Since the results of the United States Presidential Election, The South Poverty Law Center has been keeping track of the increase in suspected hate and racial crimes. President Elect Trump was confronted about this on “60 Minutes” and looked at the camera and said “Stop It”. This was hardly a denouncement and inspired me to make this meme…
Given this opportunity he should have taken a stronger stance. Mr. Trump had a second opportunity when confronted about another act. The National Policy Institute held a conference. The president of this organization said “Hail Trump, Hail Our People, Hail Our Victory”. For people who have not seen the video the group was also making the the Nazi gesture of hailing Hitler.
In response to this Mr. Trump took a slightly stronger stance. In that he “I do not want to energize the group and I condemn these groups”. This is a start but I think he falls short. The New Times recently published a list of everyone that Trump has called out via his twitter account. Take a look at that exhaustive list of people who he has called out by name. In the last several weeks he has also mentioned Alec Baldwin and the cast of The Musical Hamilton.
It begs the question, why did he not call out Richard Spence of the National Policy Institute? It calls into question how strongly he feels about the racial narrative in this country. If someone was leading a Nazi chant under your name, why would you not call them out? He has made direct prejudicial statements about Mexicans, Muslims, and Syrians. This seems to have increased this feeling of White Nationalism.
He has unintendedly energized these groups and I think he understands that. Rather than rolling back on this directly he has danced around the topic. My speculation is that he does not want to alienate or look like he has “softened” his stance on what he will do to immigrants in this country. He fears losing this support. This fear is costing him something else. Trust in his statement that he is ready to unify this country
He has put himself in a position where race has become part of his platform and policy. He started going down this slippery slope at the beginning of this campaign when he called Mexican’s rapists and has kept going suggesting that a “Muslim registry is not out the question”. His hiring of Steve Bannon, a known racist, as Chief Adviser raises further questions.
Mr. Trump and his supporters maintain he is not a racist. He may not be but his policy statements and public actions reflect this. There is a disconnect between his alleged personal views and his policies/actions about race. He had an opportunity to close this gap but continues to fail. If he is indeed not a racist, Mr. Trump should take a more personal stance on hate in his name. To work with the Southern Poverty Law Center and work towards unity. He is good at making things personal via Twitter, I urge him to do the same about racism and hate crimes. I would like to think that our President Elect is not a racist, but I would also like to think that he could do a lot more about hate under his name.