I remember the surprise when I heard mainstream news say “alt right”.
I remember thinking “oh, they’ll get a few days in the spotlight”.
I’d been doing some heavy daily engaging with self-identified alt right for 9 months prior to that, and on and off for a couple of years prior to that, learning the language and ways, things that make this particular subculture distinct from other subcultures.
But while their online presence has been disappearing steadily since around late January, the old political memes giving way to the return of a more innocent meme culture again. [loved the Oats Brothers – they killed off Kek in an epic Youtube movie], it still continues in some form.
Once out in the open and commonplace, the power dissipates and begins to fade. Some aspects get absorbed by the general culture, merged with existing issues as a footnote, their impact settling to a dull murmur.
Yet then you get Charlottesville, a last gasp of “But we’re supposed to have made a difference! What happened? This will be our last great hope!” and they organize and gather, chanting the stuff previously only shared on internet memes.
The thing is; they *do* reflect a general problem that’s not uncommonly felt:
I’m male, I’m white, Where’s my participation trophy? I’m special, right?
Yes, of course you are. But other people are special too.