By openly supporting white nationalists, Donald Trump is inciting violence against American citizens.
Donald Trump rose to power- in part- by stoking fears of an imminent terrorist threat. Trump claims that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect “our Nation.” Yet through both word and deed, Trump has made it clear that his nation is one in which white people should and will rule. In Trump’s view, the only terrorist threats that matter are those that threaten the lives of white people.
Trump steadfastly refuses to either acknowledge or address the most serious terrorist threat facing the United States today. Immigrants and Muslims are NOT the primary terrorist threat to citizens of this country. White males born in the United States commit most acts of terrorism within our borders. Right-wing fanatics perpetrate most of these attacks. And most of these fanatics are associated with white nationalism in some way.
El Paso: The Latest Trump-Induced Terrorist Attack
While the details of the August 3rd shooting at the Walmart in El Paso are still unfolding, the available evidence suggests that this is the latest in a series of terrorist incidents inspired by Donald Trump.
Less than a month removed from telling American citizens who were born in the United States to go back to where they came from
and less than a week removed from calling a major American city a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess” in which “no human being would want to live”
Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old Texas native, Trump supporter and white nationalist, murdered at least 20 people and wounded dozens more in an assault at a mall that is well-known as a popular destination for Mexican tourists.
In February, Trump primed El Paso as a target for attack by hosting a campaign rally at the largest city on the US-Mexican border and instigating the crowd with his standard array of lies and fabrications about crime and immigration.
Trump and his defenders will, of course, attempt to deny any link between his rhetoric and the actions of the radical white nationalist terrorists that do his bidding. But the links between his words and their actions are increasingly hard to ignore as each new incident unfolds.
Throughout both his campaign and his presidential administration, Trump has insisted that each act of violence perpetrated by a Muslim was an act of “radical Islamic extremism.” His administration has redirected counter-terrorism efforts to focus exclusively on Muslims, removing white nationalist groups from the list of law enforcement priorities.
Trumpistas will attempt to portray Crusius as a lone-wolf, a crazy individual. The president will condemn his actions but reject any connection between his agenda and Crusius’s actions. They hypocritically claim that every attack by a Muslim is an ideological act broadly supported by large segments of the Muslim population while denying that Crusius was carrying out an ideological agenda espoused by the president.
Anyone who has witnessed and experienced what has been happening in this country over the last few years can easily make the connection between the Trump agenda and the growing radical white nationalist terrorist threat.
Those who do not understand this link owe it to themselves and their fellow citizens to keep reading. The time to hold the president accountable for this bloodshed is now.
White nationalist terrorism is a growing problem. Trump is not doing “whatever is necessary” to protect U.S. citizens. Rather, Trump is contributing to the danger by agitating white nationalists with his racist rhetoric and fact-free fear-mongering. Some experts also believe that Trump’s administration is using law enforcement agencies to protect violent white nationalists.
Trump refuses to see the hypocrisy in fostering terrorism while claiming to prevent it. One reason for this is that Trump does not consider the victims of this terrorism to be part of “his nation.” For Trump and his white nationalist supporters, non-whites are necessary collateral damage in a battle to save the “white American nation” from being replaced by a non-white majority.
White Nationalists Kill More US Citizens Than Any Other Terrorist Group
Donald Trump wants you to believe that immigration is “the cause of all the problems were are having.” But, white nationalists terrorize U.S. citizens far more often than any other extremist group. Over the past decade, white nationalists have perpetrated more than twice as many terrorist attacks in the United States as Islamic terrorists. Ironically, the people complaining most loudly about the dangers of immigrants are more violent than the immigrants they denigrate.
Anecdotal evidence since Tump’s election illustrates this trend. For example, shortly before the 2018 midterm elections, white nationalists were responsible for three high-profile terrorist attacks, and the deaths of 13 people in a matter of days.
Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, was active in white nationalist communities. Gregory Bush shot two African-Americans in a grocery store in Kentucky after failing to break into a black church to kill even more. Bush spared the life of a white man, telling him “whites don’t kill whites.” Cesar Sayoc, a white nationalist and avid Trump supporter, attempted to send pipe bombs to a number of high-profile political leaders. Most of those targeted were minorities who had been the focus of Trump’s twitter rants.
In November 2018, an investigative report from ABC News found 17 incidents of violence, threats, or assaults in which the perpetrators invoked Trump as their inspiration in some way.
Trump and other Republicans like to accuse Democrats like Barack Obama of condoning or excusing or even encouraging terrorism. Yet, how many times has a terrorist invoked Obama or any other elected Democratic politician as the inspiration for an act of violence? How many times has a terrorist credited another Republican?
Trump is the only politician in the United States that is directly inspiring acts of violence and it has happened many times during his presidency.
In general, terrorism is pretty rare. An animal is more likely to kill a U.S. citizen than a terrorist. But if we are going to focus on a single terrorist threat, white nationalist terrorism is clearly the most dangerous terrorist threat facing the country. And there can no longer be any doubt that Donald Trump is culpable in this violence.
White Nationalist Terrorism Is a Real and Growing Problem
White domestic terrorists have long been the most serious terrorist threat to Americans, but the threat has risen in recent years. Since Barack Obama’s election in 2008, the number of incidents has risen; they have increased even more since Trump’s election in 2016.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there have been over 3000 incidents of extremist or anti-Semitic terrorism- including physical assaults, threats, and vandalism- in 2017 and 2018 alone.
In a 2015 survey of law enforcement agencies, 74% of police officers believed that radical right-wing extremists posed a serious danger to Americans. By comparison, 39% felt the same way about Islamic terrorism.
The Center for Investigative Reporting did an extensive study of more than 200 terror attacks in the United States between 2008 and 2016. The findings: right-wing terrorist attacks outnumbered those by Islamic extremists by more than 2 to 1.
Between 2008 and 2017, right-wing extremists were responsible for 71% of the deaths caused by hate or terror attacks. Islamic extremists accounted for 26%.
In 2017, right-wing individuals or groups, most of whom support some form of white nationalism, accounted for about 60% of all terrorist-related incidents.
What is White Nationalism?
Like almost all political labels, white nationalism comes in different shades and supporters vary in their degree of enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. Many supporters shy away from the term to avoid accusations of racism. Other white nationalists openly embrace the term anyway.
White nationalism is racist- by definition. And the concept is pretty simple to understand. White nationalists believe that the country in which they live is a “white” country that is defined primarily by its “whiteness.” Whether they live in Europe, the United States, or Australia, white nationalists believe that whites “own” the country in which they live.
They believe that the government should protect the power of the white majority. The most serious threat in the view of white nationalists is the growing number of people of color. They fear that whites will lose their status and the political and economic power that comes with it. Many also believe that they can and should take action to stop non-whites from becoming a majority if the government will not take the necessary steps to prevent it
White nationalists describe the growth of the non-white population as “white genocide.” They argue that attempts to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination are “anti-white.” They see political correctness as an attempt to keep them from complaining too explicitly about the real nature of the problem, which is that whites will soon- and inevitably- become the minority in many “white” countries, including the United States.
White Nationalism and White Supremacy
Is this different from white supremacy? Some think so. But not really. The words mean different things, but they definitely go together.
According to Merriam-Webster, a white supremacist is “a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and white people should have control over people of other races.”
Some white nationalists say that they do not believe that whites are superior to other races. But they also want to protect “whiteness” from being diluted by “non-white” genes. They want their nation to consist of white people who share their “culture” and “values.” White nationalists do not necessarily want to control non-white people. Rather they want separation from them.
Regardless of whether they consciously believe themselves to be superior to non-whites, white nationalists are racist- again by definition. Racism does not require one to be hostile to other races. Racism simply requires that one judge or discriminate based on race. White nationalists do this consciously and explicitly.
Defenders of white nationalism argue that whites are simply responding to movements by other groups to define themselves, protect their rights, and combat discrimination against them.
This argument rings hollow for many reasons but two seem particularly relevant. First, in this country and in most “white” countries, whites have always had the power to define themselves, protect their rights, and have rarely experienced discrimination. White- in the United States at least- is the only racial group for which this is true.
This reality drives home the hypocrisy of the current white nationalist attack on “political correctness” as the source of their movement. White nationalists today are making the same arguments that white nationalists have been making for most of our country’s history, long before any non-white groups had any of the rights that they would later fight to secure.
White Nationalism is Not New
White supremacy has roots deep in European culture but the white nationalist movement developed in the late 19th century, promoted by the work of “scholars” in Europe and the United States. Europeans used the theory to justify growing control over much of Asia and almost all of Africa.
During the 19th century, a wave of immigrants entered the United States. By the early 20th century, almost 15% of the United States’ population was foreign-born. Most people in the United States today descend directly from these or later immigrant groups.
Many so-called “native” Americans did not like it. They used many of the same arguments that immigration opponents use today to demonize immigrants. The so-called experts like Madison Grant emphasized the loss of “whiteness.”
(Quick confession: I probably would not have read the long quote at the beginning of this section. You might not have either. We all hate to read long quotes. But if you have any doubt that white nationalism is a real thing, you should read it.)
Eliminating some of his extra words, this is Grant’s core argument:
The altruistic ideals that have made America an ‘asylum for the oppressed’ are sweeping the nation toward a racial abyss. If we continue to blind ourselves to ‘all distinction of race, creed or color,’ the type of native American of Colonial descent will become extinct.
Grant’s condensed quote summarizes the white nationalist argument fairly well. Continued immigration into the United States will erode the power of the white majority.
Who is White?
Defining who is white might seem like a pretty simple task. But if you are Irish, Italian, Slavic, Polish, Greek, or Jewish, you might be surprised to find out that you are not white. At least Madison Grant did not consider you to be white. In his view, whites are northern Europeans of Nordic descent. Hitler really liked Grant’s theories.
While Grant also opposed immigration from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, he was less concerned about immigrants from these places. After all, these places were not the source of most immigrants coming into the United States during his time. He was primarily concerned about Italians, Irish, Poles, Russians, Greeks, Serbs, Croats, and Jews. He believed that the continued migration of these groups would lead to the “mongrelization” of the white race.
Grant’s definition of whiteness was partially racial and partially cultural.
Racially, whites, according to Grant, came from “Nordic stock.” He argued that the “Mongol horde” which occupied much of the Eastern Hemisphere in the 13th and 14th centuries had polluted the gene pools of most other Europeans. In his view, Arabs and Africans had also infected the gene pools of southern Europeans in earlier centuries.
Culturally, Catholics and Jews could not be “white”. Whites were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP). Although the term did not come into popular use until the 1950s, it accurately captures the definition of whiteness shared by many white nationalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Eugenics and Immigration
Grant was also part of the eugenics movement. Beginning in the late 19th and early 20th century, eugenists claimed to use science to show that some groups were genetically superior to others. They invented IQ tests to support their agenda. They hoped to prove objectively that Irish, Poles, Italians, Greeks, and Slavic people were objectively inferior to Anglo-Saxon whites. The image below is from an article attempting to illustrate the genetic superiority of the Anglo-Teutonic person over other ethnic groups.
To 19th century white nationalists, Irish, Poles, Italians, Greeks, and Serbs were ignorant savages and violent criminals. They looked different, spoke different languages, practiced different religions, lived in tightly knit communities, and refused to assimilate.
In order to weed out the undesirables, eugenicists promoted the use of intelligence and skin tone tests to select potential immigrants. When white nationalists were unable to persuade the country to adopt their proposals, they attacked the corrupt, immigrant controlled politicians for the failure to support these reforms.
Grant proposed a three-part solution to these challenges. The first step was to ban future immigration from these countries. Grant also wanted to segregate non-whites to prevent them from intermingling with “native stock.” Finally, he called for birth control and forced sterilization, if necessary, to keep people of color from outnumbering whites over time.
Understandably, one admirer of Grant’s book was Adolph Hitler, who once referred to it as his “bible.” Hitler was not the only one. The Passing of the Great Race was a best-seller in the United States for many years after its publication in 1916.
White Nationalists Were Wrong Then
Most Americans today should have a problem with Grant’s theory. More than 75% of United States citizens descend from a group that was not “white” according to Madison Grant. African-Americans, Mexicans, and Irish are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest ancestry groups in the United States, behind only Germans, and ahead of the English and self-described Americans.
Catholics, about 25% of U.S. citizens today, are the single largest religious denomination in the United States. Irish, Italian, Mexican, Croatian, and Polish immigrants were all primarily Catholic as were many Germans and French.
Yet the “pollution” of the American gene pool by these non-W.A.S.P. groups did not destroy the country then. After all, much of America’s greatness – its military success, technological innovation, economic supremacy, global leadership – took place AFTER these groups had already come into the US.
Nevertheless, it has not kept people from using the same arguments that they used back then.
The “Model Minority”
Consider Asian immigration. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Asians were perhaps the most reviled of immigrant groups. The so-called “yellow peril” would soon destroy American civilization unless we stopped allowing their migration. The United States did, in fact, ban Chinese immigration in 1883, and later placed tight restrictions on migration from all Asian countries. The United States government placed Japanese, including legal citizens who had been born in the United States, in concentration camps during World War II.
But today, few people complain about Asian immigration into the United States. In fact, Asians are often held up as the “model minority” that other minority groups should emulate.
Almost nobody complains about Polish, Italian, Irish, or Slavic people either.
Why not? Because these groups have successfully “assimilated” over time. On average, Asians and Catholics are more educated and wealthier today than other Americans.
The predictions of history’s white nationalists never came to fruition. And yet, here we are with a new generation of white nationalists peddling the same arguments. The available empirical evidence supports the conclusion that they will be wrong again.
White Nationalism is White Victimization
Both science and history thoroughly discredit the white nationalist argument about diversity destroying American society.
So why is it coming back? An increasing number of Americans, as they did one hundred years ago, see themselves as under siege by minorities. White nationalists call it a “war on white people.” They talk about diversity as being anti-white or “white genocide.”
Almost unbelievably, many whites seem to be under the impression that whites are disadvantaged in this country. A substantial number of whites believe that whites, Christians, and men are being disadvantaged in our society. Many whites believe, contrary to all fact and logic, that whites experience more discrimination than non-whites in this country.
Trump supporters, in particular, are very likely to believe that whites experience more discrimination than other groups. Trump echoes this view. He warns his supporters that, unless he- and they- act, the country will soon be overrun by the unwashed, colored, migrant masses
White Nationalists Believe Trump is with Them
In its 2016 endorsement of Trump’s the Crusader, the official newspaper of the KKK, enthusiastically embraced Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” and his rhetoric about how to it.
Trump can say that he’s not a racist, but the white nationalists definitely think he is. When challenged by a reporter if he welcomed the support of white nationalists, Trump told the African-American reporter that it was a “racist question.” White nationalists saw his response as a wink that he had their back, especially because he refused to explicitly denounce them when given the opportunity.
Trump said ‘many people agree’ with his racist tweets. These white supremacists certainly do. One commentator on a white nationalist message board saw Trump’s “send them back” tweet as helping to normalize the idea that it “is ok for him not to want to be swamped by brown scum that clearly despise him, that these invaders have stepped well out of line making demands of us, and that if they don’t like the way we run things they can go the hell back.”
White nationalists actively support this mindset. Steve King, a Republican Congressman from Iowa, illustrates this trend. He argues that people who promote racial and ethnic diversity want to destroy white civilization. And as Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi publication argues, “Steve King won. If last night was a referendum on Steve King’s white nationalism, as the Democrats were trying to frame it, then white nationalism won.”
As crazy as this should sound, he is not alone. Here are a few other characteristic examples of white nationalist groups and their beliefs.
The Odinist is a white nationalist website that calls itself “A Gathering Place for Nordic Folk.” Odinism is a traditional Nordic religion. The reference to Nordic, of course, invokes the narrow sense of “whiteness” endorsed by Grant and Hitler.
In a post titled “Rapefugees and White Genocide,” the site argues that “European heritage nations are nations built by European ancestry people, not just nations in Europe itself, but in the United States, Canada, and Australia… in other words, nations that we own, that our ancestors built for us.”
The people who lived here before the whites arrived? They don’t own it.
Did slaves build anything? Nope, not them either.
The tens of millions of people descended from other groups who “built” America along with those from northern Europe? They don’t get a stake in the ownership.
The Odinist believes that only white Nordic Europeans get to “own” countries, regardless of who lived there before they arrived or who lives there now. Owning countries is a hereditary entitlement, limited apparently to WASPs.
The Occidental Dissent references the term “Occident” which is essentially synonymous with “the West.” A superficial review of the stories on the website does not immediately stir alarms. The stories themselves rarely include overtly or aggressively racist language.
Yet, The Occidental Dissent leaves no doubt where it stands on the central concerns of white nationalists. Several stories reference Antifa, the white nationalist alter-ego whose less extreme violence excuses white nationalist violence in the minds of many Trump supporters.
Stories involving Jewish people identify the Jews in the headline and usually focus on a negative incident involving said Jews. For example, the website titled its story on the death of Stan Lee this way: “Jewish Comic Book Fiend Stan Lee (Lieber) Finally Dies At Age 95.“
A story on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent accident includes the tagline, “Hopefully she will be replaced by a Protestant.”
Whites Need To Stick Together?
One story from The Occidental Nationalist that caught my attention analyzes the results of the 2012 presidential election. The author, Hunter Wallace, argues that “Yankees” and not minorities re-elected Obama in 2012.
Wallace describes voting patterns across the country over the past several election cycles. He compares the “Solid South” and the “Soft South.” The Solid South are those states that never vote for Democrats. The “Soft South” include those southern states that voted for Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012.
Wallace concludes that “the problem in these three states is simply that 11% of Whites in Mississippi voted for Barack Obama whereas 31% to 37% are voting for him in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.”
His point? The “mainstream media” brainwash whites to sell out and vote for candidates that are anti-white. He blames whites for their impending minority status. Wallace wants whites to join together and use their voting majority to stop it from happening.
National Vanguard is a white nationalist website calling white people “toward a new consciousness; a new order; a new people.” This seems a little odd for a movement trying to conserve white heritage. But National Vanguard’s white nationalist bona fides are not in doubt.
For example, there is a story about “American Genetic Demographics.”
The author, Lillian Brepner, focuses on the relationship between genetics and intelligence. She provides some highly suspect statistics without citations. Her central claim is that “black” and “brown” people are genetically inferior to “white” people. In her view, this explains why minority groups have lower socio-economic status.
The take-home quote from her post:
Not to be outdone, The Renegade Tribune is even more explicitly racist. In a post entitled “True White Nationalism,” the author calls for white nationalist unity and criticizes white nationalist leaders who tolerate Jewish people. These views closely parallel those of Robert Bowers, the man who killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018. The author outlines what he believes out to be the principles and goals of the white nationalist movement.
Another white nationalist blog, Lion of the Blogosphere, takes a different approach. In a post titled, “Whiteness Needs to Be a Big Tent,” the author complains that “white” should be defined more broadly. He argues that Republicans can win as a “white only” party “for a long time if they get more people to think of themselves as ‘white’ and thus vote for white interests over minority interests.”
Unfortunately, I could provide links and an overview of hundreds of other sites like this. But the point should be clear. White nationalists are real and they are promoting some extreme, racist theories about American politics, history, and society. These theories are both dangerous and inaccurate.
Trump and White Nationalism
Does Donald Trump Support This Movement?
There is a direct link between these movements, the growing number of white nationalist terrorist incidents, and the Trump administration. Whether Trump’s supporters know it or it like it, they are promoting white nationalism and terrorism by supporting him.
White nationalists know that they have an ally in Trump. Trump often endorses white nationalist arguments. For example, white nationalists aggressively promoted the thoroughly discredited claim that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Trump began to earn the respect and support of white nationalists when he put his Twitter account behind it.
Trump frequently repeats other outrageous claims that white nationalist groups either originated or promote. His persistent linkage of the violent MS-13 gang to immigrants is a white nationalist theme. His discredited claim that Muslims were dancing in New Jersey after 9/11 came from white nationalists.
Trump clearly follows and takes cues from white nationalist groups. He even retweets posts with white nationalist credentials in them. In 2015, he retweeted an inaccurate claim about crimes committed by blacks and whites. The original tweeter thinks we “should have listened to the Austrian chap with the little mustache.” Trump even retweeted from a user named @WhiteGenocideTM.
In 2018, he tweeted a misleading claim about the abuse of white farmers in South Africa. Whites in South Africa, the home of Apartheid, are among the most beloved victims of the white nationalist movement. Fox News picked up on the story from Trump and brought this rather bizarre issue into broader public discussion. Of course, one cannot really understand why rich white South Africans should be of any concern to the average American. But in raising the issue, Trump demonstrated that he serves as a conduit for the airing of white nationalist grievances.
During the controversies surrounding Trump’s “send them back” and Baltimore tweets, Trump retweeted support from Katie Hopkins, a white nationalist. These are the people that have Trump’s ear. He calls Katie Hopkins “respectable.” She certainly is if you believe in the separation of races and white supremacy. Hitler would have respected her too.
White Nationalists in the Trump Administration
Although the most visible of Trump’s white nationalist advisors, Bannon was definitely not the only one. Stephen Miller, the architect of Trump’s “Muslim ban” and chief critic of “chain migration,” is one of the more prominent white nationalists in Trump’s inner circle.
Ian Smith, a top official in the Department of Homeland Security, recently resigned after the public release of emails showing that he was in direct contact with several leaders of the white nationalist movement. Smith was responsible for immigration-related issues in Trump’s administration.
One of Trump’s top economic advisors, Larry Kudlow, invited the publisher of a white nationalist website to his birthday party.
Trump has found it easy to parrot white nationalist themes for a good reason. Until August 2018, one of his speechwriters was Darren Beattie, who attended a white nationalist conference in 2016 and found “nothing objectionable” in the content.
The Southern Anti-Poverty Law Center recently identified a foreign affairs officer in the State Department, Matthew Q. Gebert, who was also the leader of a Washington D.C. chapter of a white nationalist organization. Under his white nationalist alias “Coach Finstock,” Gebert has published white nationalist propaganda online, including this excerpt about whites and nuclear weapons in a podcast called “The Fatherland.”
Although Gebert first joined the State Department in 2013, he appears to have become radicalized into the white nationalist movement in 2015, around the same time that Trump began his campaign for president. Yet Gebert has become a true believer, claiming in 2017 that while he understood that his association with white nationalism could cost him his job, “I am prepared to lose mine. Because this is the most important thing to me in my life … in tandem with my family, of course.”
Trump Publicly Supports White Nationalist Politicians
Trump does not just repeat white nationalist arguments and retweet their propaganda. He does not just hire them to work in his administration and pursue their favored policies. His willingness to actively support other politicians based on their white nationalist credentials.
Trump was an early and active supporter of Ron Desantis, the Republican candidate for Governor in Florida in 2018. Desantis has made a number of public statements that are reasonably classified as racist. Most damning is that he has spoken four times at an annual conference hosted by a race war theorist, David Horowitz.
Kris Kobach, the Kansas politician who has made a career out of drumming up fear of immigration, is another white nationalist who is also a Trump favorite. Kobach’s outrageous and unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud have earned him a national reputation and made him a lot of money. In another of the many white nationalist hypocrisies, Kobach has reaped millions of fees from state governments with nothing to show for his legal advice while complaining that illegal immigrants are draining money from state budgets. White nationalists also helped finance Kobach’s recent failed gubernatorial campaign.
Steve King: Poster Boy for White Nationalism
Perhaps no politician better represents Trump’s intimate relationship with white nationalists than Iowa’s lone remaining Republican congressman, Steve King. Iowa voters have sent Republican Steve King to represent them in the House of Representatives for almost two decades now. Steve King is a white nationalist.
“He may be the world’s most conservative human being,” Trump said of King at a rally in Council Bluffs during the 2018 campaign. The congressman replied on Twitter: “I do my best to pull President Trump to the right:-)”
King appears to be as far to the right on race issues as one can be without wearing a robe and hood to work every day.
King’s Impeccable White Nationalist Credentials
- He wondered in 2008, “When you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States – I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world?
- King offered this gem on immigration in 2013: “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
- In 2016, a reporter asked him about black mothers and abortion. His response? “I would give you even money that a vast majority of mothers who say they can’t afford an abortion have an iPhone, which costs more.”
- “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Steve King on Twitter
- In 2018, “If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”
- “We add to our population approximately 1.8 million of ‘somebody else’s babies’ who are raised in another culture before they get to us.” Steve King explaining his “somebody else’s babies” tweet.
- The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, released audio of King referring to Mexicans and other immigrants as “dirt.” King made the statement days before the November midterms while speaking to a roomful of supporters in Iowa.
People Actually Vote For Steve King
One might think that Steve King could not win an election in the United States after expressing these opinions. Many people really wish that he could not. Others probably support him precisely because he believes these things.
Vanity Fair suggested last fall that his campaign was in trouble, linking his re-election bid to the Democrats prospects of gaining control of the House of Representatives.
The Democrats did win control of the House of Representatives. But guess what?
In a year in which Democrats otherwise did pretty well in House elections, Steve King and his white nationalist agenda managed to win the votes of over 150,000 Iowans.
Frankly, those voters scare me far more than any Central Americans refugees. After all, these Iowans are in the country, and likely armed, and clearly pretty ignorant and/or racist.
Steve King and the Great Replacement
Steve King is closely associated with Geert Wilders, the leader of an Austrian white nationalist party. The Great Replacement theory promoted by Wilders and other white nationalist groups argues that a global elite is trying to replace whites in “white countries” through “open border” policies. The advocates of the Great Replacement want whites to stand up against this by electing politicians that promote “pro-white” policies.
American politicians are usually reluctant to use this language too directly. Even Steve King does not use the term Great Replacement publicly. But he is clearly a fan of Geert Wilders.
King and Wilders both see immigration as a policy of the “left” to undermine “white” society. King says that immigration is “an effort on the left, I think, to break down the American civilization, the American culture and turn it into something entirely different. I’m a champion for Western civilization.”
To white nationalists, “western civilization” is another word for “white.” African-American descendants of slaves and Hispanics from the Americas are every bit as much a part of “western civilization” as American descendants of white Europeans. So unless your real concern is about “whiteness,” you cannot really claim that these people are a threat to “western civilization.”
Why are People Supporting This?
The “Establishment Republicans” knows that Steve King and people like him are not good.
And yet, Steve King returned to Congress for the 9th time.
Fox News Also Promotes White Nationalism
One reason that people like King, Trump, and Desantis win elections is that Fox News normalizes white nationalist arguments. Unfortunately, too many people don’t study history or understand much about how this country has developed over time. Out of this ignorance, they accept some pretty absurd ideas because their “trusted” news source repeats them. In recent years, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have openly promoted the white nationalist paranoia over the Great Replacement.
Ingraham is pretty open in her views on the question. She complains about “massive demographic changes that most of us don’t like.” According to Ingraham, “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.” Former KKK-leader David Duke praised her rant.
Ingraham says that “liberals… hate our American traditions and a lot of our heritage, but they are also the agents of a historical and cultural purge the likes of which I don’t think we have ever seen in our nation.” “Heritage” means “white” and “Christian.”
She is more direct when discussing refugees from the Middle East. “The Christians who we can verifiably say are Christians, who are in the threat of being slaughtered, I’m happy to bring in some of them. I think most people would. But all these other people, they’ve got to stay in the Middle East.”
How Do People Justify Voting for Racists?
Each voter has his or her own motive for supporting candidates and political parties. So it is difficult to give one reason people vote for racists like Trump or Desantis or Kobach or King.
But a few important reasons are worth noting.
First, some people are just uninformed or misinformed. They don’t believe they are voting for racists.
Dan Clark, a King supporter who had a large sign supporting King in his yard, does not believe that King is a racist. “No, no,” he said. “I’ve never heard anybody talking that he is. He was just a common, ordinary person, not a titled person of any kind before he was first elected, so that’s just kind of what we like.”
Mr. Clark might be a nice guy but he clearly doesn’t know much about Steve King if he doesn’t think King is a racist. Go back and click on the links above. Steve King is indisputably racist.
Others just don’t see white nationalism or the terrorist threat arising from the movement as a problem. In 2017, Representative Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican, responded to a question about white nationalist attacks. “So you give me two examples, right. And in recent times, we’re going to talk about one example. That’s different than the whole movement that has taken place through ISIS and inspired attacks.”
Representative Duffy also seems to be relying on alternative facts. The white nationalist terrorist threat is well-documented and is a lot more than one or two attacks.
What About Antifa?
Another response to criticism of white nationalist terrorism is the old “what about.” What about Antifa?
Antifa is a left-wing group that actively confronts white nationalist and other right-wing extremist groups. Antifa stands for anti-fascist and its members express willingness to use violence. White nationalists faced off with Antifa in competing protests in Charlottesville both in 2017 and 2018.
Many white nationalist organizations and other conservative media outlets argue that the “mainstream” media focuses only on violence perpetrated by white nationalist and not the use of violence by Antifa.
The people who support white nationalists but fear Antifa have a sympathetic ear in the White House. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security took a fake threat of a civil war by Antifa activists more seriously than it does the repeated threats of violence by white nationalist groups.
In a recent interview with the Daily Caller, Trump said that Antifa “better hope that the other side doesn’t mobilize. Because if you look, the other side, it’s the military. It’s the police. It’s a lot of very strong, a lot of very tough people. Tougher than them. And smarter than them. They’re sitting back and watching and they’re getting angrier and angrier.”
Last month, Trump warned Antifa that he was going to include the organization in his administration’s counter-terrorism efforts even though there has not been a single death linked to Antifa. Yet Trump protects the white nationalists from enhanced law enforcement scrutiny despite the dozens of domestic terrorist incidents during his short time in office.
When I look I see a cheerleader for violence. I also see a hypocrite who disingenuously pretends that Antifa is the cause of the violence and not just a reaction to it. The white nationalist “other side” was already mobilized and Trump is actively supporting their cause.
What About Antifa Is A Stupid Argument
The white nationalist obsession with Antifa makes a lot of sense, however. People who know they are supporting bad guys want the other side to have bad guys too. Of course, the other side did not choose an Antifa leader to be president of the United States.
But there are other reasons to dismiss the “What about Antifa?” objection.
First, “mainstream” media does cover Antifa. Each of these outlets has run in-depth investigations on Antifa: The Atlantic, The BBC, CNN, The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, USA Today, Vox, The Washington Post.
All major media outlets covered the 2018 incident in which Antifa protestors vandalized the home of Fox News commentator and white nationalist proponent Tucker Carlson. Many prominent liberals and news outlets condemned Antifa’s extremism in targeting Carlson.
White nationalists and Trump supporters complain that the media does not criticize Antifa to the same degree as white nationalists. But that would only make sense if Antifa’s violence was actually comparable to the white nationalist terrorism. It is not. And it is not even a close call. Trump complains about Islamic extremists and Antifa. But white nationalist violence is more common than violence perpetrated by both of these groups put together.
Trump Wants White Nationalist Terrorism
Trump could not be less concerned about white nationalist terrorism. He quickly points out or criticizes any incident – real or imagined – involving a Muslim or a foreigner. But he rarely even acknowledges an attack perpetrated by a white person against a non-white one.
Since 9/11, law enforcement has concentrated its resources on Islamic terrorism. Even with the Oklahoma City bombing and a number of other incidents in the 1990s, right-wing terrorism received little attention.
But now that white nationalist terrorism has clearly become the most serious terrorist threat, the Trump Administration is actively seeking to undermine investigations of it. “These are all extremist messages that I saw on Stormfront and other white-supremacist message boards 10 or 15 years ago,” says one former Homeland Security analyst. “Now they are being endorsed as policy by the president.”
Trump Administration Protects White Nationalists
Trump appointees in the Department of Homeland Security have actively sought to limit investigations into white nationalist terrorism. FBI officials who have worked on domestic counter-terrorism generally agree that the Trump Administration has de-emphasized the threat of right-wing terrorism.
The administration has sought to limit the involvement of career law enforcement agents. Instead, political appointments like Katharine Gorka to dictate policy. Gorka’s husband Sebastian was a top-Trump advisor for the first seven months of his administration. As a senior advisor in the Department of Homeland Security, she insists that the department focus exclusively on “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Ironically, Sebastian Gorka is an immigrant and a criminal. And Trump CHOSE him to be one of his top advisors on foreign policy and national security. A white nationalist, Gorka faked his academic credentials and fled an arrest warrant in Hungary. So Trump does not really have a problem with immigrant criminals. In fact, he apparently, Trump really likes white criminal immigrants who dislike brown immigrants as much as he does.
Trump is Inciting White Nationalist Violence
Scholars Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz recently released a study of the relationship between Trump’s Twitter feed and hate crimes against Muslims. Their analysis shows a strong “correlation between his tweets on Islam-related topics and the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes after his campaign start.”
Jim Pratt, an attorney for a convicted white nationalist terrorist claims that Trump inspired him. In his sentencing brief, Pratt argued that his client was not fully responsible for his actions because he was “driven in large measure by the rhetorical China shop bull who is now our president.”
Of course, white nationalists feel that they have a license to terrorize. They probably feel that this is exactly what the President of the United States wants them to do. I feel that this is exactly what the President of the United States wants them to do.
Are Trump Supporters at Fault for the Violence?
My instinct tells me that this is unfair. Lots of people vote for candidates and disagree with some of their words, beliefs, and actions. We cannot all be held accountable for every bad thing done by every associate in our lives.
Yet there are some interesting parallels here. Pro-life supporters call pro-choice politicians baby-killers, even though these politicians likely never aborted a fetus. People who vote for pro-choice candidates are often tarnished with the same brush. For a variety of reasons, some pro-life people vote for pro-choice candidates despite their support for abortion rights. Yet pro-life supporters criticize them anyway.
Similarly, Trump and many of his supporters demonize all Muslims and immigrants based on the actions of a few.
So maybe it is not so unfair to blame all Trump voters for the outbreak of white nationalist violence. At least the logic used by many Trump supporters suggests that it is fair to blame them for the violence endorsed by Trump, King and the other white nationalists like them.
White Nationalism is Wrong
Ideally, we could all agree that terrorism in any form is wrong. But even without the terrorism, the entire premise of the white nationalist movement is morally wrong and totally un-American. Sure, we all have a right to our opinions. But we should be able to use our brains and moral compasses to reject the vilest of opinions. White nationalism is one of these. If you disagree, you probably need to bring in your brain as well as your moral compass for a check-up.
If being a white nationalist isn’t wrong, why do Trump and Steve King resist being labeled as such? Are they surrendering to the altar of “political correctness”?
Yet, their supporters claim to like them precisely because they are not “PC” and “speak their mind” and “tell it like it is.” Maybe being a white nationalist is so bad that even the non-PC Donald Trump and the non-PC Steven King cannot openly admit to it.
If so, why don’t more Americans speak out against it and hold politicians accountable for endorsing it? That is the really important question we all need to be asking.
Who is White Again?
Madison Grant’s racial theory should inform us about the meaning of “whiteness” and the future of white nationalism.
First, white racist doom and gloom is not new. White nationalists are as wrong today as they were 100 years ago.
Furthermore, Grant would not have considered most of the people living in the United States today to be white anyway. Why would anyone of Italian, Irish, Polish, Greek, Spanish, or Slavic descent support white nationalism after their own immigrant ancestors were targets of the same movement in the past?
And determining who is “white” is not getting easier. Look at the debates between white nationalists over who should be considered “white.” Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, was a Trump supporter who complained about Trump’s acceptance of Jews. Yet, others like Lion of the Blogosphere want the white nationalist movement to include anyone who identifies as white.
Is Barack Obama white? His mother was white. He hardly knew his father. His white mother and white grandparents raised him. According to Lion, Obama is white if he says that he is. But his skin tone and name obviously do not sit well with other white nationalists. Either way, the number of people like Obama will continue to rise as a share of the population, making it more difficult to classify anyone by race.
White nationalists think being “white” is so important that we should build our national identity around it. But it will be very difficult to attempt a purity test that excludes Barack Obama and includes a lot of people who want to be included among the whites. Self-identified African-Americans only make up around 13% of the national population. But geneticists who have studied the ancestry of U.S. citizens find that over 30% of them have some recent African ancestry.
White Nationalism IS Racism
Steve King says that diversity is not our strength. Hitler said that. The KKK said that. If you agree, you’re a racist. This is not a debatable point. White nationalists focus on race. They judge and interact with others based on race. Racist is the word used to describe people like this. If it bothers you to be called a racist, don’t be one.
If diversity is not the value that binds this country together, what is? Whiteness?
So the Confederacy was right? The KKK was right? White nationalists believe this. That is why they wave the Confederate flag and flip out when the public decides to remove Confederate statues from public parks.
Our Constitution says that all are races are equal. Only racists believe that “white people” have more of a right to live or control this country than Native Americans, Hispanics, or African-Americans. Individuals from each of those groups have as strong of a claim to be here as any white person.
Conservatives respond to affirmative action policies by saying that “race shouldn’t matter.” They counter “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter.” These slogans are disingenuous, but they are better than the white nationalist worldview. White nationalists believe that white lives matter more and should be protected to a greater degree. That is racist.
Demography is Destiny
In their 1970 study of American politics “The Real Majority,” Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg argue that “demography is destiny.” By this, they mean that factors like birth rates and life expectancies will shape how society evolves. These are trends that are large in scope and develop over time. Political leaders can react to them, but they cannot control them.
If you support Trump, you might like to think in terms of winners and losers. White nationalists have already lost the battle to prevent a non-white majority. In 2015, white Christians were already the minority in at least 19 states, including most of the largest ones. The United States Census Bureau predicts that whites will be a minority by 2043. These are projections based on the birth rates and life expectancies of people who are already here.
White nationalists want to deport all the illegal immigrants. They want to make the United States so unwelcome to people of color that they will leave or stop coming here.
But it is too late for them to actually stop non-whites from becoming the majority. Even if the United States were to halt immigration entirely and deport all the illegal immigrants living in the United States, the non-white population will still outnumber the white population by the middle of this century
Moving Beyond Racism Means Rejecting Racist Politicians
Terrorists and extremists typically lash out when their defeat is inevitable. Islamic fundamentalist terrorism demonstrates that. Osama bin Laden was not in a strong position. Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the like will lose because their movements are not sustainable without terrorism. Inevitably, human societies either reject terrorism or they crumble under the weight of fear. These movements cannot transform the world to make it different from what it is.
White nationalists are not going to stop the “Great Replacement.” The best that they can do is sow such division that they get their desired “race war.” I do not believe that the average white American actually wants this. But voting for Trump or tolerating white nationalist terrorism is not going to prevent white children from living in a country where they are a minority.
Trump Supporters Are To Blame For Violence if They Continue to Support Him
The challenge facing all Americans, and certainly white Americans, concerns the future that they wish to leave for their children and grandchildren.
Will it be a world where people of different races and ethnicities live together and work together to build a better society? Or will it be a world in which we have a race war and violence and winners and losers?
This is a choice. It is a choice that the American people have to make or they will allow the extremists to make it for them.
Trump is a white nationalist. He adopts their rhetoric and endorses their causes. He endorses other politicians who support them. Trump hires white nationalists to work in his administration. Many of them work in law enforcement. He authorizes them to shape the policies of the United States. As a result, our government is encouraging and enabling violent terrorists to attack our fellow citizens.
Maybe you did not realize that when you voted for Donald Trump. Maybe you did not understand how bad he would be. If you have read this far, you certainly must understand that you were mistaken.
To continue to support him is to condone this. Nobody is asking you to give up your religion or core beliefs or change your lifestyle. But if you cannot give up supporting racists that encourage violent terrorists, it is certainly fair to call you a racist who supports violent terrorism.
Responsible Citizenship is Our Real Heritage
In all of his idiocy, Trump sometimes gets things partially correct. Indeed, too many people have either forgotten or just never knew the truth. Trump is one of those people. Most of the people who support him fall into that category as well. One does not have to study the history of this country to easily dismiss the notion that “our ancestors trounced an empire” or “tamed a continent.”
Hopefully, we can still triumph “over the worst evils in history.” Racial bigotry is certainly one of these, perhaps the worst of them.
Trump and his white nationalist gang of thugs have presented us with the challenge of triumphing over this evil today. Will we rise to the occasion? That remains to be seen.
A lot of people are “sick” of hearing about “racism” and “political correctness” and “diversity.” Yet we talk about these topics because far too many white people openly support racist politicians and their racist arguments. We hope that they do so out of ignorance and not malice. We believe that education will help them understand why they should not support these people.
So I for one am willing to make a deal with all the Trump supporters who wish we could stop talking about racism. When you stop supporting racist politicians, repeating racist arguments, and excusing racially motivated violence, I will stop talking about it. However, as long as you continue to insist on thinking and acting like a racist, I’m going to continue to call you one.