In his article “GA offers Jewish journey to participants,” Marty Cooper refers to Steve Bannon as a “controversial ‘alt-Right’ figure.” Journalists and press outlets, including this one, have a responsibility to move beyond euphemism and name white supremacists for who and what they are. As the New York Times has reported, Bannon has spoken about his belief that some groups are genetically superior to others, a claim that clearly echoes Nazi beliefs (www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/us/politics/steve-bannon-white-house.html). As the Associated Press Stylebook notes, “alt-right” should not be used generically, as it was in this story. The term’s primary purpose is to try to make racism more palatable to the public, and journalists need to take responsibility for avoiding euphemism in the service of hate.
The writer is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rhode Island College.