Author: Jacob Nierenberg

The second (and less prolific) of the two Jacobs that write for The Stanford Sphere, Jacob Nierenberg '17 M.A. '18 is a graduate student in the Journalism program. Prior to that, he completed a B.A. in American Studies and minored in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. His work has been featured in The Stanford Daily and The Seattle Times, as well as on He writes about everything from Australian psychedelic rock bands to Stanford's handling of sexual misconduct. He rarely leaves the house without a pair of earbuds.

Antifa is not the Alt-Left

It’s no coincidence that the term “alt-left” seemed to come out of the national ether around the same time that anti-fascist movements—“antifa” for short—were growing in prominence. Members of antifa groups have made appearances at demonstrations since Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, but it wasn’t until the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last August that they started to be referred to as alt-left. Three days after the rally—in which a man with white supremacist ties drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman—Trump reasserted his belief that there was “blame on both sides” for the violence. When pressed to comment on the alt-right’s role, Trump responded, “What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

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