Donald Trump has been spewing racism and xenophobia since the day he announced his campaign for President back in June. He started with attacks on Mexicans and has been expanding his attacks to include immigrants and Muslims, among others. Trump’s messages aren’t lost on racists and white supremacists who are feeling emboldened by his rhetoric. The Washington Post examines the excitement the GOP frontrunner has generated among white nationalists, including the Ku Klux Klan. He’s energized them:
Rachel Pendergraft — the national organizer for the Knights Party, a standard-bearer for the Ku Klux Klan — told The Washington Post that the KKK, for one, has a new conversation starter at its disposal.
You might call it a “Trump card.”
Jared Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance, a white-nationalist magazine and website based in Northern Virginia, told the New Yorker that Trump may be in denial about the makeup of his base.
“I’m sure he would repudiate any association with people like me,” Taylor told the magazine, “but his support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”
During Trump’s meteoric rise to the top of the Republican field, white supremacist groups have enthusiastically embraced him.
Experts who follow the extremists notice how Trump has given rise to the extremists:
But accuracy and basis in reality aren’t what matter to some of Trump’s supporters, [Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark] Potok said.
“What his statements do is open up a political space for people that have these radical feelings and he gives them permission to speak out, loudly and proudly,” he said. “Accuracy is beside the point.”
Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said it’s difficult to verify white supremacist claims that Trump is drawing new members into their ranks because their ranks are closely held secrets.
What is verifiable, she said, is the surge in postings on websites such as Stormfront each time Trump makes a controversial statement.
Donald Trump hasn’t been subtle – and his message is being heard loud and clear by white supremacists. And, he’s currently the GOP’s frontrunner. It’s also being heard loud and clear by immigrants, Latino voters and those who actually have a much different vision for America.