Donald Trump’s Message Resonates with White Supremacists

Jonathan Mahler, New York Times, February 29, 2016

Until recently, Jared Taylor, long one of the country’s most prominent white supremacists, had never supported a presidential candidate.

“There’s been no one worth endorsing,” he said in an interview. “I mean, for heaven’s sake, was John McCain ever going to do anything useful as far as the legitimate interests of whites are concerned?”

But Mr. Taylor believes he has finally found someone who will: Donald J. Trump.

This year, Mr. Taylor’s voice could be heard on robocalls to voters across Iowa and New Hampshire, urging them to support Mr. Trump. “We don’t need Muslims,” he said on the call. “We need smart, educated, white people who will assimilate to our culture.”

Then came Sunday–a banner day for Mr. Trump in the eyes of white-power advocates.

In an early-morning social media post, Mr. Trump approvingly reposted on Twitter a quotation from Benito Mussolini (“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep”). Then, in an interview on CNN, he refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan or David Duke, its onetime grand wizard, after Mr. Duke declared his support for Mr. Trump.

“God bless this man,” exulted the Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website.

After the CNN interview, Mr. Trump pointed to his disavowal of Mr. Duke’s support two days earlier. In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday, he blamed a “very bad earpiece” for his equivocation. And a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, Hope Hicks, said he broadly disavowed all white supremacist groups.

{snip}

Intentionally or not, Mr. Trump’s remarks are resonating with–and mobilizing–white supremacists, many of whom have traditionally refrained from participating in the political process.

{snip}

“I’ve never met him, and I cannot read his mind any better than you can,” said Mr. Taylor, 64, the Virginia-based founder of the New Century Foundation and editor of its website, American Renaissance. “But someone who wants to send home all illegal immigrants and at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration is acting in the interest of whites, whether consciously or not.”

It is difficult to quantify the reach of the various white-supremacist websites that are championing Mr. Trump’s cause. Mr. Taylor says American Renaissance attracts about 300,000 unique visitors a month. Another white-power site, Stormfront.org, claims to have the same number of registered users.

{snip}

In January, when Mr. Trump was questioned about the robocalls made on his behalf in Iowa by white supremacists, including Mr. Taylor, he said that he disapproved of the calls, but that his supporters were animated by a legitimate anger over the violent crimes being committed by “illegal immigrants.”

Mr. Trump’s failure to distance himself more sharply from white-power adherents has been minutely observed in online discussion forums.

The American Freedom Party, a white power group, has a daily hourlong podcast devoted to him. And Mr. Trump will be a frequent topic at American Renaissance’s annual conference in May.

{snip}

Topics: , , , , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.