This past Saturday, the Ronald Regan Building in our nation’s capital filled with over 275 people who proudly identify as “alt-right, white nationalists.”
The conference, “Become Who We Are 2016” was hosted by the National Policy Institute, an organization and think-tank classified as a white supremacist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Since the election of the upcoming administration, the white nationalist annual conference and overall movement has surged in support and attendance. Their chairman Richard B. Spencer addressed the conference, mainly young white men, with racist ideologies and anti-Semitic language. The crowd clapped, cheered and celebrated Spencer’s call to “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory” with the Nazi Salute.
Spencer delivered a speech promoting the creation of an ethno-state and society as he declared, “America was, until this past generation, a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”
Nearly 200 protestors rallied outside the Ronald Regan building, calling out against the normalization of this beyond-harmful ideology. Among them was Perry King, a District of Colombia local who spoke to the importance of stopping white nationalism in its tracks, “We have to resist the idea that fascism and a white supremacy organization can be normalized… We can’t let them be mainstream. That’s what happened with the Nazis. We have to play whack-a-mole now and not let them become ‘normal.’ ”
A large portion of the white nationalists feel energized and mobilized by the outcome of the election. In addition to an increase in media coverage and participation in the “alt-right” movement over 700 hate crimes and other acts of terror have been committed since Election Day, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many of these horrific acts were said to be done in the name of Trump and his surprise victory.