Media Matters reporting has forced Donald Trump surrogates to drop a white supremacist sponsor from an upcoming pro-Trump rally set to happen during the GOP convention in Cleveland next week:
Media Matters reported this week that a “unity rally” featuring several Trump surrogates scheduled to be held in Cleveland on July 18 was being co-sponsored by Eternal Sentry, a self-described “altright” website that has repeatedly warned about “White Genocide” and posted other racist and anti-Semitic material.
Paul Chambers, who produces the Eternal Sentry website and was also listed as the “Content Creation Team Director” for rally co-host Citizens for Trump, has also posted racist material arguing that whites need to “fight back” against African-Americans and “send them back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire.”
Citizens for Trump’s Tim Selaty told Cleveland.com he was not aware of Chambers’ “harmful” views and that his group had failed to do its “due diligence.” According to Selaty, Chambers “decided to drop his sponsorship and resign his volunteer position on our staff.”
In May, an image including the phrase “Diversity is just their code word for White Genocide” was published on Eternal Sentry’s Facebook page.
This is far from the first time the Trump campaign and Trump surrogates have colluded with right-wing extremists like white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Earlier this month, the Trump campaign 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.” While the campaign deleted and sloppily replaced the tweet, Trump later defended the anti-Semitic meme, saying he would have kept it up.
Back in May, the Trump campaign also nominated as a California delegate a white supremacist who “once called for a constitutional amendment which would revoke citizenship from all non-white Americans”. The campaign later dropped him and blamed his selection on a “database error.” Right.
It’s no surprise then that a who’s-who of extremists are flocking to the GOP convention in support of their chosen candidate, with KKK leaders even saying they have felt newly-reinvigorated with Trump’s rise in the GOP.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, among the groups trekking to Cleveland are violent white supremacists who have pledged to “defend Donald Trump supporters from leftist thugs,” as well as an official Trump delegate who has called for assassinating United States government leaders:
Traditionalist Worker Party (Matthew Heimbach and Matt Parrott): The Traditionalist Worker Party is an anti-Semitic, white supremacist (they say “white nationalist”) group focused on attracting young people to their cause. TWP was one of the white supremacist groups involved in the violent standoff with counter-protesters in late June in Sacramento, California, which left ten people injured. Heimbach and Parrott have filed permits to march in Cleveland — accompanied by a contingent of TWP members — to “defend Donald Trump supporters from the leftist thugs.” In March, Heimbach was caught on camera shoving an African American protester at a Trump rally in Kentucky.
Blood and Honour USA: This racist skinhead group is the American chapter of a loose international confederation of hardcore racist skinheads. Some members of Blood and Honour USA have in the past committed violent acts. One of the group’s leaders announced on social media that he and a number of other members would be in Cleveland supporting Trump and wearing t-shirts bearing the Totenkopf (death’s head) – a symbol used by the SS in World War II
American Freedom Party: This white supremacist group is headed by attorney William Johnson. Johnson made headlines in the spring of 2016 with his “robocalls” to voters in crucial primary states, entreating people to “defend the white race” by voting for Trump, and again in May when it was revealed that he was on the list of Trump delegates for California. Blaming a “database error,” the Trump campaign removed Johnson from its list, but AFP responded with this gleeful Facebook message: “…here’s what they don’t know: we have more delegates!”
David Riden (Trump delegate from Tennessee): Member of the anti-government Patriot Movement. Riden has said he believes members of the current U.S. government deserve to be killed for “abusing the Constitution.”
Jim Stachowiak: Member of the anti-government Patriot Movement. This right-wing, rabidly anti-Muslim extremist from Georgia will be in Cleveland to support Donald Trump, and has called upon “all military veterans, law enforcement veterans, followed by three-percenters, patriots,” to “come lawfully armed with lethal and non-lethal weaponry,” has advocated for Mecca to be bombed, and has made not particularly veiled threats against Black Lives Matter activists, whom he refers to as “terrorists.” Stachowiak, a former university public safety officer turned militia fan boy and online radio host, has been arrested several times.
A recent report has indicated that the convention is taking an even more dangerous turn as the Franklin County Sheriff says he will not send his deputies to the event out of security concerns:
Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott says he has rescinded his offer to send more than 30 deputies to Cleveland to assist with security during the Republican National Convention.
Scott says city officials did not adequately address his concerns over insurance coverage for deputies who may be facing violence during the convention.
Cleveland officials have declined comment. Police officials in Greensboro, North Carolina recently decided not to send officers to the convention. Cincinnati police also declined Cleveland’s request for officers. Columbus police will send officers to the city, but officials are not saying how many.
Donald Trump not only has a history of failing to condemn violence at his rallies, he has a history of encouraging it too. Republican leaders in Congress have so far failed to stand up to him, but if there was ever a time for them to speak up to calm an approaching storm, this would be it.