal that all should have equality under the law regardless of creed, gender, ethnic origin or race.
“Alt-right” (quotation marks, hyphen and lower case) may be used in quotes or modified as in the “self-described” or “so-called alt-right” in stories discussing what the movement says about itself.
Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.
Again, whenever “alt-right” is used in a story, be sure to include a definition: “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism,” or, more simply, “a white nationalist movement.”
Finally, when writing on extreme groups, be precise and provide evidence to support the characterization.
We should not limit ourselves to letting such groups define themselves, and instead should report their actions, associations, history and positions to reveal their actual beliefs and philosophy, as well as how others see them. 
Would that all news outlets and reporters would adopt this practise, both when dealing with the spokesmen of alt-right and the Republican Party. 

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