Workshop warns of ‘Alt-Right’ Rhetoric

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

With the recent advancements made by the “alt-right,” philosophy professor Asad Kabir believes most educators here on campus are not prepared to talk to their students about the movement.

The workshop hosted by Kabir on Oct. 18 in the Library and Learning Resource Center called “The Rise of the Alt-Right and the Tasks of Educators” was scheduled to inform faculty on the white nationalist agenda of the alt-right.

Kabir opened the workshop with a presentation introducing the alt-right and the roots of its white nationalistic agenda. He then opened the conversation for the attendees to chime in with ideas and opinions.

“The purpose of this workshop was because I noticed that my students don’t follow the news closely. I asked them about the alt-right and they didn’t know about it. That was scary for me,” Kabir said. During the workshop, students and faculty members talked about how President Donald Trump gave white nationalists a space to spread hateful ideas that instill fear by giving alternative facts about immigration in this country.

“News organizations, like Breitbart, put out articles with a lot of numbers about the influx of immigrants in our country,” Kabir said.

These numbers bring fear to people. “They give alternative facts about how immigrants take people’s jobs and hurt the economy and that instills fear in that community,” kinesiology major Jahmeer Robinson said. He said that he came to the workshop to be more informed on how the alt-right spreads its ideas and he was interested in understanding how they think.

Kabir said, “I don’t think all of the professors here on campus are prepared to talk about the alt-right to their students. I just wanted to emphasize that we must see where both sides (liberals and conservatives) are getting their information.” He said that the first part of being a critical thinker is being informed.

Humanities professor Heaven Walker said that she came to the workshop because social activism is something that is close to her heart. “I’m here because I want to have facts and to gain knowledge. It’s good to be informed about this,” she said.

Robinson said that the thing that surprised him the most was how Breitbart deliberately allows its media platform to give white nationalist a voice to grow by publishing false or misleading articles. “It’s scary to think that a news organization deliberately fuels anger and bigotry,” he said