What Is The Alt-Right? At CPAC 2017, Conservative Organizer Claims Fringe Group Is 'Fascist' Far-Left

The executive director of the American Conservative Union called the alt-right a left-wing fascist group during a gathering sponsored by Breitbart, which has been called a platform for the alt-right by its own editor. The white supremacist who coined the term “alternative right” was also at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, before he was kicked out by the group’s organizers Thursday.

The alt-right is a “hateful, left-wing fascist group,” said Dan Schneider, director of the ACU, said as reported by journalists on Twitter.

But the alternative right was a term created in 2008 by Richard Spencer, director of the white supremacist National Policy Institute, to set himself apart from “from the failures of mainstream American conservatism.” Members of the alt-right have been vocal about their anti-Semitism and desire to elevate the status of “people of European descent — in other words, white people.

The alt-right embraced President Donald Trump, who fashioned himself as a Washington — and conservative — outsider when campaigned for the White House.

Spencer was attending CPAC as Schneider spoke, although he a hallway surrounded by a group of reporters. He was kicked out of the conference about an hour later. 

In addition, conservative news site Breitbart was a major sponsor of CPAC. Former Breitbart editor and now White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said Breitbart was a “platform for the alt-right” in July. He’s since hedged that claim by saying he’s an “economic nationalist” rather than a “white nationalist” in November.

CPAC had invited Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart columnist with the seeming mission to provoke and anger with his far-right statements, as a speaker at the conference. Yiannopoulos, who compared feminism to cancer and said mainstream Islam valued terrorist attacks,  was often labeled as a member of the alt-right. However, that invitation was rescinded after comments Yiannopoulos made about pedophilia resurfaced last weekend.

On Twitter, critics pointed out the hypocrisy of Schneider’s claim that the alt-right is a left-wing extremist group, which ignored the history of the movement has far-right offshoot from conservatism with white supremacist and anti-Semitic roots.

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