Aug 26, 2016 2:44 AM GMT
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/08/18/complete-history-donald-trumps-relationship-white-nationalist-movement/212502Donald Trump's presidential campaign has engaged in a disturbing courtship with the racist white nationalist movement that is unprecedented in recent American political history. That effort has taken on new life with Trump's hiring of Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon.
Bannon oversaw Breitbart News’ attempts to normalize and embrace the white nationalist movement. As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted, Breitbart "has undergone a noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas."
White nationalist themes have been at the center of Trump's campaign since its inception. He began his campaign by smearing Mexican immigrants as violent criminals and rapists and later called for a ban on Muslim immigration, moves which endeared him to his growing white nationalist support. When Trump attacked the Mexican heritage of an American-born judge and smeared the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier, his white nationalist fans cheered. Trump also initially refused to condemn the support of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
White nationalists haven't only praised Trump from afar: They've rubbed elbows with the campaign. Trump himself has repeatedly retweeted white supremacist messages and accounts, such as “WhiteGenocideTM.” Trump surrogates have directly courted white nationalists by giving interviews to white nationalist media outlets. A “pro-white” radio host received press credentials to cover a Trump rally and the Republican National Convention. And Trump selected the leader of a white nationalist political party to be a convention delegate (he resigned following media exposure).
White nationalists have used Trump's tacit and direct support to breathe new life into their movement. The movement’s leaders have said they have seen "unprecedented interest" in their activities and message. They have used Trump to fundraise and build up their organizations. And white nationalist leaders say they and their ideas are now "firmly in the mainstream" thanks to Trump.
The following is a history of the Trump campaign’s disturbing relationship with the white nationalist movement....