Alt-Right Racists Leading Trump Campaign Enter Upper Echelon of Mainstream U.S. Politics

Posted Aug. 31, 2016

MP3 Interview with Chip Berlet, author, investigative journalist and researcher on racism and intolerance of the "alt-right", conducted by Scott Harris


The 2016 presidential election campaign, already marked by Donald Trump’s blatant appeals to bigotry and finding scapegoats to blame for the nation’s weak economy, sunk to a new low recently with the appointment of Steve Bannon as Trump’s new campaign CEO. Bannon’s surprising rise to a top spot in U.S. politics provoked many questions, because as executive chairman of Breitbart Media – a popular right-wing website, he had cultivated a sanctuary for white supremacist, misogynist and anti-Semitic expression. After Trump's leadership change, the media highlighted the ties between Bannon, Breitbart and a loose network of ultra-conservative, mostly online activists known as the alt-right, or alternative right.

Although those associated with the alt-right movement have no officially recognized ideology, commonly held views include opposition to multiculturalism, immigration and feminism – as well as an affinity for white nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and nativism. Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton responded to Bannon’s leadership in the Trump campaign with a speech in Reno Nevada devoted to denouncing Trump’s divisive rhetoric appealing to the “emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right,” and warned that a nationalist conservative fringe had taken over the Republican Party.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist, research analyst, scholar and activist who has written about racism and intolerance for over four decades. Here, he examines the belief system of the "alt-right," and the significance of their presence in the upper echelon of the Republican party and mainstream U.S. politics.

For more information about the link between the alt-right movement, racism and the Trump campaign visit Chip Berlet's blog: Research for Progress at; What is Alt-Right? By Chip Berlet at

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