The Alt Right’s new renaissance is being facilitated by crossover points into the semi-mainstream that it needs to survive. Infowars connects it to conspiracy theory and militia movements. Donald Trump mainstreams their narratives about nationalism and immigration. Breitbart, and its hip younger correspondents, is helping to bridge their fascist perspectives with the fashionable right-wing side of Conservative America.
As we covered at length in an early article on Breitbart’s portrayal of the Alt Right, Milo Yiannopoulos has become the primary vessel for that Breitbart crossover. Milo’s primary goal seems to be insulting and offensive to what he derides as the “PC culture” of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and micro aggressions. Since he describes himself as a libertarian, his language choices are often intended to make him simply sound like a brash, iconoclastic attention-seeker. It is the fact that he openly admires and identifies with the Alt Right and that he uses a fascist lining in his rhetoric that is making him of interest to anti-fascists.
In Eugene, Oregon, which recently saw a visit by Donald Trump and has been seeing threats on students of color from KKK affiliates, the University of Oregon chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is bringing Milo to campus for an evening of “trigger warnings.” YAL has been around since the 2008 failed candidacy of Ron Paul, and generally brings together the right-wing cultural side of the Paul campaign that has always bridged paleolibertarianism with white nationalist influences. Their Visualize the Debt campaign was their largest effort, which was a relatively generic national debt alarmist approach to force in aggressive austerity cuts to social services. They have done general rabble-rousing things like handing out cigarettes at “no smoking” college campuses and making issues about GoProud’s invitation at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
In a more real way, they are filling the space that was earlier occupied by Youth for Western Civilization (YWC). That organization, founded by right-wing activist Kevin DeAnna who is now a member of the Wolves of Vinland, was an edge organization that used conservative cover for nationalist goals. Hosting people like anti-immigration extremist politician Tom Tancredo and Pat Buchanan’s offensive sister, Bay Buchanan, they flirted openly with people like American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor. Members of YWC went on to form White Student Unions as well as the Traditionalist Youth Network, while somehow Kevin DeAnna has maintained his connections to the broader Beltway conservative movement through a staff position at the Leadership Institute and World Net Daily.
The campus activism of YAL does seem to be slightly more libertarian focused in terms of economics, but its social space is intended to be exactly what Milo represents. Thomas Tullis, the YAL organizer bringing Milo, says that they don’t agree with everything he says, but it is sort of a litmus test for Free Speech. Milo’s version of the Alt Right is one where by certain pieces of the ideology are pulled out of context, while others are softened. He does acknowledge the racial identity and anti-egalitarianism of the Alt Right, which he seems to share, but he says that much of the more blatant white nationalism, racism, and anti-Semitism are really just offensive jokes meant to attack progressive PC culture. It is this false characterization that has gotten him critics on the Alt Right, most loudly Andrew Anglin of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer.
Milo’s general point of view has been one that flirts with the open racial politics under the cover of offensive double-speak, and his queer identity is one that has often shielded him from critics. The fact that his “homosexual” identification is a non-issue for groups like YAL is a further testament that homophobia is on the chopping block for the fascist Alt Right, who would rather have masculine queer men that stand against race mixing and feminism.
This can be seen especially clearly with his relationship with Jack Donovan, a queer tribalist author who is also a member of the Wolves of Vinland and speaks at National Policy Institute and American Renaissance conferences. When Milo publishes his feature article on the Alt Right, Donovan commended him for it, which noted that they were Facebook friends. Donovan recently went on Milo’s own podcast, where they further celebrated Donovan’s new book, “Becoming a Barbarian.”
Milo is coming to the University of Oregon on May 10th, where he will be speaking in Columbia Hall, room 150, at 7:00pm. In their advertisement for the event he threatens that anyone who attempts to challenge him will be on video from “50 cameras,” and it has been his general career path to try and single out people for harassment and threats. Milo’s official title is Technology Editor at Breitbart, but he is more and more becoming a professional personality for the offensive Internet far right who has made trolling and hate speech its bread and butter. Somehow he is still allowed into major political press events, including White House press briefings.
What Milo presents is an opening for anti-fascists to confront the crossover points that fascist commentary has had into the broader right-wing. Breitbart and other publications should be pressured to single out and cut ties with people like Milo for their racialist perspective and the way they use their professional resources to embolden white nationalists.
This can start by confronting Milo at this event, coordinating with student and anti-fascist organizations, and making campuses a hostile place both for him and the organizations that support him.