The Black Lives Matter movement is being blamed for the torture and kidnapping of a white 18-year-old with mental health issues in Chicago. Four black teenagers were arrested in connection to the incident, which was recorded and live streamed on Facebook Live.
The graphic video shows the four suspects yelling "F**k Trump!" and "F**k white people!" as they beat and scalp the white victim. The video also shows the teen being forced to drink water from the toilet and curse the incoming president as a knife is pointed at his face.
The incident has prompted some right wing figures to suggest the Black Lives Matter movement is behind the attack, despite there being no evidence to substantiate the claims.
Conservative radio host Glenn Beck first accused Black Lives Matter of responsibility on Tuesday (3 January). He then took to Twitter again on Thursday (5 January), to claim the victim was a "disabled Trump supporter" who was attacked by members of the movement.
"You are right. Stand up with me and demand justice in Chicago for the beating of a disabled trump supporter by BLM," Beck tweeted in response to a Twitter user opposing racist ideologies.
Other prominent right-wing personalities – including Mike Cernovich, Infowars' Paul Joseph Watson and Richard Spencer – continued to spread idea that the victim was a Trump supporter and the suspects were members of Black Lives Matter.
Despite no evidence of this, Twitter quickly exploded with thousands of tweets using the hashtag #BLMKidnapping. While the video clearly shows the suspects cursing the President-elect and white people, at no time do they mention the Black Lives Matter movement.
As the day progressed, members of the alt-right, a white nationalist movement, began using the hashtag to call for hate crime charges. The hashtag has been filled with racist remarks claiming that if the races of the victim and his attackers were reversed, there would be rioting in the streets and backlash by President Obama and others.
The sexual assault and beating of a young black disabled student by a group of his white classmates in Idaho prove that this is not the case.
Hate crime charges were later filed against the four Facebook Live suspects. Chicago Area North Detectives Commander Kevin Duffin told reporters on Thursday that suspects acknowledged their role in the torture.
According to The Washington Post, Duffin added that the hate crime charges were warranted due to the victim's "diminished mental capacity, the fact that they tied him up, the obvious racial quotes that they post live on Facebook." All four suspects are due in court on Friday (6 January).
What is the alt-right?
The alt-right is a loose collection of people with far-right views that came into prominence during Donald Trump's election campaign. Many members operating online profess views related to white supremacism, nationalism, anti-feminism and Islamophobia, amongst others. There isn't a defined core ideology to the movement, aside from a rejection of America's mainstream conservatism. Alt-right members generally supported Donald Trump and hailed campaign promises to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and ban Muslims from entering the country.
With the rise of Stephen 'Steve' Bannon, who was appointed as chief strategist and counselor to the president in Trump's White House team, there are fears that the alt-right now has a voice in the Oval Office. Bannon was previously executive chairman of the Breitbart News website, which he once called "a platform for the alt-right".