On Monday, word got out that the New Yorker had invited Nazi sympathizer Steve Bannon to headline, not just talk, but fucking headline, its annual festival because, I dunno, maybe David Duke wasn't available to spew hate speech? Whatever the reason, the reaction was swift and brutal. The New Yorker was flamed to a crisp and a lot of the other invited speakers pulled out in disgust. Realizing that perhaps rubbing elbows with Nazi collaborators wasn't going to burnish his media credentials, editor-in-chief David Remnick disinvited Bannon.
And then Bannon, the man who turned internet outrage into a weapon, threw a temper tantrum that internet outrage denied him a public platform:
Let us take a moment and shed a single, solitary tear for Steven Bannon.... And now that that's out of the way, feel free to mock his poutrage. Like every one of his fellow hatemongers that have been increasingly denied a public platform to spread their message, Bannon seems confused by what's happening in America.
Once upon a time, the right abused their free speech to bludgeon the country into submission. Liberals were commies, traitors, baby killers, terrorist lovers, and worse. The right shut down all conversation because they were actually afraid of the free exchange of ideas. They knew their ideas were, at their core, repulsive and indefensible.
But the inevitable happened and they lost control of the public narrative. We started to talk about how horrible their ideas were and (to absolutely steal from The Dark Knight) in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn't fully understand. Trump unleashed the white nationalist Id of white Republican voters and now America is pushing back. Hard.
In other words: Fuck Steve Bannon. Fuck his whining. Fuck his outrage. Fuck his agenda of promoting white nationalism. There is no such thing as a cute and cuddly white nationalist. White nationalism, by definition, ends with the elimination of everyone not white. And at no time in human history has that ever been accomplished without varying degrees of genocide.
There's the "nice" kind of genocide where the victims are forcibly deported and hundreds of thousands die along the way, not to mention all the refugees that die of poverty and deprivation when they arrive wherever they've been sent. Then there's the deliberate kind of genocide where the victims are just killed en masse and buried in giant graves. Go to a Trump rally and listen to the hate and rage his supporters have for brown skin. Which path do you think they'd vote for?
So, yes, a "howling online mob" different from the one that Bannon once used to elect a monster to the White House is now fighting back. And winning. Sure, every now and then, the alt-right will claim a scalp like James Gunn, or drive someone like ruby Rose off of social media, but for every one of them, 3 or more Bannons get disinvited from a public event. Neo-Nazis like Richard Spencer see their online empires fall apart. Alex Jones is banned from almost all platforms, sending his business model into a tailspin. Jason Kessler plans a huge Nazi rally right outside the White House but the "howling online mob" ruined so many lives by exposing Nazis from last year's rally to their neighbors, coworkers, and families that no one wanted to be seen in public marching as a Nazi. As I've said before, when you are afraid to openly identify as a white nationalist, your movement is not “winning.”
Bannon has not accepted this reality yet. He may have bought into his own propaganda about the great white uprising; a distinct possibility when the only people you talk to are fellow white nationalists. It may be that, like much of the media, he's failing to recognize that the pushback against white nationalism is everywhere at the same time; a real grassroots movement unlike the astroturf Tea Party. And because it's not being promoted relentlessly by "liberal" media, it's not in the news 24/7.
But it doesn't matter. Like science, the disgust America has for Bannon's white nationalist fascism doesn't care if you believe in it or not; it's real and it's growing. Steve Bannon thinks he has a right to any platform he wants because he's rich, white and male but he's not entitled to anything other than a lifetime of scorn and public shunning.
As long as the "liberal media" keeps trying to give him a place at the table, we have to keep flaming them to a crisp, pressuring them to stop giving hate a megaphone. Bannon's only power is manipulating the weak and the stupid. Take away his ability to spread his poison and he's just another angry bigot.
UPDATE: The original draft of this article mentions Steve Bannon's agenda of ethnic cleansing. And while Steve Bannon promotes white nationalism and is deeply immersed in white nationalist movements across several countries, he has not openly discussed ethnically cleansing America. Yet.