In case you need proof that the alt-right movement has incited a ton of violence, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) just released a study confirming its deadly effect. It counted over 100 people who have been killed or injured by this ultra-conservative movement that threatens to enter the mainstream, as it continues to recruit young people—namely young white males—into its ranks. “The alt-right is giving a growing population of aggrieved young, white men a worldview that experts find is ripe for violence,” said the organization in the study.
The SLPC study cites the December 7th, 2017 shooting at Aztec High School in rural New Mexico, where a 21-year-old white male shot and killed two students before taking his own life. It also contends that prior to the shooting, the shooter’s online behavior “bore harmarks of ‘the alt-right’—the now infamous subculture and political movement consisting of vicious trolls, racist activists, and bitter misogynists.” However, as the SLPC notes, this wasn’t even the most fatal episode of the alt-right movement, just an example of the human toll it has taken. According to the SLPC, there have been 13 alt-right related fatal attacks, 60 people injured, and 43 deaths as a result. Nine of these incidents occurred in 2017 alone, “making last year the most violent year for the movement.”
The study also gives us some helpful background as to the history of the alt-right. Apparently, a white nationalist leader is partially responsible for coining the term “alternative right” back in 2008. (It’s perhaps an interesting coincidence that it should overlap with the Great Recession.) But according to the SLPC, the movement really gained traction in 2012 and 2013, with the murder of Travyon Martin and the Gamergate controversy serving as crucial galvanizing moments. What’s perhaps most alarming is that the SLPC study suggests that the violence isn’t going to stop any time soon. “For the same vision of society that the alt-right promulgates—its externalization of blame that lands on a host of enemies seen to be in the ascendancy—also aligns with the indicators of mass violence,” reads the study.