By Robert Mann
Pollsters have always struggled to accurately gauge voters’ racial attitudes, so we may never know precisely how much racism fuels Donald Trump’s candidacy. What we know with certainty, however, is that the most prominent racists and white supremacists adore Trump.
“I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,” former KKK leader and Louisiana U.S Senate candidate David Duke said when announcing his candidacy this summer. Duke added, “With the country coming apart at the seams and no one willing to really speak the truth about what is happening, the majority population in this country needs someone who will actually give voice to their interests.” By “majority population,” of course, Duke means white people.
“I’ve said everything that Donald Trump is saying and more,” Duke told The Daily Beast in July, revealing a keen ear for Trump’s racial dog whistles. “I think Trump is riding a wave of anti-establishment feeling that I’ve been nurturing for 25 years.”
At least twice Trump has disavowed Duke’s support. Duke apparently didn’t take it personally. To the contrary, the former klansman recently began making robocalls to Louisiana households pitching his candidacy and urging voters to support Trump.
It’s not only contemptible bottom dwellers like Duke who love Trump. Most of the so-called “Alt-Right” movement is proudly behind the GOP nominee. As PBS’ John Yang succinctly explained, “[Alt-right is] a movement that lives largely online, rejects mainstream conservative politics, and is linked to nationalist and white supremacist sentiments.”
The house organ of this quasi-white supremacist crusade is the conservative website Breitbart News, whose former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, now runs Trump’s campaign. You won’t find a printed or online outlet that has been more effusive in its cheerleading for Trump. Some conservatives even call the website “Trumpbart.”
Among the many loathsome creatures writing for Breitbart is tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, permanently suspended from Twitter in July after he sparked aracist Twitter assault on Leslie Jones, a star of the recent “Ghostbusters” movie. (Jones is black.) Many of the offensive tweets featured images of monkeys and gorillas.
Yiannopoulos, you might have guessed, is among Trump’s biggest fans. “It seems to me that Donald Trump … is best placed to end the cancer of political correctness in this country,” Yiannopoulos said. “Isn’t it remarkable that in just 20 years … the spirit of dissidence in the country has gone from being a far left activist to wearing a MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat.”
Nothing validates the notion of Trump ideological romance with the predominantly male, racist alt-right movement more than turning over Trump’s campaign to Bannon. The alt-right is no refuge for racists, Bannon says, arguing it is merely a coincidental alignment of supporters, only some of whom are white supremacists.
Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.