September 29, 2016


'Alt-Right' Hears Just Enough Dog Whistles To Stick With Donald Trump (Nathan Guttman, September 29, 2016, The Forward)

During a discussion on racial tensions and violence, Trump pointedly used the term "inner city" neighborhoods, and suggested the need to restore "law and order" by increasing police enforcement. Analysts say those terms were used to reach out to far right-wing whites.

"When these people here politicians talk about 'inner city,' what they hear is people talking about black violence," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center who has been researching "alt-right" activity. "Donald Trump has been dog whistling the extreme right from the beginning."

However, the mention of alleged African-American crime was not enough for some. Marilyn Mayo from the Anti-Defamation League's center on extremism noticed that some "alt-right" activists had said after the debate they had hoped Trump would expand more on the issue and state that "most crimes are committed by black males."

Still, by and large, experts agree that "alt-right" voters could be satisfied with what they heard from Trump.

He steadfastly refused to apologize for spending years promoting the canard that President Obama was not born in the United States, which white supremacists still relentlessly promulgate online.

When prompted by moderator Lester Holt to address the so-called birther issue in the context of racial tensions, Trump flat out refused, seeking to shift the blame to Obama himself.

"I say nothing, he should have produced [the birth certificate] before," he said. Trump went on to accused aides to Clinton for initially questioning Obama's birthplace in 2008 and proudly claimed he was "the one who got [Obama] to produce [his birth certificate]."

The veiled reference to alleged criminal activity of African-Americans, as well as his ambiguous response to the "birther" question, set the right tone for supporters from the extreme right seeking racially loaded references.

"The 'alt-right' still thinks Trump represents their interests and they don't see him trying to distance himself from them," said Mayo. But, according to Potok, these activists understand that as Trump battles to win over centrist voters, they may be the ones paying the price. "People in the extreme right," he said, "believe that he will have to distance himself."

Posted by at September 29, 2016 2:35 PM