The alt-right — like the rest of America — may be in for an awkward Thanksgiving. The movement, which unites white supremacists, anti-Semites, and flat-out neo-Nazis, is in a tiff as its profile has risen this year in tandem with the candidacy of Donald Trump and the elevation of his Rasputin, Stephen Bannon, former head of Breitbart News.
The increasing attention focused on the movement, and the antics of some of its most extreme members, is starting to cause some rifts.
In a meeting with New York Times journalists, President-Elect Trump disavowed the alt-right movement, saying “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.” Trump’s disavowal came after it emerged that the founder of the movement, Richard Spencer, saluted Trump’s victory with “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!,” while his acolytes raised Nazi salutes.
Mike Cernovich, who is described by the New Yorker as “the meme mastermind of the ALT-right” and a “troll,” slammed Spencer after the Heil Trump incident, saying “this is what controlled opposition looks like.” He suggested that throwing Nazi salutes at the event filled with journalists serves no other purpose than to deliberately discredit the alt-right movement.
Many fans of Cernovich saw his reluctance to embrace white supremacy as a betrayal, causing Cernovich’s favorite insult — that of insufficiently white nationalist conservatives being called “cucks” — to be turned on him.
Speaking with Heat Street, Richard Spencer said that “Mike Cernovich’s comments are ridiculous and insulting. … I would want to avoid any unnecessary civil war, but it looks like we have one,” he added, regarding tensions within the alt-right.
Earlier this year, Spencer also said that his movement is suffering from “entryism” by people who are “edgy” and willing to provoke. However, he said, they aren’t really part of the movement.
Infowars’ Editor at Large Paul Joseph Watson, another prominent figure within the movement, tried to save the reputation of the movement. He suggested that, actually, there are two “Alt-Rights”. One that just likes to “wear MAGA hats, creates memes & have fun,” while the other “faction” is obsessed with “Jews, racial superiority, and Adolf Hitler.” He added: “the latter faction are incredibly obsessed with identity politics. They are basically right-wing SJWs.”
The New Right vs the Alt-Right. pic.twitter.com/KNEIydv9Fr
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 22, 2016
Just like Cernovich, Watson has been accused of being a “cuck” by many of his followers for not going all-in with white supremacist ideas.
Even the Internet’s favorite conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, has slammed the “fringe” movement of the alt-right. Jones allegedly attacked white supremacist David Duke for being “a Democratic plant, a false-flag con-artist” on one of his shows. Of course, for white nationalists of the alt-right, Jones has in turn been accused of being a “zionist shill.”