LONDON (Accredited Times) – It’s easy to laugh at the alt-right. It’s easy to mock them. It’s easy to poke fun at them. Many of our greatest comedians, like Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Kathy Griffin, show how hilarious making fun of the alt-right can be.
But alt-right political views very often conceal something hidden deep beneath the surface: the tragedy of mental illness.
“The term ‘alt-right’ is generally thought of as a political ideology, but it’s really not”, Dr. Ramesh Punjanjarian of the Griffith Clinic in Ithaca, New York noted. “It’s really mental illness”.
A study conducted by the “Prevent programme” in the United Kingdom last year found that over half of all people feared to be at risk of terrorist sympathies (i.e., members of the “alt-right”) may in fact have serious mental health or psychological problems. Of 500 cases reviewed, 44% were found to have vulnerabilities related to mental health or psychological difficulties; an additional 15% were found to have possible vulnerabilities with more assessment needed. That means a total of 59% of alt-righters showed signs of mental illness.
“[The] alt-right is an inevitable result of [society’s] mental health crisis,” explained commentator Leah Pogwizd. According to Pogwizd, members of the “alt-right” commonly engage in behavior consistent with mental illness, including:
- Lashing out at others;
- Having a hard time obtaining and keeping jobs;
- Having a hard time forming and maintaining relationships; and
- Blaming others for their misery.
Sadly, Londoners know all too well the alt-right’s penchant for blame transference in the wake of the tragic June 19, 2017 terrorist attack in Finsbury Park. There, a member of the alt-right, Darren Osborne, 47, viciously attacked several pedestrians at the junction of Whadcoat Street and Seven Sisters Road near the Finsbury Park Mosque. According to witnesses, Osborne rammed pedestrians wearing Muslim attire shortly after Ramadan prayers, yelling, “I want to kill Muslims!”. Osborne had no apparent reason to attack Muslims, other than racism against People of Color.
Jews often bear the brunt of the alt-right’s instability, which is unsurprising given their status on the Oppression Pyramid. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the “alt right (short for ‘alternative right’) is a segment of the white supremacist movement consisting of a loose network of racists and anti-Semites who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit or explicit racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy”. Members of the alt-right commonly “blame Jews for allegedly promoting anti-white policies such as immigration and diversity”.
The alt-right’s hatred for Jews has devastated Jewish communities around the world, particularly in the United States ever since Donald Trump became “President”. According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents have spiked drastically under Trump, rising 86% in the beginning of 2017.
“We need to check for new red flags for when assessing someone’s mental health status”, Punjanjarian noted. “Alt-right political positions are hallmarks of someone undergoing a mental health crisis”. According to Punjanjarian, these red flags include:
- Opposition to “big government”.
- Opposition to or questions regarding the policies of the Federal Reserve and/or other central banks.
- Opposition to “the bankers” or philanthropists like George Soros.
- Opposition to the United Nations or other international organizations.
- Conspiracy theories regarding nonprofit organizations like the Bilderberg Group or the Trilateral Commission.
- Opposition to taxes, regulations, and/or government spending.
- Opposition to open trade and/or open borders.
- Opposition to the welfare state.
- Opposition to wars of liberation, like the War in Syria.
- Conspiracy theories regarding the “Rothschilds” or the “Rockefellers.”
- Conspiracy theories regarding 9/11, Sandy Hook, or other mass attacks.
- Conspiracy theories regarding so-called “false flag attacks”.
- Paranoia regarding “NSA wiretapping” or other government surveillance.
- Opposition to civil or criminal asset forfeiture laws.
- Support for libertarian extremists, like Ron Paul.
- Support for flying the Confederate flag or retaining Confederate monuments.
- Watching large amounts of anime.
- Opposition to LGBTQQIAPABCDEFG+ rights.
- Failing to support Gay Pride Parades or other important social activities.
- Seeking to reinstate patriarchal norms and/or other obsolete behaviors.
- Blaming Islam for one’s own problems or engaging in Holocaust denial.
- Listening to radio or Internet conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones or Mark Dice.
- Reading fake news websites, like Breitbart, Infowars, or the Drudge Report.
So what if someone you know exhibits one or more of these red flags? Dr. Punjanjarian advises that psychiatric help be contacted immediately. If the patient is armed — which is common amongst alt-righters — then government authorities should be contacted for involuntary commitment.
Although involuntary commitment is generally the best approach even in situations where the patient is unarmed, other psychiatric resources include:
- Dial 211 – a government telephone service providing mental health resources in most municipal areas.
- Mental Health America – a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with mental illness.
- MentalHealth.gov – a government website offering assistance on mental health issues.
- The Trevor Project – a nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQQIAPABCDEFG+ youth (common amongst alt-righters).
- IAMAlive – an online crisis network where listeners provide an open ear to help those in need.
- The Crisis Text Line – a 24/7 “text only” service dedicated to helping those with mental health needs.
- ReachOut – a free social network, available for iOS and Android, for people in need.
- BlahTherapy – a service offering free and premium therapy resources.
- 7 Cups – an organization committed to provide therapy for those who have difficulties affording a counselor.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
- Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-PRIDE (800-246-7743).
- Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (common amongst alt-righters).
- The GLBT National Help Center at 1-888-THE-GLNH (888-843-4564) (again, common amongst alt-righters).
- The Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 .
- The Samaritan’s Crisis Hotline at 1-212-673-3000.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (alt-righers commonly engage in criminal activity, including assaults on those around them).
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7223 (domestic violence is common amongst alt-righers).
- The National Crime Victim Helpline at 1-800-394-2255.
Don’t let Finsbury Park happen in your community. If you know anyone with “alt-right” views, don’t wait for someone else to intervene. Seek help immediately.