Early last Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted an anti-Semitic image that originated on “an Internet message board for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Trump’s rhetoric,” reports Mic.
The image tweeted by Trump featured his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” printed on a Star of David, and a pile of cash in the background.
The anti-Semitic tweet would have been an automatic disqualifier for any other Presidential candidate. But in Donald Trump’s case, it’s just his latest offensive act on social media since the launch of his campaign last summer.
Back in November, Trump manually retweeted a racist — and blatantly false — “Black on Black crime” statistic that originated from “neo-Nazi propaganda.” In January, Trump manually retweeted an image from a white supremacist with the handle “WhiteGenocideTM”. A few weeks later, he did it again. And again in April. And now in June.
Trump’s tweets “introduced us to a crucial facet of Trump’s propaganda: using Nazi and other racist images to signal gratuitously to supporters the superiority of whiteness, encourage threats of violence against dark people, and stoke the cult of a strong leader,” writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat on CNN.
“Trump may be a loose cannon in front of the cameras, but he knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to social media. He knows that the impact of images like these is immediate, and that the originals will continue to circulate, even if he deletes them.”
In fact, The Hill found that Trump had retweeted one user in particular — a writer for a site popular with white supremacists and white nationalists — at least six times since June 2015. Fortune found that he retweeted another “White Genocide” account five times.
This is no accident from the campaign. Data from NY Mag found that “that 62 percent of the accounts Trump has retweeted recently have white-supremacist connections.” According to Fortune, “Trump has retweeted at least 75 users who follow at least three of the top 50 #WhiteGenocide influencers. Moreover, a majority of these retweeted accounts are themselves followed by more than 100 #WhiteGenocide influencers.”
At least four Trump staffers, including spokesperson Katrina Pierson, as well as two official Trump accounts for the states of Nevada and North Carolina, follow “White Genocide” accounts. “Pierson also follows #WhiteGenocide influencer @Trumphat, who has tweeted that he looks forward to seeing people ‘swing from lampposts’ on the #DOTR, which stands for Day of the Rope ― a seminal event in the racist Turner Diaries novels that inspired Timothy McVeigh,” notes Fortune.
It’s no wonder KKK leaders and other white supremacists feel reinvigorated by Trump’s campaign, with former Klan leader David Duke praising Trump’s most recent offensive tweet, saying “Nice to see Mr. Trump slipping some ‘Red Pills’ to the American people!”