Are periodic, weak, dishonest and suspiciously limited disavowals from Trump toward the alt-right, neo-Nazis, KKK and white nationalists in general sufficient?
For example, in a February 2016 interview Trump said he didn’t know anything related to the already public endorsements from white nationalists like the KKK’s David Duke. He said he’d have to look into it and see what these groups were all about:
“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know.”
What related ethical mysteries are hidden from Trump that are in plain sight to nearly every modern person?
Another interview from 2000 clearly shows that while considering running for president as a Reform Party candidate he adamantly rejected Duke as “a bigot, a racist, a problem”. He further said, “I mean, this is not exactly [who] you want in your party.” Duke had just joined, thus contributing to what Trump thought was a “self-destructing” organization. In 1991, Duke was a GOP candidate for governor of Louisiana. Trump was dismayed that Duke won the largest percentage of the white demographic, calling it the “anger vote” and saying, “I hate seeing what it represents.” He supported President George H.W. Bush in his opposition to Duke. Forgetting all information regarding this is quite strange coming from a man who bragged in 2015 to a reporter he had “the world’s best memory and everybody knows that”.
His political career took a big leap forward in 2011 when he began to lead the birther movement, centered around fierce and baseless skepticism on whether or not President Obama was born in America. Millions of Republicans fell for this scam. Numerous media outlets and other researchers debunked this assertion. Yet, 72% of the GOP base still believed in Trump’s theory five years later, according to a June-July 2016 poll of 1,700 registered voters. He finally ended this slanderous mission without apology five and a half years later, only two months before the presidential election. He never sent investigators to Hawaii, though he kept saying they were finding damning information. He had repeatedly said things similar to his August 2012 tweet that claimed, “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” As recently as January 2016, Trump told Wolf Blitzer of CNN regarding Obama’s citizenship, “Who knows, who knows, who cares right now?”
Trump questioned the legitimacy of Obama’s academic records from Harvard University and Columbia Law School, as Trump “heard he was a terrible student”. Like has been typical for his hundreds of wild claims on Twitter, press interviews and within fervent speeches, no evidence to undergird this testimony was provided. He started his most recent run for president with a racist speech against Mexican illegal immigrants. He called for a ban of Muslim immigrants entering the country. Trump hired Steve Bannon to be his campaign CEO and later as his chief strategist and senior counselor to the president. Since 2012, Bannon had directed the Breitbart news organization. He explicitly announced it was a platform for the alt-right and that the leading intellectuals of this movement were racist ideologues like Richard Spencer.
Spencer coined the term “alt-right” and founded AlternativeRight.com, an influential web site among those who think like him. He’s currently the president of the National Policy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based white nationalist think tank designed to impact lawmakers. During a mid-November 2016 NPI meeting, he gave a speech that quickly went viral across the internet. The content included phrases such as “Hail Trump” (like “Heil Hitler”), “Hail our people”, “Hail Victory” (like “Sieg Heil”), Nazi salutes and a derogatory term in German that was specifically used against the press in the 1930s to delegitimize their criticism of the growing fascist movement. The latter, “Lügenpresse” or “lying press”, was expressed as an insult to the contemporary American media industry. This word became popular with many of the more radical Trump supporters on Twitter and at rallies before the election. Spencer took it a step beyond by adding this about the press:
“It’s not just that they are leftists and cucks. It’s not just that many are genuinely stupid. Indeed, one wonders if these people are people at all. Or instead soulless golem, animated by some dark power to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before.”
He charged up his audience with lofty, heroic and white supremacist language:
“No one will honor us for losing gracefully. No one mourns the great crimes committed against us. For us, it is conquer or die….To be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror. We build! We produce! We go upward! And we recognize the central lie of American race relations. We don’t exploit other groups! We don’t gain anything from their presence! They need us and not the other way around….
“Within the very blood in our veins as children of the sun lies the potential for greatness. That is the great struggle we are called to. We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet. We were meant to overcome! Overcome all of it! Because that is natural and normal for us!”
Notice the reference to paganism with the “very blood in our veins as children of the sun”. This recalls the mythology that rooted the Nazi phenomenon of the 1920-40s in Germany. The swastika or “hooked cross” symbol adopted by Nazis to affirm their alleged racial purity and superiority was partly traced back to the ancient Hindu worship of the sun. The four extended lines or directions in the image, which were imagined to be rotating, represented the daily path of the sun across the sky.
Spencer delivered a scathing rebuke toward what he labeled as fraudulent and self-righteous demands for political correctness by the mainstream press. His people “were not meant to beg for moral validation” from these individuals and organizations – “some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet”.
“The press has clearly decided to double down and wage war against the legitimacy of Trump and the continued existence of white America. But, they are really opening up the door for us. America was, until this past generation, a white country. Designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation. It is our inheritance. And it belongs to us.”
Is Trump racist? Is he a white nationalist?
He certainly behaves like one. Attempts to read his thoughts and intentions don’t have much use when he habitually does the kinds of things that racists applaud. He tries (not very energetically) to explain away his behavior, but how gullible does he think the American public is? Answer: he won the presidency.