There should be no white supremacy in a democracy
At the end of August, the Hillary Clinton campaign released a controversial video advertisement tying Donald Trump to the Ku Klux Klan, a racist group that has historically attempted to block civil rights and perpetuated obscene amounts of violence against black people. In modern times, it is a relative fringe group, but the KKK and other white nationalist groups still have as much of a presence today — more than we would like to think. And as Trump’s campaign proves, so do racist and xenophobic ideologies.
This is especially significant because “white nationalist leaders who once shunned presidential races have endorsed Trump, marking the first time some have openly supported a candidate from one of the two main parties,” the Los Angeles Times writes.
The campaign ad opens with a David Duke, prominent KKK leader saying: “A lot of what he believes, we believe in.” This notion is echoed throughout the ad.
Duke is also taking these claims into politics himself. His motivation and inspiration to do so is clear: Donald Trump’s success. Duke even told the Los Angeles Times, “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning. I am winning.”
Democracy Now quotes an interview that showcases his similar beliefs. Duke said: “Unless massive immigration is stopped now, we’ll be outnumbered and outvoted in our own nation. It’s happening. We’re losing our gun rights, our free speech. We’re taxed to death. We’re losing our jobs and businesses to unfair trade. We’re losing our country.”
This is the kind of rhetoric the Trump campaign supports and perpetuates;it’s validating. The main premise of his immigration reform policy is building a wall for which the U.S. makes Mexico pay. Deportations, securing borders, and banning Muslims from entering the United States is more appealing to white voters than we think it would be. In the campaign video, Jared Taylor, editor of white supremacist magazine American Renaissance, explained that Trump’s closed-borders worldview is “very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people.”
A report on racism and Republicans on Salon states: “Donald Trump is not an outlier or aberration […] Donald Trump’s supporters have enthusiastically embraced the Republican Party’s racism towards people of color, in general, and against black Americans, in particular.” We would like to think that Donald Trump is an anomaly, but really he is just a product of his party and our culture.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll shows that Trump supporters possess extreme hatred of black people. The antipathy present in both the Republication and the Democratic needs to be examined.
Statements like: “Voting against Donald Trump is really treason against your heritage,” that were present in the campaign video do little to change the status quo. Instead, they uphold this idea white America was once great.
Trump faced criticism in the past for initially refusing to disavow David Duke’s endorsement right then during the interview on CNN, even though Trump and his campaign have repeatedly disavowed Duke since. It should still mean something that the KKK believes that Trump supports their work and ideologies regardless.
Clinton is now being attacked for “going too far” by conservatives or that this is a desperate attempt to get votes. While Clinton may need to do a better job addressing race in the campaign — it was entirely too easy for this video to be put together, as it was comprised of clips that already existed.
But this is Trump’s attempt to convince voters — that he isn’t the racist he’s made out to be and that it’s actually his rival who is the real racist.
“Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes,” Slate reports. However, Clinton does have more work to do when it comes to race, reconciling past policies that informed immigration laws and the prison-industrial complex.
She does not have the following that Trump has and we should look at who’s going to be worse for the country. A scary alt-right movement — a conglomeration of modern-day white supremacists and neo-Nazis — has emerged among Trump’s following.
Some tweets from the hashtag #AltRightMeans include: “#AltRightMeans physical removal of homosexuals and other undesirables, so to speak” and “you recognize that all civilizations pillaged and conquered, and don’t feel shame because your ancestors were better at it.”— and that’s only naming a few.
What’s even worse, Trump’s success at scapegoating minorities throughout his campaign, has shown white supremacist that they can be successful in political arenas and they’re getting involved — campaigning, knocking on doors, and posting on social media—giving these groups more of a voice in politics than they’ve ever had before.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Trump’s surprise rise to become the GOP presidential nominee, built largely on a willingness to openly criticize minority groups and tap into long-simmering racial divisions, has reenergized white supremacist groups and drawn them into mainstream American politics like nothing seen in decades.”
With Nov. 8 approaching, we need look at not just what Trump stands for, but who is standing with him.
Christina Tudor is a writing and politics double major who is so over writing about Donald Trump. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.