I spoke this morning with BBC Radio Ulster about Donald Trump’s failure — possibly a refusal — to condemn white supremacists for violence on Saturday in a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
With Trump instead putting out a false equivalence by blaming “all sides”, I discussed the reasons why the President might be avoiding any criticism of the racist behavior and symbols — including Nazi-style salutes — and what the political fallout might be. I also noted the wider issues around race and culture preceding Trump’s candidacy and inauguration, and the need for dialogue and a “repair” of America after he has left — or been forced from — office.
What has happened since Trump was inaugurated, and indeed as he ran as a candidate, is that white supremacists have felt a surge in their representation. They feel that Trump shares some of their views in that other races, other ethnicities have taken advantage of the US, that “America First” means “White First”….
Trump’s language may not say directly “I support White Supremacy”, but some of his advisors are so-called “white nationalists”. We know that Trump’s policies, such as the Muslim Ban and his harsh language towards immigrants, resonate with those who advocate white supremacy.