As many in the mainstream media struggle to understand what the Alt-Right is, one of the most useful lenses through which to look at the movement may be as a response to the rise of identity politics. Many groups within the United States have been actively encouraged to take up causes on behalf of their own groups. The only group that has been explicitly excluded from this has been white men. The rise of the Alt-Right may have more to do with this one observation than any other.
The era of perceived unlimited resources comes to a close
In an increasingly diversifying America, group advocacy will increasingly become a zero sum game. What one group gets comes at the expense of other groups. The truth of this idea is trivial to demonstrate and has been substantially true for much of the Civil Rights Era. For example, qualified white firefighters and policemen have long been passed over for promotion, with those jobs instead going to blacks. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, especially in the case of police, where departments often seek to have black neighborhoods patrolled by mostly black officers. However, this also means that whites who were more qualified for the job did not get the job that they perceived they deserved more than the black, who was only hired to fill a quota. As affirmative action programs, such as these spread and as jobs become more scarce and real wages continue to decline, such policies have been increasingly noticed by whites.
This has increasingly led to a great deal of friction. Whites are routinely openly discriminated against in zero-sum situations. Yet any form of white advocacy has hypocritically been labeled as some form of hate or white supremacy. It is in this oppressive environment that the Alt-Right has become a genuine and rapidly growing movement.
If nearly every identity group has organizations helping them get ever larger slices of an ever shrinking pie, it’s unsurprising for whites to eventually do the same.