Faculty talk Alt-Right movement

Faculty talk Alt-Right movement

By Benjamin Bassham, News Editor

A faculty-led Flex workshop, intended to be an open forum to discuss the Alternative Right and its ideologies with students and faculty was held from 3-5 p.m. in the Fireside Hall on Feb. 27.

Philosophy professor Asad Kabir hosted the event and presented his interpretation of what the Alt-Right is, and questioned what roles students and faculty should have in the current political climate.

Kabir used a PowerPoint presentation to deliver his impression of the Alt-Right, their interests, and “examination of where they overlap with (Steve) Bannon and with (President) Trump.”

Kabir skipped most of his prepared material from the Alt-Right and went through their detractors’ material about the repugnance of their white supremacy.

In particular, Kabir focused on Bannon, assistant to the president and former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News.  Kabir said Bannon believes that America is due to go through a period of crisis but Bannon has a plan for the country.

Bannon is the brains of the current government preparing for a crisis. “This frame of mind makes them go out to create crisis,” Kabir said.

The other participants of the discussion, apart from sharing their dislike of Trump, focused almost exclusively on immigration, sanctuary and concerns over deportation.

English professor Elvia Ornelas-Garcia said, “As educators we have to resist.”

Kabir bowed to the crowd’s choice of topic, contributing to “plans to resist ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement),” and plans for later community resistance against Trump’s immigration policies.

ESL professor Anoosheh Borhan said, “They can still come into our classrooms. What can we do? What legal aid can be given to students?”

ESL professor Susan Marvin said, “There have been reports in the news all weekend about people who have been rounded up without proper authority.”

Ornelas-Garcia said, “ICE agents cannot enter if they do not have a subpoena.” A proposed solution, in the event of ICE arriving at a classroom to make an arrest, is to close the door in ICE’s face until the end of class and have students call every media outlet possible.

There was even discussion of the possibility of closing down campus to draw media attention.

History department Chairperson Manu Ampim said, “This is a nation of laws when it is convenient, and that’s always been the case. Citizens need to go out and seize the rights. People have to be willing to put what they have on the line.”

Speakers expressed some disquiet that the motion that was passed to make the Contra Costa Community College District never mentioned the word “sanctuary,” but Ornelas-Garcia said, “I believe they (the District Board) received legal advice — to stay away from the word ‘sanctuary.’”

Ornelas-Garcia had a single copy of a card with various advice and notes legal advice, tailored for undocumented immigrants. She suggested similar convenient note cards could be distributed at CCC.

The discussion ran until nearly 5:30 p.m. Kabir tried to draw interest to Bannon’s racial motivations, but didn’t pull much interest. One late-coming guest, who missed the earlier section about the Alt-Right, ventured his opinion the Africans are the “dominant race.”