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Donald Trump “has reenergized white supremacist groups and drawn them into mainstream American politics like nothing seen in decades,” writes the Los Angeles Times in a new profile today.
“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.”
Trump’s racist campaign has even emboldened one of the most despicable figures from American white supremacy — the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke — to attempt to run for office for the first time since 1999.
“The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning,” Duke told the LA Times. “I am winning.”
Duke might be one of the most high-profile white supremacists to endorse Trump, but he’s certainly not the only one.
In fact, white supremacists and members of the “Alt-Right” movement are flocking to join Trump’s campaign, with the Republican nominee inspiring some to join a major-party Presidential campaign for the very first time.
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.
Members are showing up at his rallies, knocking on doors to get out the vote and organizing debate-watching parties.
White supremacists are active on social media and their websites report a sharp rise in traffic and visitors, particularly when posting stories and chat forums about the New York businessman.
Stormfront, already one of the oldest and largest white nationalist websites, reported a 600% increase in readership since President Obama’s election, and now has more than one in five threads devoted to Trump. It reportedly had to upgrade its servers recently due to the increased traffic.
“Before Trump, our identity ideas, national ideas, they had no place to go,” said Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank based in Arlington, Va.
Not since Southern segregationist George Wallace’s failed presidential bids in 1968 and 1972 have white nationalists been so motivated to participate in a presidential election.
Andrew Anglin, editor of the Daily Stormer website and an emerging leader of a new generation of millennial extremists, said he had “zero interest” in the 2012 general election and viewed presidential politics as “pointless.” That is, until he heard Trump.
“Trump had me at ‘build a wall,’” Anglin said. “Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign.”