Donald Trump and the Demographics of Protest

Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, August 25, 2016

What Donald Trump rallies tell us about America’s future.

I went to a Donald Trump rally in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Saturday. Since AmRen staff did not get to see Mr. Trump speak at his last rally in Virginia due to overcrowding, I drove an hour and half and tried again. To my chagrin, despite arriving half an hour before the doors opened, which was two hours before the event started, the line was hundreds of people long, and getting in seemed unlikely.

To make the most of my time, I took pictures of friends and foes alike. In the parking lot I found a small group of people with signs demanding that Mr. Trump release his tax returns:

Donald Trump Protesters in Parking Lot

A few minutes later, a swarm of police officers arrived, along with the owner of the property. He told them were on his property, and ordered them off. One protester condescendingly asked if he believed in the first amendment. He simply said he would happily have them all arrested if they didn’t get going. They quickly moved to the sidewalk.

Protesters Approached By Police

They got plenty of attention from the media, but from hardly anyone else. A few Trump supporters jeeringly shouted, “Tell Hillary to release her emails.”

Protesters on Sidewalk

I looked for the dozens of other protesters I felt certain would be there but found no one. Just hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of white folks happily standing line in the scorching heat to see Mr. Trump.

Expo Center

Line near front

Line at the back

Trump Bus Front

Trump Bus Side

Caption: While not directly affiliated with the campaign, this bus was adored by everyone in line, many of whom took photos of themselves in front of it.

These three men walked up and down the line for as long as I was there, acting as cheerleaders. They inspired many shouts of support, and plenty of people asked to have their photo taken in front of the enormous sign, next to the guy waving the American flag:

Guys with flag

flag guys

At a distance, I thought this fellow was an old hippie singing protest songs, but he turned out to be a veteran singing patriotic songs you normally hear only on the fourth of July. The people standing in line applauded after every song:

Veteran singer

These two girls walked up and down the line selling the T-shirts they were wearing. They must have made a fortune, since I saw dozens of eager Trump fans buying them:

Donald Trump has balls

Donald Trump has balls 2

This rally had nothing of the tone of confrontation that has marred some other Trump rallies. There were only a few polite protesters, and their signs asked only that Mr. Trump release his tax returns, which is not an outrageous request. When Jared Taylor and I were in Ashburn, there were at least five times as many protesters, and their signs were profane and vulgar. They were all eager to argue with passing Trump fans.

Ashburn Anti-Trump

At the rally in Ashburn

Demographics undoubtedly account for the difference. Fredericksburg, Virginia, is almost three quarters white, and is less than 5 percent Hispanic. While on paper Ashburn is not so different, it’s close to Washington DC, where there are many blacks and Hispanics. If you live in DC, it’s not hard to get to Ashburn, but Fredericksburg is 50 miles away, and beyond the reach of public transportation.

The demographics of an area determine how a Trump rally will go. Where was it that a Trump rally was cancelled because of mass violent protests? Chicago, which is about one third white, one third Hispanic, and one third black. It was in San Jose, California, where Hispanics outnumber whites, Trump supporters were assaulted as they left the rally while police did nothing.

This reminds me of what science-fiction author William Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Going to a Trump rally is like time travel. Depending on where you go, you can get a glimpse today of America in 2042.

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Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is the former Director of Special Projects at American Renaissance.

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