In 2017, Ashley Feinberg at Huffington Post got a hold of the style guide for the Daily Stormer , a famous neo-Nazi website. Included in that document was the following passage:
Cultural references and attachment to entertainment culture to Nazi concepts have the psychological purpose of removing it from the void of weirdness that it would naturally exist in, due to the way it has been dealt with by the culture thus far, and making it a part of the reader’s world. Through this method we are also able to use the existing culture to transmit our own ideas and agendas.
The alt-right knows that its concepts are unpalatable for the average person, which is exactly why noted white nationalist Richard Spencer coined the term in the first place. To counteract most people’s poor reaction to being aligned with racist groups, the alt-right employs two social media tactics intended to mainstream their reach. I’ve seen both of these happen in my sphere over the last month as tensions rise during the protests against brutal brutality.
The first is simple expansion of existing pages. You might have noticed an uptick in “anti-bullying” videos in your feed lately. Framed in that manner, it’s easy to miss the fact that in a lot of the videos the assailants are black and the victims are white. Even when pages actively put anti-Black Lives Matter messages in their posts, the sharers see only the violence in the video and share their visceral reaction. This is also a favorite tactic of groups like Patriot Prayer, who use contextless videos of violence at their rallies as recruitment tools, and it’s employed by police to condition members of the force to be ready to kill quickly.
The purpose of these videos is not to highlight bullying, but to reframe the current national conversation about violence as either something that happens equally or is actually being perpetuated more by black people and leftists.