In the wake of racially fueled violence in Virginia over the weekend, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has become the target of the trending Twitter hashtag "#FireBannon."
The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, began Friday when white supremacists and neo-Nazis from across the nation gathered to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The white nationalists planned another event Saturday, but it was quickly derailed when counter-protesters confronted them. The violence later turned deadly when an alleged neo-Nazi plowed his car through a group of counter-protesters.
The violence has renewed a discussion about racism and white nationalism, including how the “alt-right” fits into the equation, which poses a problem for Bannon since he is often connected to the "alt-right."
In fact, Bannon, who served as chairman of Breitbart News before working for President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, once declared Breitbart to be a "platform for the alt-right," the Boston Herald noted. Bannon is often connected to many of the movement's biggest nationalist figures, but he has distanced himself from the movement since entering the White House.
However, that didn't stop the outrage from overflowing on social media. The reaction against Bannon was brutal and swift:
The bigoted policies of President Bannon are tearing our country apart. It is time to #FireBannon. https://t.co/sGFFfQwtOw— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu)1502658483.0
There are many reasons to #FireBannon but the most important reason is because he is a white supremacist.— Paola Mendoza (@Paola Mendoza)1502658783.0
Let's begin to Stop White Supremacy, Neo Nazis and KKK where they feel most welcome, the White House. #FireBannon #Charlottesville— Mark Ruffalo (@Mark Ruffalo)1502658231.0
TODAY! Call the White House: 202-224-3121 Congress: 202-456-1414 Tell them to #FireBannon— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano)1502713885.0
Bannon wanted #Charlottesville. He's a supremacist in the WH and he must go. Use #FireBannon to make your voice hea… https://t.co/MF37bMf2mv— Beau Willimon (@Beau Willimon)1502657890.0
Yeah, we're not coming together with Nazis. Sincerely, America #FireBannon https://t.co/DVEQHd50o3— Zach Braff (@Zach Braff)1502671088.0
White Supremacy has no place in America. Let's start with the White House. #FireBannon— George Takei (@George Takei)1502667633.0
If Steve Bannon still works at the White House by Friday that means he 100% owns @realDonaldTrump #FireBannon— Ike Barinholtz (@Ike Barinholtz)1502662544.0
Breitbart under Bannon gave voice to the alt-right. That kind of aid to hate groups shouldn't be in the White House. #FireBannon— Steve Redmond (@Steve Redmond)1502671201.0
Indeed, the heat has been turned up on Bannon. In addition to the outrage over him supporting the “alt-right,” Axios reported over the weekend that Bannon may be the next person to be ousted from the White House for being a leaker.
According to the report, many senior White House aides believe Bannon is behind the recent leaks on national security adviser H.R. McMaster. And with new chief of staff John Kelly placing a premium on loyalty to the country and Trump, Bannon may soon be on the chopping block.