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Questioning a belief

Michael Tran, Staff writer

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Milo Yiannopoulous could not give his speech at UC Berkeley after being invited by the University’s Student Republicans. Milo, a British public speaker and senior editor for a far-right news and opinion website, has a charming English accent. Everything else about him is not.

The university canceled his speech after riots broke throughout the campus. University windows were smashed, and a young woman supporting President Trump in her red hat, had been pepper-sprayed during a TV interview.

Yiannopoulous is known for his speeches of attacking multiculturalism, members of the LGTBQA, Muslims and other minorities. There is a growing trend, as these, “anti-establishment” speeches are becoming more frequent and attractive for far-right-leaning conservatives or anyone who is sick and tired of mainstream liberalism’s supposed, “Shame-Culture” of tolerance and acceptance.

We are living in an age of the Alternative Right. With the recent election, with under half the United States supporting President Trump, whose rhetoric was often criticized during the campaign trail for being hate-speech. A large population of Americans however, supported it. Listening back on interviews of previous Trump supporters who did not openly identify as Alt-Right, but however identified as being “American,” the language between the two groups share similarity.

The term Alternative Right (Alt-Right) is ambiguous. The label loosely defines group(s) of far-right ideologies that reject mainstream conservatism, multiculturalism, and supports white nationalism, Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-feminism. The Alt-Right makes up a small population of the United States. But with the Internet, Alt-Right groups are quickly gaining followers, many of them young followers.

In the 60’s, the counterculture was being a member of the Civil Rights Movement, a political and social movement with goals of ending racial segregation and discrimination. Now it’s the Alt-Right.

Where do people like Yiannopoulos come in? Every religion or following begins with its prophets. If many people are unhappy or lost, they will seek answers. Yiannopoulos caters to a small, but growing number of discontented Americans.

Two things: 1) The harmlessness of words and the harmfulness of words. Words as abstract linguistic concepts created through the vocalization of our vocal cords are not dangerous. 2) Words that give birth to ideas are dangerous. Words inspire. And inspiration, depending on where it originates, can shatter and torment lives. This is why I am against hate-speech.

There is nothing wrong with a negative opinion or differing beliefs. There is however, something very wrong with opinions and beliefs that hold no objective standing. To use terminology that holds no empirical merit, or to scream profanities and insults at your political/social opponents is a fallacy. But for some reason, Americans are infatuated by it.

I have always held firm the belief that human beings are animals. Americans are no different. And just like monkey-see, monkey-do, animals will always appeal to the group, the quickest reward, and the easiest path. Members of the Alt-Right, welcome to the jungle.

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