When Donald Trump announced he was running for president, many laughed it off. With a campaign fueled by racially divisive language and promises to “build a wall,” many assumed he wouldn’t get far. However, his words were a breath of fresh air for the dying stigma of white supremacy.
Once elected the 46th President, his first year would prove to be more consequential than his initial campaign. White nationalist have a president they can be proud of.
According to Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Trump in 2017 was exactly what white supremacy groups wanted to see: “A country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned.”
Less than a week into 2018, Trump referred to African nations as “shitholes.” It’s clear he could use a lesson in diplomacy. Still, his words are like music to the ears of white supremacists.
2017, marked Barack Obama‘s departure, Trump’s arrival and the rise of the alt-right, the latest epitome of bigots. For the first time in decades, these groups are comfortable enough to operate openly.
Trump as made a comfortable bed for his far-right support system. Adding Steve Bannon, head of Brietbart News, to his cabinet. Bannon has stated he intends to turn the news site into a “platform for the alt-right.”
Through steep deportation initiatives and indirect attacks on civil rights, it’s clear who the president supports.
Reenergized, the extremist-held a rally in Charlottesville, VA. Their largest rally in a decade left one man dead. Meanwhile, the president never condemned the attack. Former Klan boss, David Duke called the rally “a turning point.” vowing to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”
The public display of hate has further divided our nation, and it appears as if sides have been chosen.
According to the SPLC, black nationalist hate group membership ballooned to 233 factions in 2017, up from 193 in 2016–Typified by their anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, anti-white rhetoric. These groups are separate from activist groups such as Black Lives Matter.
Still, black nationalists are far behind more than 600 hate groups who hold white supremacist values. Among them, Neo-Nazis have had the biggest increase, rising from 99 to 121. Anti-Muslim groups rose from 101 to 114, after tripling in 2016. Lastly, KKK groups have fallen from 130 groups to 72.
Contrary, the new era of white supremacy favors the more loosely based alt-right movement.
The varying numbers of hate groups undermines the true levels of hate in our nation, considering many alt-right groups are based online–with no ties to one another.
In conclusion, at this rate we have three more years of hate to go. Keep in mind, the numbers will continue to rise. Typically these numbers rise during democratic presidencies but with hate as the head of state, its easy to understand the change.