Trump didn’t start the racial fire. He just brought the kerosene, rocket fuel, and s’mores

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Alisdare Hickson / Flickr racist tyrant sign...
Alisdare Hickson / Flickr

The racist and white supremacist bigot boosting we’re seeing from Donald Trump and the GOP isn’t a new thing. Trump did not invent any of this, and he certainly won’t be the last to try and exploit racial issues and racial tensions for his own benefit while denying that he’s doing that—then doing it some more. This is a funeral pyre that has been burning for many decades, even centuries.

Trump didn’t start it: He just brought the extra kerosene and the s’mores. And he doesn’t really give a flying shit who gets burned in the process.

Let’s go back a decade or so and just take a quick peek at the documentary created by Alexandria Pelosi, Right America Feeling Wronged, which was shot while she was embedded with the John McCain campaign starting three months before the election and up Election Night.

The film displayed the anger, the outrage, the racism (including uses of the “N-word” against Obama), even accusations that he was a secret Arab and foreigner secretly in league with al-Qaida were all there before Trump came onto the scene, making the exact same kinds of arguments.

The racist fear and paranoia was clearly already in place.

What Trump did was tap directly into this bigoted bile and build his campaign around it. He has tried to cover this up and wrap it in a cloak of “economic prosperity,” repeatedly claiming that he can’t be “racist” because he, and he alone, has single-handedly brought the Latino and African-American unemployment rates to their lowest point in history.

Part of that is true: Unemployment is at a record low level. But the other part he doesn’t mention is that African-American unemployment is still nearly twice as high as white unemployment. He doesn’t mention that after it reached its worst point of 16 percent during the Great Recession at the beginning of Obama’s presidency, it dropped almost 9 points from 16 to 7.8 percent by 2017 before Trump arrived on the scene. Since then it’s only come down by 1 more point to 6 percent while white unemployment went from 4.3 percent to 3.3 percent after declining 3.6 points under Obama. www.macrotrends.net/…

Unemploymen.jpg
Unemployment by Race for last 10 years

In some states the unemployment rate is still more than 8 percent, which is as high as it was for white people at the worst point of the recession.

  • While the African American unemployment rate is at or below its pre-recession level in 18 states (of the 21 states and the District of Columbia for which these data are available), in 14 states and in the District of Columbia, African American unemployment rates exceed white unemployment rates by a ratio of 2.0-to-1 or higher.
  • The District of Columbia has a black–white unemployment rate ratio of 5.7-to-1, while Alabama and Mississippi have the highest ratios among states (3.0-to-1 and 2.8-to-1, respectively).
  • The highest African American unemployment rate is in the District of Columbia (11.8 percent), followed by Pennsylvania (8.9 percent), Illinois (8.8 percent), Louisiana (8.0 percent), and Mississippi (7.7 percent). The highest Hispanic state unemployment rate is in Washington (7.5 percent), followed by Pennsylvania (7.1 percent), Arizona (6.3 percent), Connecticut (5.8 percent), and Oregon (5.8 percent). Meanwhile, the highest white state unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, in West Virginia.

So Trump’s biggest claim to not being a racist (besides his special “black friends” Kanye West, Ben Carson, and A$ap Rocky) is the fact that unemployment has come down for African-Americans by an enormous one-fifth of the amount that it dropped for Obama, and it still remains almost twice as high as unemployment for whites. It may be at an all-time record low, but it clearly would’ve been lower if it had continued to decline at the same previous rate.

Now we know what we had to lose.

Even Trump’s good news isn’t that great. And then you have his “invasion” rhetoric, which was identically echoed by a mass-murdering terrorist.

The evidence is all there in Crusius’s manifesto, which is a distillation of Trump’s words and ideas, starting with, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Crusius echoes Trump’s rants from last year calling Central American asylum-seekers headed to the U.S. border an “invasion.” Trump has kept up the racist drumbeat for months, particularly on Twitter. And his re-election campaign has paid for more than 2,000 Facebook ads that scream “immigrant invasion.”

In June, Trump called migrants “this onslaught, this invasion” during a high-profile FOX News interview in France on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. He also spoke sinisterly of what Mexico was doing to the United States, “They send in $500 billion worth of drugs, they kill 100,000 people, they ruin a million families every year if you look at that, that’s really an invasion without the guns.”

Crusius, who enlisted as a stormtrooper in the war on immigrants by early July, is no different than Trump apart from lacking his lurid imagination. He boiled downed Trump’s fascistic rhetoric to “all the problems these invaders cause and will cause” which justified his murder spree as “faultless.”

But it’s fair to say Trump and the shooter aren’t alone. Huffington Post has reported that Trump’s “invasion” rhetoric comes from long-standing NRA propaganda.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, President Donald Trump has been widely criticized for spreading hateful anti-immigrant hysteria. The blame is well earned, but Trump is not alone. For years, the National Rifle Association has pushed the false narrative that law-abiding Americans are in danger from an invasion of violent foreigners crossing into the country from Mexico. The only way to protect yourself and your family, the gun lobby warns, is to stock up on weapons and take responsibility for your own safety.

For example, in 2010 Arizona passed a law that required state law enforcement officers to engage in racial profiling and ask for the immigration papers of anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally. When the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the law, arguing it was unconstitutional, the NRA accused the Obama administration of abandoning Arizonans who supposedly lived in fear of violent immigrants.

“While terrorized residents throw their deadbolts, draw their blinds and pray not to have their homes invaded or their kids kidnapped in Arizona, in Washington, D.C., the ruling elite bask in the safety of their 24-hour security and scream with outrage at Arizona’s law — all because they insist upon playing political games with our lives,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive.

Again, this attitude isn’t really new: It’s been with us for decades, as was originally noted by this cartoon from Bowling For Columbine almost 20 years ago.

Again and again, we see this scenario play out. And every time they get called out on it,, they turn the accusation around the other way.

“I’m not racist — you’re the racist!”

Just days ago Trump supporters whined and moaned about being called “racist,” then spouted a ton of racist garbage about Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“I’m sick to death of it,” said Roseanna, a 50-year-old who declined to give her last name. “I have 13 grandchildren — 13. Four of them are biracial, black and white, another two of them are black and white, and another two of them are Singapore and white. You think I’m a racist? I go and I give them kids kisses like nobody’s business.”

And then she went on about Omar …

“I don’t want her stinkin’ Muslim crap in my country,” Roseanna said. “That’s not America,” Roseanna said, who questioned whether Omar had legally entered the U.S. “She is a Muslim through and through — she wants that all here.” “Send her back?” said 72-year-old Robert Morris, chuckling. “But I’d buy her a ticket so she can go on a cruise back. [She is] a very ungrateful person.”

This “racist” accusation is what Bill Maher complains is “political correctness run amok” because it’s just too much to say a person spouting racist shit is spouting racist shit. But the litany of racist incidents just keep piling up:

But yeah, we don’t have a problem with all that these days.

And that list is only from the last couple weeks since FBI director Christopher Wray stated that the majority of terrorist incidents in the U.S. now stem from white supremacists.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday that his agency has so far made roughly 100 terrorism-related arrests so far this fiscal year — and the majority of them are related in some way to the white supremacist movement.

As Washington Post reporter Matt Zapotosky reports, Wray made his remarks about white supremacist terrorists while being questioned by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

[…]

“Needless to say we take domestic terrorism or hate crime, regardless of ideology, extremely seriously,” he said, according to Zapotosky.

The FBI has been reporting that domestic terror and white supremacist incidents are on the rise, while the State Department and Department of Homeland Security have been slashing their efforts to combat the issues.

A CNN report revealed international terror threats have remained constant as ISIS continues to fall in Syria. White supremacists, however, continue to garner prominence as they hold large rallies to promote their causes.

“The FBI wouldn’t provide specific numbers to quantify the increase of in the number of white supremacist domestic terrorism cases,” CNN reported. “Unlike international terrorism investigations, domestic terrorism cases pose thornier issues for the FBI because of First Amendment protections. The US doesn’t have a domestic terrorism law and no government agency designates domestic groups as being terrorist organizations. That means many cases the FBI calls domestic terror-related end up with a variety of charges for violations of laws related to guns or even other state charges.”

Last year, the State Department slashed funding to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which has an open-source tool used to analyze patterns of violence among terrorists in and outside the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security also disbanded its Domestic Terror Intelligence Unit. The unit was comprised of intelligence analysts who tracked domestic terrorists to help prevent acts of terrorism.

The biggest danger we currently face isn’t ISIS. It’s not immigrants, it’s not Muslims, and it’s not Mexicans: It’s murderous white supremacists. And Trump has been shoving that issue onto the back burner.

On Wednesday, CNN reported that White House officials have been resisting attempts by the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize investigation of domestic terror threats for over a year. Last fall’s National Counterterrorism Strategy was overwhelmingly geared toward Islamist terror like ISIS, with white supremacist and antigovernment extremist killings — which are overwhelmingly more common in the United States — were reduced to a footnote, at the direction of Trump officials.

“DHS is surging resources to the [domestic terrorism] issue, but they’re behind the curve because of lack of support from the White House,” said one Trump administration official. “There’s some legislative and appropriations work happening, but the reality is there won’t be a FY20 budget for the department so they will have to make do.”

This is called “giving aid and comfort” to the enemy—exactly that. It’s making the cops stand down while the bad guys are free to play.

As the Anti Defamation League points out, documented white supremacists completely agree with the sentiments of the El Paso terrorist (and Trump).

In the days following the El Paso, Texas, shooting massacre that left at least 22 dead, white supremacists and other anti-Semitic extremists reacted to the murders and the killer’s manifesto with a mixture of praise and criticism.

Kevin MacDonald, a longtime white supremacist author and psychologist, tweeted that he agreed with the shooter’s assessment of the political dynamics in the country, and shared his concern about the “great replacement,” a white supremacist conspiracy theory about white populations being actively “replaced” by non-white immigrants.  “…Yes there is a Great Replacement and White people will suffer for it in the future,” MacDonald wrote

MacDonald El PasoFormer KKK Grand Wizard David Duke warned on Twitter that those who oppose immigration would do well to not commit mass murders because doing so “only helps the forces who hate us and empowers those who want the ethnic destruction of our people.”

Milo Yiannopoulos claimed on Telegram that racism is one of the last reasons for mass shootings in America. He ranked “young boys being elbowed out of society by feminism” and “young boys being drugged” as the two most likely root causes.

But then Tucker Carlson says that “white supremacy is a hoax, just like Russia.”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=QW-T1

Carlson, who regularly spouts the same anti-immigrant “invasion” rhetoric the El Paso shooter is believed to have espoused in a racist manifesto, hit back against those who say President Trump’s rhetoric on immigration may have emboldened the suspected shooter. The Fox News star claimed it is “just a lie” to say Trump ever “endorsed white supremacy or came close to endorsing white supremacy.”

Crediting the president for condemning white supremacy while addressing the recent mass shootings, Carlson not only blasted critics of the president but took it a step further and dismissed the issue of white supremacy altogether, saying “the whole thing is a lie.”

“If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns, problems this country has, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia probably. It’s actually not a real problem in America.”

After asserting that one could fit all the white supremacists in America within a football stadium, the Fox News primetime star—who has repeatedly claimed racism is essentially a non-existent problem— then mocked the idea of white supremacy being an issue in this country.

“It’s a hoax,” he declared.  “Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.”

This really shouldn’t be a surprise, because white supremacists specifically watch Tucker for the latest white supremacist talking points.

The godson of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke explained on CNN Saturday why white supremacists love to watch Fox News personality Tucker Carlson.

[…]

“It’s really, really alarming that my family watches Tucker Carlson show once and then watches it on the replay because they feel that he is making the white nationalist talking points better than they have and they’re trying to get some tips on how to advance it,” he explained.

Again, this wasn’t the first time Tucker brought this crap up. He said essentially the same thing last September:

Carlson stated “White supremacy is not ubiquitous in America, it’s not a crisis. It’s not even a meaningful category. It is incredibly rare,” he declared, claiming that the country that legalized slavery and had Jim Crow laws in many states until 1964 is “a generous, tolerant country” and has “always has been that.”

“People who tell you otherwise are either delusional or trying to control you with fear, likely both,” he concluded.

Let’s just imagine the thought experiment that Tucker recently presented: “Are there enough white supremacists in the nation to fill a college football stadium?” Well, that depends on your definition of “white supremacist.” If you want to include all those that essentially agree with the “Great Replacement” and feel that Latinos are coming to “take their jobs” and “bring crime,” then it seems that Trump fills every arena he goes to with those people at every one of his rallies.

If you want to talk about the people who’ve actually gone out and bought a pair of khakis with a polo shirt that has a Proud Boys logo, or members of Identity Evropa, the neo-Confederate League of the South, skinheads, or wear their own KKK robes and hoods, then they might not completely fill a college football stadium. But if you add all the other people who are online with 4chan, 8chan, Gab, members of the racist Border Patrol Facebook page, are certain members of the State Department, and other powerful randos like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, or current members of Congress, then you’re gonna need several stadiums.

By comparison there were never really much more than about 20,000 active members of al-Qaida and ISIS in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan—and just look how much trouble they caused. Just imagine guys that are frankly as deranged and dangerous as white supremacists, who have for decades been trying to start a war with the U.S. government in order to “purge the nation of all the mud people,” as is outlined in The Turner Diaries.

Today has been the Day of the Rope — a grim and bloody day, but an unavoidable one. Tonight, from tens of thousands of lampposts, power poles, and trees throughout this vast metropolitan area the grisly forms hang. Even the street signs at intersections have been pressed into service, and at practically every street corner I passed this evening on my way to HQ there was a dangling corpse, four at every intersection. Hanging from a single overpass only about a mile from here is a group of about 30, each with an identical placard around its neck bearing the printed legend, “I betrayed my race.”

Two or three of that group had been decked out in academic robes before they were strung up, and the whole batch are apparently faculty members from the nearby UCLA campus. …The first thing I saw in the moonlight was the placard with its legend in large, block letters: “I defiled my race.” Above the placard leered the horribly bloated, purplish face of a young woman, her eyes wide open and bulging, her mouth agape.

This book has been used to incite hundreds of murders, including the killing of radio host Alan Berg by a group that called themselves “The Order”after a similar group in the book. Timothy McVeigh destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City 1994 using a method outlined in the book to destroy FBI headquarters.

Dylann Storm Roof, with his terrorist attack on Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, was trying to start a revolution just like McVeigh. So it’s not out of line to consider what a dozen of these guys could do if they got real serious, when you know what 19 members of al-Qaida managed to do with a bunch of box cutters on four airplanes. But their boosters and enablers like Trump and his ilk will never admit it.

Denialism is their favorite strategy, even though the dog whistles are turning into bullhorns.

“I can’t be racist, I didn’t mention ‘color!’ I didn’t say the magic n-word. I just said ‘crime-infested’ and complained about an ‘invasion’ of illegals. What’s wrong with that?”

It keeps everyone pointing fingers at each other and prevents any real progress from being made. The White House has been using this denialism, twisting themselves into knots as tight as an Afghan rug to block and deny that inherent racism in Trump’s statements that lead to shouting matches on Fox News.

“Listen,” Tarlov said, “a birther means you are a racist. Telling women of color who are congressional representatives to go back to where they came from, when three of them are Americans from birth, one a refugee who is not a citizen, is racist. Thinking the Central Park Five is guilty even though they have been exonerated, is racist.”

Tarlov pointed out that many Trump-backing districts were more deeply mired in poverty than Baltimore, which the president has attacked using racist language, and Faulkner scolded her for name-calling.

“You would agree people can say something and not actually have the name calling,” Faulkner said. “You didn’t like it when (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and a staff member did it for Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi. It’s a loaded word.”

Tarlov went off.

“You think Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump are in the same conversation when it comes to that?” she said. “I have sat on this couch and been badgered and pushed to say that Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite, or that she said anti-Semitic things, or AOC or Rashida Tlaib. People need to be honest about what he is doing.”

Faulkner asked if name-calling helped, and said the current political climate reminded her of the situation after unspecified riots in the past.

“Why talk about (Baltimore) as a place that no human would want to live?” Tarlov said. “He doesn’t talk about white districts like that.”

And there are others at Fox News who have previously said that their co-workers sound like a white supremacist chat room when they talk to each other.

A reporter at Fox News issued a scathing rebuke to two of his colleagues for supposedly sounding “like a white supremacist chat room” in leaked emails obtained byThe Daily Beast.

According to the publication, the Fox reporter chastised his colleagues for trying to defend President Donald Trump’s infamous statement that there were some “very fine people” who attended a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

In particular, the two Fox employees said that Trump was right to claim that not everyone at the march was a white supremacist because one of them, a marcher named Jarrod Kuhn, claimed he was only there to protest the removal of a monument dedicated to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

However, The Daily Beast reports that Fox News Radio White House correspondent Jon Decker then stepped in to shoot down his colleagues’ false claims.

“I really don’t understand the point you are making,” he said. “Jarrod Kuhn was one of those individuals in Charlottesville holding a tiki torch while the mob chanted ‘Jews will not replace us.’”

So it appears that even one of the so-called “very fine people” that these Fox Newsers were trying to highlight as not being one of the neo-Nazis … was actually one of the neo-Nazis. The denial is never-ending.

Just last week, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace pressed White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Trump’s racist tweet:

“There’s a clear pattern here Mick. ‘Infested, It sounds like vermin. It sounds subhuman and these are all six members of congress who are people of color.” “I think you’re spending way too much time reading between the lines,” Mulvaney said. “I’m not reading between the lines, I’m reading the lines,” Wallace shot back. Then Mulvaney goes on to proclaim Trump’s tweets “seem Racist, but that doesn’t mean that they *are* Racist.” 

Yeah, that’s exactly what it means. It. Is. Racism. But from Mulvaney, we only get more denial.

Trump supporters have been blasting the Dayton shooter as being a “leftie” because he had liked posts supporting Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway got hopping mad that they aren’t calling Warren’s rhetoric “hateful” for inciting violence.

Uh, because her rhetoric seriously isn’t inciting anything, and she didn’t?

After former President Obama released a statement criticizing “leaders who promote hate,” for some reason, Turmp took that personally and whined about it. Then he promoted a conspiracy theory from Fox and Fools about a Google employee who claims he was singled out for his “conservative views” but really, he’s yet another fracking white supremacist asshole.

According to media reports, Cernekee has been linked to white nationalist groups and sought to raise funds for supremacist activist Richard Spencer, and was fired because he violated company policies including using a personal device to download internal Google documents.

This is the kind of guy that Trump decides to personally go out of his way to defend and protect: a supporter of Richard Fracking Spencer? He does know how to pick ‘em.

After that, White House deputy spokes-shill Hogan Gidley said that Obama’s condemnation of racism “took us to a dark place.”

“For him to interject himself into this conversation, this debate, at this point, it’s his right to do it,” Gidley said. “But the fact is Donald Trump is the president of all Americans. He’s trying to move this country forward, and comments like that take us backwards and take us to a dark place that we never want to be and we never want to visit.”

I think we were already there, pal—ever since Jan. 20, 2017.

Besides “video games” and “prayer in school,” others GOPers have tried to blame the Dayton shooting on “same sex marriage” and “drag queen advocates,” even though that terrorist apparently used to have a “rape list” and a “kill list” in high school and specifically responded positively to the El Paso attack from the previous day.

Don Jr. jumped into the fray by comparing Joaquin Castro’s totally public list of San Antonio Trump donors to the Dayton shooter’s “kill list.”

“That list screams like the Dayton, Ohio, shooter’s list, right?” Trump Jr. said.

You are expecting what, Donnie: Antifa to go after these companies with a stick and some salty language? Seriously, dude.

Trump himself has handled this entire situation with his usual style. He mocked El Paso’s former Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s “phony nickname” before heading to visit El Paso and told him to “Be Quiet.” (Stay classy, shithead.) Trump liked the original New York Times headline about his El Paso response (even though it was a lie). Then he proved that his previous call for “unity” was a lie by attacking Warren and Sanders over the Toledo Dayton shooter. [Exactly when did they have a “Shoot your sister!” chant at their rallies?] He claimed that his rhetoric “brings people together.” [Yes, it brings mass-murdering white supremacist people together.] Then he ranted about illegal immigrants after a reporter challenged him on the fact that his “invasion” terminology was the same as the El Paso terrorist’s (not to mention Trump’s 2,000 Facebook ads that mention an “invasion” and all the related tweets” that he didn’t delete). He says that his visiting El Paso was a great chance to congratulate “some police and law enforcement.” [What kind of law enforcement isn’t police? Most of them, from CBP to FBI, have “POLICE” plastered all over their tac gear.]

He’s not stopping with this shit, and it’s only going to get worse.

Interestingly Drumpf and his sycophants didn’t pay much mention to the previous shooter in Gilroy, California, who retweeted links to a fascist white supremacist book and railed against mixed-raced Latinos. Also note: Trump didn’t bother to visit Gilroy.

“The book, which is repeatedly recommended alongside works by Hitler and other fascists on forums like 8chan, is full of anti-Semitic, sexist and white supremacist ideology. The book glorifies ‘Aryan’ men, condemns inter-marriage between races and defends violence based on bogus eugenicist tropes.”

The suspected shooter is also believed to have shot to death a 13-year old girl, and a man in his 20’s.

“Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw**s?” the suspect wrote in his Instagram post.

The book, which NCRM also will not name, was “published in the late 1800s” and “has been described as a white supremacist text that promotes anarchy, vilifies Christianity and calls Jesus the ‘true Prince of Evil.’ The natural order, according to the book, is a world at war in which the strong must vanquish the weak, and white men must rule over those of color.”

All of this leaves us spinning around the same merry-go-round we’ve been getting dizzy on for the last decade or more.

“You’re racist!” ‘No I’m not. YOU’RE racist!”

And on and on and on. There is an agenda at work here. There is a plan, a strategy that goes all the way back to Nixon and the GOP deciding to embrace “Negrophobe whites” in order to take over the South. 

“All the talk about Republicans making inroads into the Negro vote is persiflage. Even ‘Jake the Snake’ [Senator Jacob K. Javitsj only gets 20 per cent. From now on, the Re publicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 per cent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that . . . but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and be come Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

Stoking white fear, stoking white resentment, and getting out the angry white vote: That plan has been working for people like Trump so far. But I suspect we’re beginning to finally see through it. I think we just might be getting hip to this grifter game of fake grievance and false umbrage.

This shit is getting people killed. This isn’t about name-calling or finger-pointing. This isn’t a game, and this isn’t a convenient political football to be tossed back and forth. People are realizing that lives are on the line, and they aren’t willing to put up with it for much longer.

The pointy white hat has been pulled off, and we can see these murdering bigots and their excuse brigade for exactly what and who they are—despite their endless, bogus denials.

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