We have always known that Trump gives white supremacists comfort like no other president in modern times. But the release of new data from the Anti-Defamation League now makes it official: white supremacists are indeed thriving under Trump’s presidency. Their efforts to spread hate soared in 2018 with 1,187 propaganda distributions, compared to only 421 incidents in 2017. The propaganda included “everything from veiled white supremacist language to explicitly racist images and words, often features a recruitment element, and frequently targets minority groups, including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants and the LGBTQ community.”
Trump likes to pretend he is a great champion of civil rights while he takes shameless action to trample on them. Trump’s transgender military ban is a perfect example. This week ended with a federal court ruling that paves the way for his hateful ban to take effect. When Trump announced the ban in 2017, it was through a series of insulting tweets, complaining that the military “cannot be burdened.”
Yet candidate Trump sang a different tune. “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he tweeted after the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. When he was considering a presidential run in 2000, Trump even told The Advocate that there is “no reason” why “gay people” cannot serve in the United States military.
Presidents are supposed to lift up Americans and make us feel unified and proud. Trump does the opposite. He is aloof on his best days and divisive on his worst. Under a reign of hatred and hypocrisy, Trump inspires white supremacists to advertise their bigotry and step up their recruitment. Even more disturbing than the new data is where things appear to be headed. There is every reason to believe that this ugly trend will continue as long as our amoral president remains in the Oval Office.