Here’s your frightening news of the day: White nationalists have experienced a noticeable boom ever since Donald Trump started running for president.
The Louisiana Congressman and former KKK grand wizard David Duke praised Trump’s presidential bid back in August. Rep. Duke says now that Trump’s candidacy has taken the stigma away from the white nationalist movement, bringing white supremacists out of the shadows. Duke says:
He’s made it ok to talk about these incredible concerns of European Americans today, because I think European Americans know they are the only group that can’t defend their own essential interests and their point of view. He’s meant a lot for the human rights of European Americans.
The owners of Stormfront, a popular White Supremacist website reported having to upgrade their web servers to handle the increased traffic to their website in recent months. Noting that the site experiences huge spikes in web traffic when Trump makes the news for ugly comments about Muslims, refugees and immigrants.
Stormfront founder Don Black told Politico:
Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that. He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point.
Black says that what Trump has brought to the surface of our society will have long-lasting effects. It used to be a major faux pas for a Republican to single out minorities and say awful things about their people as a whole, but with Trump’s campaign, all that has changed.
The KKK finds Trump’s candidacy has made it easier to court new recruits to the movement.
Ben Schreckinger from Politico writes:
Trump does not belong to or endorse white supremacist groups. He has said that he does not need or want Duke’s endorsement and his campaign has fired two staffers over racist posts on social media. A man displaying a Confederate flag was ejected from a Trump rally in Virginia earlier this month.
The fact remains that white nationalists adore Trump, and really, really want him to become the next president. It doesn’t matter if Trump himself isn’t a racist, though that’s debatable given his campaigns focus on destroying the rights of minority groups, it’s that his message is appreciated and admired by racists in this country. And that’s a scary thought that Trump could inspire an entire tidal wave of hatred just within the first few months of running for president — imagine if he gets the nomination.
Other white nationalists are skeptical. They believe Trump is saying these things to get elected, but his plans are too unrealistic to carry out successfully — that’s not to say they don’t want all the immigrants deported and the Muslims kept out of the country, they just don’t think it’s possible.
A spokesperson for the SPLC, Mark Potok, says that crimes against Muslims and Latinos are expected to increase, saying:
When well-known public figures make these kinds of statements in the public square, they are taken as a permission-giving by criminal elements who go out and act on their words. Is it energizing the groups? Yeah. They’re thrilled.
Not good, America. Even if Trump doesn’t win the primary, or the general election, his words will have lasting effects for possibly years to come. If hell freezes over and Trump is elected President, then racists will have their man in office and race relations will heat up even further. Yikes.
Featured Image via Flickr/Ninian Reed