Do you really believe in free speech? Most Americans will say yes. But what does such an assertion entail? In the United States, the freedom of expression, press, and ideology has been a foundational premise and has been defended by countless activists, politicians, and militaries. Yesterday, a rally was held by several hundred proponents of the alt-right called the “Rally for Free Speech.” It intended to provide a platform for controversial proclamations; however, an opposing rally was held nearby to protest “hate speech,” with some holding signs that read similar to “Hate Speech is not Free Speech.”

The Rally for Free Speech was disrupted when Richard Spender, a white nationalist and controversially popular figure in the alt-right movement, was invited to speak. As a response to this development, some participants separated from the rally and instead began a new rally, called the “Rally Against Political Violence.” This denomination was filled with some allegedly alt-right proponents who separated from the initial rally due to the racial connotations. Spencer has labeled this break-off group as the “alt-lite,” a group of reactionary conservatives similar to the alt-right without the presence of any racially fuelled motivations.

The most defining factor of the alt-right is its profound rejection of globalism, which often manifests itself as a form of racial or cultural nationalism, occasionally drifting into the realm of racial supremacy. Racial supremacy is not exclusive to the alt-right, however, as evidenced by black supremacist figures such as Black Hitler and the growth witnessed in various Black Hebrew Israelite offshoots. The cause of racial supremacy can be attributed to the existence of sizeable groups possessing recognizably distinctive characteristics within a limited vicinity, which is why black and white supremacist movements are most prominent in countries that boast a substantial amount of both demographics. This is further backed up by the lack of Asian supremacists in countries like China, Japan, and the Koreas, because such countries are racially homogeneous to the point where no perceivable racial threat can possibly be fathomed. Multiculturalism breeds extremist manifestations of racial pride and triumphalism.

The break that we see in the alt-right with the now distinguished presence of the “alt-lite” proves that the alt-right is an umbrella movement that encompasses a multitude of diverse ideologies. Within the alt-right, monarchists, libertarians, authoritarians, Republicans, disaffected and classical leftists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists coincide against what they each perceive to be a common threat: neoliberal progressivism. And the rapid disdain for such an innovative movement is growing at a considerable rate, with the upcoming Generation Z becoming the most conservative generation since WWII.

The alt-right, specifically concerning its strong cultural and national identity, is a reactionary movement against the multiculturalist agenda. The advocation for racial factors to play into this identity is not a universally accept tenant of within the alt-right, as we have seen with the disaffected dissenters from Spencer’s branch of supporters. Because of this, the amount of those who identify as “alt-right” is growing by the day, with many who simply dislike the state of the contemporary cultural landscape adopting the term as a form of reaction.

Because of this, the alt-right is gaining momentum. People are beginning to recognize that the portrait of the alt-right painted by the media as a monstrous, racist, hateful, fascist entity is an entirely false picture. Instead, people are jumping aboard an ark to save them from a flood, so to speak, and the alt-right is becoming first and foremost becoming a pejorative. Although it is evident that there is no unified front for the movement and that championing free speech can be difficult when one doesn’t agree with the speeches given, many seem to be crying out, “Speak! But not for me.” The mainstream media is losing its grip on demonizing those who despise the contemporary state of cultural decay, and it paying by losing all credibility by the younger generation who adhere to traditional values and morals rather than progressive, pragmatist emotionalism.