The campaign of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president has been littered with racial prejudice and animus from the day he announced his candidacy. What’s remarkably unique about Trump is that conventional politicians, when confronted with allegations of racism, will deny the charges and defend themselves as unbiased. Needless to say, Trump is not conventional, but his tolerance of white supremacists goes way beyond his phony claims to political independence. In fact, he is openly enabling the white supremacist movement.
Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Trump was interviewed by Jake Tapper who asked him about former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s endorsement of his candidacy. Tapper specifically inquired as to whether Trump would “unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?” Trump answered saying that…
“Well just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”
In that short and babbling statement Trump said “I don’t know” or “I know nothing” seven times. That might have been the most honest he’s ever been about himself, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s lying, something he does with pathological zeal (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). First of all, why would you need to know anything about white supremacists, other than that they are white supremacists, in order to say that you condemn them and don’t want their votes? What more does Trump need to know about them to repudiate their bigotry?
More to the point, Trump’s desperately repeated denials contradict his prior statements about David Duke. Way back in August of last year Trump was asked by Bloomberg News reporters about Duke’s endorsement and he responded saying that…
“I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement.”
Well, apparently Trump knew who Duke was after all. At least he knew last August, and he frequently boasts that he has “the best memory in the world.” At that time Trump’s response as to whether he would repudiate the endorsement was “Sure, I would if that would make you feel better.” So his “repudiation” was only an attempt to satisfy what he sarcastically thought the reporters wanted, not a sincere expression of disapproval. And the obvious explanation for that is that he doesn’t disapprove. His whole campaign is proof that he seeks out and embraces the support of avowed bigots.
News Corpse has documented prior statements by Trump that affirm, if not his racist pride, at least his acceptance of the label. On one occasion he pointedly refused to deny that he is “a racist and a neo-fascist.” And then there was the time that he said that he is “not bothered by comparisons to Hitler.” What’s more, Trump’s Twitter feed is jam-packed with racist comments and retweets, including a blatantly obvious hate monger named WhiteGenocideTM. Even today Trump retweeted approvingly a quote by the fascist dictator Mussolini from a Twitter user named IlDuce2016.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
This embrace of of the most repellent brand of hate mongering and the leading proponents of white supremacy is unprecedented in mainstream American politics. The Republican Party ought to take a stand and banish Trump from their ranks. However, that will probably not happen because the GOP has been harboring these racists for decades. They believe that these hate groups are critical to their electoral competitiveness, and they’re right. Trump did not create the affinity between the GOP and the KKK, he is merely saying out loud what they have always stood for.
Update 2/29/16: Trump is now piling lies on top of lies. In an interview today on NBC’s Today Show, Trump tried to blame his failure to disavow Duke on CNN’s “very bad earpiece.” He said…
“I’m sitting in a house in Florida, with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you could hardly hear what he was saying. What I heard was ‘various groups.’”
If you re-read the his response above, he explicitly mentioned David Duke and white supremacists several times. It could not be more clear that he heard every word of the question and responded to it with specificity. At no time in the interview did he appear to have had trouble hearing this or any other question. This excuse is not only brazenly dishonest, it is pathetically lame.