After becoming the new US President, one of the first key appointments Donald Trump made to his administration was that of Stephen Bannon, a well known advocate of white supremacy and misogyny and an proponent of the American ‘Alt-Right’, among other things.
It is a portal for ‘white nationalists’ off all shades including White Supremacists, White Separatists, Anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis, Ultra-Conservative Confederates, and of course, xenophobes, homophobes and misogynists. Bannon was once referred to as the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement.”
Leni Riefenstahl was a German, Nazi-propagandist filmmaker, and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favourites.
As news of the announcement reached different political quarters, it drew flak, especially from the liberals, with some critics calling the appointment of Bannon as the ‘voice of racism’.
How substantiated are these claims? Let’s look at some incidents from the week following Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the race for presidency.
- Klu Klux Klan, a known extremist, white supremacist outfit, allegedly announced a parade in North Carolina to celebrate the election of Trump as President. It is to be held on December 3, though the time and date have not yet been divulged.
- The Canadian immigration website crashed on Election Night after Trump’s victory due to excessive traffic. Almost 100,000 visits were from american IP addresses.
- According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 400 cases of hate crimes (read racial crimes) were recorded in the US since Election Day. These include vandalism and even assault. CNN reported on some of the crimes.
- A banner claiming “Trump Nation Whites Only” was hung outside a church in Maryland, while a swastika was drawn on on the walls of another church in India, along with the word ‘Heil Trump’ spray painted.
- A Jewish synagogue in Tampa, Florida, was vandalised and an American flag with hate messages was found in the premises.
- Swastikas showed up in various other spots too: the bonnet of an elderly woman’s car in Virginia, inside New York dorms and other places.
- Racist graffiti, directed at African Americans as well as Muslims was also seen across the country,
- ‘Vigilante’ fliers containing threatening messages to all non-white people were distributed in a Texas University:
- A doll of an African American baby was hung with a rope inside an elevator in New York.
- Jewish actress Emmy Rossum Twitter account was bombarded with anti-Semitic tweets following Donald Trump’s election as president.
- Massive amounts of neo-nazi posts and memes were seen on Twitter and Reddit immediately after Trump’s victory, most of them using politically incorrect and offensive terms.
- Middle school students in a Michigan school chanted Trump’s ‘Build the Wall’ slogan in unison.
Middle school students in Royal Oak, Michigan chanting “Build The Wall!” pic.twitter.com/38vcnN9mnk— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 10, 2016
Here are some of the reactions to Trump appointing Stephen Bannon as the Chief Strategist and Counselor to the President:
Rocky J. Suhayda, Chairman of American Nazi Party described Bannon’s appointment as a ‘call to action’. CNN:
Andrew Anglin, proprietor of the Daily Stormer, an alt-right publication tells The Independent:
“Our Glorious Leader has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we did this.”
Similar reactions came from other vocal white nationalist outfits such as, Traditionalist Worker Party, National Policy Institute and websites such as American Renaissance, Occidental Dissent etc.
MILO: “We are now in a post-election period in which liberals are faking hate crimes” https://t.co/uMwyh80NXy— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 16, 2016
Are the increased number of hate crimes, fake or otherwise, in the US and the growth of racial and communal hostility post-Trump, a mere coincidence? If these are the numbers after just 8 days, what will official statistics of the same read after 5 years of Trump’s Presidency?
Is America heading towards an ideological shift from a liberal democracy to a dystopic ‘alt-right’ haven for White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis?
Only time can tell.
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