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“An Extremely Troubling Development”: Trump Picks White Nationalist Leader As Delegate

Mother Jones reported today that William Johnson, chairman of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, is now an official delegate for Donald Trump in California’s upcoming Republican Primary. In order to become a delegate, Johnson had to apply to the Trump campaign with a signed pledge to support Trump at the Republican National Convention. Johnson will vote for Trump in Cleveland, should he be elected by California voters.

The American Freedom Party represents the interests, its website says, of “European Americans” and “White Americans.”

Johnson was behind the widely-reported white supremacist robocalls supporting Donald Trump that flooded Wisconsin phone lines before the Republican primary there. Johnson orchestrated the calls as a publicity stunt, saying in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time, “I want people to hear, to feel comfortable with, the term ‘white nationalist,’”

In an interview with Mother Jones today, Johnson echoed that sentiment: “I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views,” he said.

The Trump campaign surely knows who Johnson is: In February, Trump said he would return a donation Johnson had given the campaign in October, in response to a question from a town hall attendee in New Hampshire. Johnson has been widely written about as a public face of white nationalist Trump support.

Mother Jones also reports that Johnson included all of his pro-Trump, pro-nationalist political activity in his application to become a Trump delegate.

In 1985, Johnson authored the Pace Amendment, which would have abolished the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution and restricted citizenship to “non-Hispanic white[s] of the European race.” Non-whites of child-bearing age would be financially incentivized to leave the country, Johnson wrote at the time.

In 2010, Johnson said in an interview with the nationalist The Political Cesspool radio show that “The initial basis of our own upstart organization is the racial nationalist movement. It has been in disarray for the last 20 years so there’s not as large a base for us to draw on.”

The Trump campaign’s selection of Johnson as a delegate in the California primary is an extremely troubling development. Trump has widely received the support of the white nationalist community, but this is by far the most explicit endorsement — and this is an endorsement, until the Trump campaign says otherwise — of the racist and nativist ideology.

 

By: Matt Shuham, The National Memo, May 10, 2016

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Republican National Convention, White Nationalists | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Modern, More Politically Correct KKK”: Klan’s Trump Fans Rip ‘Liberal Media’ For Making Them Look Too ‘Racist’

He was merely the latest Ku Klux Klan leader to publicly declare support for Donald Trump.

“I think Donald Trump would be best for the job,” Billy Snuffer, the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in central Virginia, told Richmond’s NBC12. “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in. We want our country to be safe.”

The Imperial Wizard also noted that he supports Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, according to the NBC12 report that posted late last week.

“If Donald Trump dropped out tomorrow I would support [John] Kasich before I would Ted Cruz because he is not an American citizen,” the KKK Wizard continued. “Even if I agree with some of the things that Ted Cruz says, I would not support him because he was born in Canada. He is not an American citizen.”  

In the time since the segment aired, both Cruz and Kasich dropped out of the presidential race, leaving Trump —who already has a bevy of white-supremacist, white-nationalist, and neo-Nazi followers in this country—as the presumptive Republican nominee.

But high-ranking members of the Virginia KKK outfit aren’t pleased with the Richmond NBC affiliate’s report, which was filed by anchor Chris Thomas, a young black man. The group’s Grand Dragon (the Imperial Wizard’s lieutenant who declined to give his name), told The Daily Beast that the station had erroneously—and libelously —reported that the Rebel Brigade Knights and their leader had “endorsed” Trump for president.

The 5-minute televised report and accompanying online article do not state that the Klansman “endorsed” the real-estate mogul; merely that the Imperial Wizard said he’d be “best” fit for the presidential gig. (However, pieces published at other news outlets linking to the NBC12 story defined it as an endorsement.)

“We knew what would happen—what the liberal media always does,” the (anonymous) Grand Dragon told The Daily Beast, before decrying “political correctness” in America and reiterating that Trump would be “best.” He alleged that the journalists selectively edited the long interview to make them look as loathsome and bigoted as possible.

“They wanted to make us seem as racist as [they] could,” the Dragon said.

The NBC affiliate seemed unfazed by the KKK’s media criticism. “We feel our story was fair and speaks for itself,” NBC12 told The Daily Beast in a brief statement.

It’s not all that surprising that these modern-day Klansmen would want to market themselves as less “racist” and not as “white supremacists,” per se. Today’s Klan is trying to move past its abominable history of domestic terrorism, racist carnage, rape, far-right propaganda, lynching, and attacking African-Americans and minorities, and present a kinder, gentler, ostensibly non-violent facade—billing themselves as “white separatists” instead of white supremacists, for instance.

It is a more politically correct KKK, if you will.

“Neo-Nazis and skinheads are socialist. We are not socialist,” the Imperial Wizard told NBC12. “We are not white supremacists. We are white separatists …  A lot of people, as soon as they hear the words ‘Ku Klux Klan,’ their mind automatically goes back to the ’50s and ’60s. It was a pretty bad time, but… we are living in a different century now.”

And it isn’t shocking that these men have found someone they see as a mainstream political ally in Trump, who found himself at the center of controversy once again in February when he did not swiftly condemn former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke during an interview on CNN. Duke had recently announced his support for Trump’s candidacy, and said that white “European-Americans” who weren’t voting for Trump were committing “treason to [their] heritage.”

Nowadays in central Virginia, the local Klansmen are engaging in a recruitment push, going door to door passing out fliers that read, “I Want You For The KKK.” It is their latest attempt to find new converts to their cause — one they believe lines up fairly well with Trump’s.

 

By: Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast, May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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