Former president Donald Trump recently met with an anti-Semite and a white supremacist. It’s no joke and his party knows it as they continue to distance themselves from him. But it is going to take more than a firm rebuke or a press conference.
It requires something more than denouncing, even if done repeatedly. White supremacy is not just going to slink away because you pointed your finger at it.
“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced Fuentes, a white nationalist and Holocaust denier but he wouldn’t denounce Trump. He didn’t go so far as to say it.
“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes. He has no place in this Republican Party,” McCarthy said. “I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”
But Trump didn’t condemn him once or his ideologies and he does know who Fuentes is. Why else would he meet with him? Besides, most Americans have cellphones and Trump has been known to live on his.
Google is everyone’s friend. And these talking points just don’t work like they used to.
They don’t go far enough. It’s just not enough after the January 6th insurrection. It’s not enough given America’s history. It’s not enough to change America’s direction. In fact, 88 percent of Americans think we need to turn around according to a survey from Monmouth University Poll released back in June.
Donald Trump, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and Nick Fuentes sat down for dinner. This means there was an invitation or a request, a conversation about scheduling, a dinner plan and menu options with special consideration for dietary restrictions and food allergies. While Trump claims that he didn’t know what the men stood for or represented, he didn’t have to guess who was coming to dinner.
They didn’t just show up and these things don’t just happen. This is not about optics. I’m not asking for better politicians but for our leaders to address something even more sinister.
White supremacy has returned to American politics, and it won’t go away just because a politician makes a statement or a comment. White nationalist ideology can only be threatened by true American democracy.
What’s a white nationalist? “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites. Groups listed in a variety of other categories—Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead and Christian Identity—could also be fairly described as white nationalist,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
There remains ingrained in America’s political system the belief that some people are inferior and therefore, “undesirable,” especially if they come from “shithole countries” like Haiti and other African countries according to Trump. This is the claim of the eugenics movement, which offered a system for “racial improvement.”
Coined by Francis Galton in 1883 in his book “Inquiries into the Human Faculty and its Development,” it is taken from the Greek root, “eugenes” and means “good birth.” Galton is the first cousin, albeit half, of Charles Darwin. See the connection?
Galton offered the social theory, claiming that it would “give to the more suitable races … a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” He hoped it would improve humanity by “planned breeding.”
These ideas took root in America in the 1900s, led by Charles Davenport, a biologist and Harry Laughlin, an educator with interests in breeding and the American Eugenics Society was founded. The Black Stork (1917) is based on a true story of a doctor who let a syphilitic infant die and convinced the child’s parents that it was for the best.
From “better baby” contests to the push for better humans, the desire to selectively breed led to choosing who deserved to live, evidenced by the Holocaust with many Nazi policies informed by the theories of eugenics and American slavery which required that there be no “race-mixing.”
White supremacy takes us back to these immoral theories and so does this dinner meeting.