To Disavow is Not Enough: Trump Campaign is Fertile Ground for White Supremacists, and Those Implications Must Be Understood
During the 2008 election, it was discovered that Presidential candidate Barack Obama had connections with Bill Ayers of The Weathermen/The Weather Underground. As more details were uncovered, however, it was clear that the ties were weak. Ayers and Obama were both faculty at the University of Chicago, lived in Hyde Park, and Ayers’ had previously donated a relatively small amount to Obama’s Senate campaign. Although Ayers had been a major member of the Weather Underground, it had beed 40 years since he was involved in the radical group, and Ayers was at that point a distinguished English professor.
News coverage focused on this tenuous relationship, if it could even be called a relationship, and this caused Obama’s loyalty to “American Values” to be questioned.
Yet, here is the 2016 Presidential Election, where leaders of various white supremacist groups are in full support and constantly endorsing the Republican nominee. Leaders and editors of groups and publications for federally recognized hate groups are happy to finally have a candidate “speaking the truth,” and yet the media skims over this, and it is waved off as not worthy of constant and vociferous uproar.
Obama never said that he valued the support of Ayers, and yet he was constantly charged with being associated with this hate and terror group. Meanwhile, Trump took days to disavow the endorsement for the former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard, David Duke.
Whether or not Trump explicitly and publicly accept the endorsements, it is exceedingly clear that his campaign rhetoric appeals to leaders and supporters of these historic and dangerous hate groups. Even if Trump does not himself support these organizations, his campaign is creating space for the previously fringe ideas to become mainstream. This cannot be taken lightly. David Duke and Jared Taylor are explicitly saying what Trump’s campaign managers are trying desperately to keep Trump from implying.
Note the quote: the Alt-Right/White Supremacists/Homegrown Terror leaders want to “make Trump and…want to imagine him in [their] image.”
There are many dangerous players on Trump’s campaign team, such as Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes. However, to discuss all players takes away from the focus on the incredibly dangerous voices that his campaign is allowing to rise.
January 2016 was first time Trump was forced to publicly deal with the issue of known leaders of white supremacist groups (or race realists, as they prefer to be called, saying that calling them “white supremacists” is as bad as calling African Americans the N-word). David Duke proclaimed his endorsement of Trump all over the internet around the same time as Jared Taylor along with a few other similarly-minded leaders recorded a Robocall for the Iowa Caucus.
In response to Duke’s endorsement, it took Trump several days to finally say “I disavow” the former KKK leader. However, this was not a concern to Duke, who repeated confirmed that “Mr. Trump was championing issues that he had raised for decades” (NYT), and that “There will be no greater ally for a President Donald Trump in the United States Senate than David Duke” (Politico).
Duke continued, noting the similarities that Trump’s campaign go to great pains to obscure, “I don’t know if he’s with me or not, but I would hope that he and others would realize the same lies they make about him is what they say about me,” Duke said. “I’ve always said that I’m equal rights for all people, but I also believe that European Americans shouldn’t be facing discrimination either, and I’m sick and tired of this very vicious anti-white narrative in our national media, in our movies” (Politico).
Again, this is a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, stating equivalence between him and Donald Trump. He is taking Trump’s statements that whites should not be facing vicious attacks, one step further to it’s natural conclusion; one that aligns Trump with the values of While Supremacists. Sorry, I meant race realists. The fact that David Duke himself is making these assertions, and that there is not more public disgust, is mind boggling.
Taking this one step further, Duke notes that he and Trump, since they share so many opinions, also share a voter base. “We’ve done the analysis of what’s going on in Louisiana. We’ve already polled inside the Trump voters, and we know we’re gonna carry 75 to 80 percent of those who are going to vote for Trump,” Duke said. Inskeep [the interviewer]followed up: “You think Trump voters are your voters?” “Well of course they are, because I represent the ideas of preserving this country and the heritage of this country and I think Trump represents that as well,” Duke responded” (Politico).
This is literally David Duke saying that the people who would vote for him for senate, who want “equal rights for European-Americans” also fully support a Trump presidency, due to their similar values.
The other key player, Jared Taylor, head and founder of the White Supremacist group New Century Foundation and editor of its publication American Renaissance, has been an outspoken supporter of Trump and his policies since Taylor’s Robocall went out in early 2016. In that call, Taylor said “I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America, We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump” (AmRen).
Again, while this was not paid for by Trump, but by an unaffiliated Super PAC, the fact that Trump’s rhetoric inspired such enthusiastic support must be acknowledged. And even Taylor notes that while Trump disavowed his endorsement, it was with little force.
Taylor constantly reiterates the sentiment of his recorded Robocall on his radio show, blog, and twitter account. In an interview with the Washington Post, Taylor says, “I think what he’s done is a very important thing…He’s the first candidate in decades to say almost explicitly that immigration should be in the interest of Americans and not just immigrants” (AmRen).
In an article on his publication’s website, American Renaissance, Jared Taylor makes the strong case that “Donald Trump may be the last hope for a president who would be good for white people…Mr. Trump has single-handedly made immigration the key issue of this election. His heart is in it when he says we need to build a wall, deport illegals, and have an immigration “pause” until every American who wants a job gets one…Actually looking at the pros and cons of immigrants could open the door to looking at the pros and cons of different groups of people. White, high-IQ, English-speaking people obviously assimilate best, and someone in a Trump administration might actually say so. A Trump presidency could completely change what is said about the difference between a crowd and a nation, and what it means to be an American…So far, Mr. Trump has said little about race, but President Trump would certainly be no pushover for blacks” (AmRen).
On June 17, 2016, Jared Taylor posted a video with a message directly addressed to Donald Trump.
“Mr. Trump, like it or not, you have become the spokesman for white people. For blacks and Hispanics that’s clearly what you are, and that’s why they hate you. White people have a keen sense that something is wrong with their country, and you can do something about it. You’re willing to say unfashionable things about race, and about other things too, despite all the PC propaganda.”
“But white people want more than their jobs back — and maybe you can bring back a few from China and India. What they really want is their country back. The country they had in 1964…What was different about 1964? The country was almost 90% white, the immigrants were white, no one dreamed about saying racial diversity was our greatest strength, no one had even heard of white privilege…now, white babies are a minority the moment they’re born.”
“Mr Trump, your campaign slogan is Make America Great Again. I have bad news, you can’t make America great with a third world population… You can’t make America great, with people like that” (Jared Taylor).
In this final respect, Jared Taylor is correct. This is epochal, historic, and unprecedented. In 2016, we have a candidate whose values are lauded by hate groups, home-grown terrorist groups, and white supremacists, and there is not constant outcry.
This is a big problem. It is easy to see why the general (white) populace is worried about race relations and movements like Black Lives Matter, but the implications of expressing and voting based on those feelings alone must be addressed. It is a very slippery slope, and does not take much to go from saying “those who resist arrest should be shot” to wanting to protect European Americans, to finally being a follower of New Century Foundation or the Klu Klux Klan.
This is likely how Clinton was thinking when she made the “basket of deplorables” statement. Because, without knowledge of who Jared Taylor or David Duke are, and taken out of the context of their lives or twitter feeds, there are many people, most likely Trump supporters, but perhaps not, in America who would agree with their statements. That agreement alone does not make someone a White Supremacist, but it is a dangerous line of thinking that has real implications on peoples lives.
Saying that America must protect white Americans seems innocent enough. It’s just a tweet, or a comment among friends; there is no intention to hurt others. But that comment lends support to these Terror groups, groups who take such statements seriously — preaching genocide and eugenics, citing the genetic superiority of European Americans over African- and Latin@- Americans.
There are real, dangerous, and potentially lethal implications to the similarities David Duke can draw between the values of himself, Trump, and their shared voter base. The support of such volatile figures cannot be ignored in making decisions come November, and should not be diminished by the media in cover the campaigns.
It is important to recognize, after looking at these facts especially, that Donald J. Trump is running a campaign that is, if not based on bigoted and hateful premises, then at least providing fertile ground for their growth.