August 23, 2018


Trump speechwriter's ouster sparks racially charged debate: The Claremont Institute shuttered an email list after an exchange over white nationalism blew up. (ELIANA JOHNSON, 08/23/2018, Politico)

It took just 80 minutes after racially incendiary emails started flying for the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank, to shut down an email Listserv connecting hundreds of high-profile conservatives.

The emails that sparked the controversy began ricocheting midday Tuesday, in response to a plea from Darren Beattie, a recently fired speechwriter for President Donald Trump, for "those on this list with media influence" to come to his defense. The White House over the weekend dismissed Beattie after CNN revealed that he had spoken at a conference alongside a racial provocateur.

Charles Johnson, an alt-right provocateur and Trump loyalist, was first to respond.

"Beattie's offense is that he spoke at an event where -- gasp! -- there were white nationalists afoot!" Johnson wrote the group. "Heaven forbid that some thinkers -- like the American founders who favored our country be majority white -- think that the U.S. of A should stay majority white! Perish the thought. Can't have that."

A little more than an hour later, as senior administration officials and white-shoe lawyers asked to be removed from the list, the Claremont Institute had scuttled it entirely. [...]

Johnson has been affiliated with the Claremont Institute since his undergraduate years at Claremont McKenna College, from which he graduated in 2010. He is the author of a biography of Calvin Coolidge, published in 2013, for which a Claremont Institute senior fellow and Johnson's undergraduate mentor, Charles Kesler, wrote the foreword. Since then, he has entertained and espoused a number of controversial racial views and increasingly associated himself with white nationalists, who he says helped Trump win the election.

His statements caused alarm within the Claremont Institute community, according to one of its members, and several of the organization's scholars criticized him and counseled him, in private conversations, to cease his affiliation with and promotion of fringe groups. Those concerns reached an apex in 2015 when Johnson appeared on the neo-Nazi podcast "Fash the People" remarking on the "neurotic" tendencies of the Jewish people and warning that they "should be on tap but really never on top of a lot of decision making." Ultimately, though, the organization, never officially disavowed him. these guys keep cropping up in Donald's Twitter feed, on his staff, among his defenders.... It's almost as if being a Nativist, Anti-Semite, racist, Islamophobe attracts them.

'This is a white supremacist talking point.' Anti-racism groups blast Trump's 'white farmers' tweet (Matt Pearce, AUG 23, 2018, LA Times)
President Trump embraced a longtime white-nationalist talking point when he tweeted about alleged "large scale killing" of white farmers in South Africa, drawing praise Thursday from white nationalists and protests from anti-racism groups in the U.S.

"I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers," Trump tweeted Wednesday night. Appearing to quote a Tucker Carlson segment on Fox News, Trump wrote the "South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers."

South Africa's government immediately protested Trump's remark, writing on Twitter that "South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past."

Trump's tweet drew applause from white nationalists in the U.S., who have strongly supported his presidency due to his tough stances on immigration and his past reluctance to denounce far-right figures.

"Thank you!" tweeted David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, later adding an image that said, "Stop White Genocide," with the hashtag #SouthAfrica. Duke has strongly praised Trump in the past, including after last year's violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., when Trump struggled to criticize white nationalists who clashed with anti-racism protesters.

Trump's White-Nationalist Pipeline: The most enduring scandal in and around the White House might not be corruption, but rather the administration's constant embrace of bigotry from white-supremacist and far-right groups. (VANN R. NEWKIRK II, 8/23/18, The Atlantic)

Trump is easily impressed by lies and falsehoods that appear to support the agenda of his mostly white base, and the backlash that he has received for repeatedly spreading misinformation from hucksters, hoaxers, and hate groups hasn't seemed to phase him. In November 2017, just a few months after his lukewarm and controversial criticism of Klansmen and Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, he received an official rebuke from British Prime Minister Theresa May after retweeting videos from the far-right group Britain First purporting to show crimes committed by Muslim immigrants. He's repeatedly shared tweets from garden-variety racists and bigots, and he once retweeted an actual Twitter account with the name "White Genocide." Each time, the president has either done nothing or deleted the tweet with little explanation and no apology, and he's rarely been pressed about it.

Of course, Trump is only the star player in a White House and an administration that have become a clearinghouse for all sorts of hate-group propaganda. Even an abridged list of the dyed-in-the-wool white-supremacist, white-nationalist, and hate groups that have been amplified recently by Trump associates would require a table of contents. Just this week, The Washington Post reported that Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow had hosted Peter Brimelow, a white-nationalist publisher of the racist website VDare, at his birthday party. Among other extreme positions, Brimelow expressed last year his belief that Latino people are more "prone" to committing rape than people of other ethnicities.

Earlier this week, Media Matters reported that, on his campaign website for the 2018 governor's race, Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and the former leader of Trump's ill-fated voter-fraud commission, cited a fake statistic about crime committed by immigrants. The stat was dreamed up by the white nationalist Peter Gemma, who has an avowed mission to prevent "race-mixing." In June, the Trump-friendly Iowa congressman Steve King--who's openly expressed his belief in the superiority of white culture and society--retweeted an anti-immigration message from a British Nazi sympathizer, and hasn't deleted the tweet.

Carlson has himself often dipped into the pools of white-supremacist content. On his show, he's recommended the social-media app Gab, which is often described as a white-nationalist haven. Last December--ironically, in a tweet thread attempting to lampoon progressives for calling out racism too often--Carlson tweeted a link to Red Ice TV, a white-nationalist blog.

Posted by at August 23, 2018 5:04 PM