As Donald Trump dives deeper into the abyss of fascism, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups around the country are seeing a startling uptick in support. The neo-Nazi website Stormfront has had to upgrade their website servers due to increased traffic; founder Don Black applauded him for “creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point. He has sparked an insurgency and I don’t think it’s going to go away.”
William Daniel Johnson, chairman of the unabashed white supremacy group the American Freedom Party crowed that “Donald Trump is the real deal. This is a unique phenomenon in modern politics. It is a throwback to a previous era. Virtually all pro-white nationalists are at least somewhat supportive of Donald Trump and most are even enthusiastic. 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 espouses is the closest thing to white nationalism that we have seen since the jingoistic era of Theodore Roosevelt.”
By concerns of “European Americans,” of course, he means white Christianity. It’s easy to see why Trump is so popular among these groups – because he’s succeeded in doing what they’ve failed to achieve for years. He’s introduced xenophobic racism and ultranationalism back into the popular discourse without being hindered by association with domestic terror groups like the Ku Klux Klan and has the media coverage to extend their message to millions of Americans. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center warns that because of this, hate crimes will rise and white supremacists will gain traction: “When well-known public figures make these kind 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.”
It’s clear that the phenomenon of Trump and the resurgence of “white nationalism,” the abrupt right-ward skid of the Republican Party and the polarization of American politics is the last dying grasp of an old order; the last grasp of terrified bigots who hear the death knell of the overwhelming social dominance of white Christian males. Their inability to adapt to the new cosmopolitan America, a multi-cultured, multi-ethnic, and multi-gendered society had consigned them to the fringes of national discourse – until Trump came along. Our unity and diversity, tolerance and love are our strongest weapons in the face of such reprehensible hatred and bigotry, and we cannot allow this abrasive buffoon to tear our nation apart.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.