comscore Trump still facing concerns about white supremacists | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Trump still facing concerns about white supremacists


    Donald Trump

Atlanta » Donald Trump’s disavowal this past week of white supremacists who have cheered his election as president hasn’t quieted concerns about the movement’s impact on his White House or whether more acts of hate will be carried out in his name.

Members of the self-declared “alt-right” have exulted over the Nov. 8 results with public cries of “Hail Trump!” and reprises of the Nazi salute. The Ku Klux Klan plans to mark Trump’s victory with a parade next month in North Carolina. Civil rights advocates have recoiled, citing an uptick in harassment and incidents of hate crimes affecting blacks, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, gays, lesbians and other minority groups since the vote.

The president-elect has drawn repeated criticism for being slow to offer his condemnation of white supremacists. His strongest denunciation of the movement has not come voluntarily, only when asked, and he occasionally trafficked in retweets of racist social media posts during his campaign.

Further, Trump has named Stephen Bannon, the conservative media provocateur who shaped the final months of Trump’s campaign, as a White House chief strategist who will work steps from the Oval Office. Bannon’s appointment has become as a flashpoint for both sides.

Trump’s detractors and his “alt-right” supporters broadly agree on one thing: It may not even matter what Trump himself believes, or how he defines his own ideology, because his campaign rhetoric has emboldened the white identity politics that will help define his administration. “Alt-right” is an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism.

“Those groups clearly see something and hear something that causes them to believe he is one who sympathizes with their voice and their view. … Donald Trump has to take responsibility for that,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a black Democrat. He was among 169 members of Congress who signed a letter opposing Bannon’s White House appointment.

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer said he believes Trump, Bannon and the “alt-right” are “all riding in the same lane.” Spencer explained that neither Trump nor Bannon is a movement “identitarian,” Spencer’s preferred term for his racially driven politics. But Spencer said Trump’s election validates Spencer’s view that America must reject multiculturalism and “political correctness” in favor of its white, Christian European heritage.

Spencer’s group, the National Policy Institute, drew headlines for its recent gathering where some attendees mimicked the Nazi salute as they feted Trump. Spencer told The Associated Press the salutes were “ironic exuberance” that “the mainstream media doesn’t get.”

But at the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks incidents of anti-Semitism, Oren Segal said it is part of a disturbing postelection atmosphere tied to Trump’s 17-month campaign.

Before, Segal said, it wasn’t surprising for the ADL to get calls about a swastika, the Nazi insignia, defacing public or private property. “What’s surprising now,” he said, “are the references to the campaign” in the incidences. “‘Make American White Again’ … ‘Go Trump’ with the swastika,” he said. “That is unique.”

Trump was asked about the rash of incidents during a postelection interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Trump said he was “saddened,” and he looked into the camera and said, “Stop it.” But Trump has steadfastly defended his hiring of Bannon, who previously led Breitbart News and in July described it as a “platform for the alt-right” — just a month before he took the job running the Republican nominee’s campaign.

Jared Taylor, editor of the white supremacist magazine “American Renaissance,” said Trump bears some responsibility for his pitched rhetoric, which included describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” at the outset of his campaign and proposing a ban on all Muslim immigrants. But Taylor said Trump is still unfairly maligned as a white supremacist and racist because he “cares about Americans already here.”

But white supremacist imagery was a common sight at Trump rallies. Pepe the frog, a cartoon character appropriated by the white supremacist movement on social media, appeared on dozens of T-shirts and signs. The “Make America Great Again” motto was seen by some as a call back to the nation’s simpler, whiter, past. While Trump’s campaign never actively courted votes from the movement, it did recognize the long-term fears that some whites feel about immigration.

Taylor insisted, “There’s nothing Ku Klux Klan about any of this.”

But, in fact, Trump drew Klan backing.

As part of his prolific Twitter use, he has retweeted white nationalist accounts and a famous quote of Benito Mussolini, the 20th century fascist leader of Italy, saying “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” In February, Trump declined to repudiate former Klan leader David Duke during a CNN interview. Afterward, Trump blamed the move on a faulty earpiece, only to come back days later and offer an explicit condemnation.

He has several times fallen back on the excuse of merely retweeting when asked about his controversial social media behavior. In February, he retweeted a message from the account of a neo-Nazi, which came shortly after he retweeted false crime statistics that dramatically overstated the number of whites killed by blacks.

“Bill, am I gonna check every statistic?” he asked Fox News host Bill O’Reilly at the time. “All it was is a retweet. It wasn’t from me.”

While Trump is quick to blast his foes on Twitter — in recent days that includes The New York Times and the cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” — he has yet to proactively condemn racist acts his win has inspired. His eldest son, Don Jr., has used Twitter to liken Syrian refugees to a poisoned bowl of Skittles candy, and he has posted images of Pepe. And Trump’s rise to political celebrity came as he peddled the falsehood that the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, was born in Africa, not in the United States.

In an interview last week with The New York Times, Trump did denounce the white supremacist movement when asked, saying “I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn.” But he has yet to convene the traditional news conference held by a president-elect in the days after winning where he could potentially face more pointed questions about it.

The ADL’s Segal called Trump’s answers when questioned an important step to “allay any illusions” white supremacists have about their place in a Trump administration.

But Ben Jealous, a former national president of the NAACP, went a step further, saying Trump should “pull a George Wallace.” The segregationist Alabama governor ran for president on white identity politics but years later publicly apologized for his views.

Trump “shouldn’t just disavow the worst behavior of others,” Jealous said, “but take accountability for the worst behavior he’s engaged in himself.”


Lemire reported from New York.


Reach Barrow on Twitter at and Lemire and

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (44)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

    • “Bannon is a magnificent racist. Fabulous. Big league bigotry. Big league.” -Trump (fake quote)

      The fact is, Bannon led Briebart News, a vehemently anti-Obama propaganda outlet that has pushed white-supremacist policy positions, as well as conspiracy theories, and racist, sexist and anti-Semitic opinions. What Bannon said in an interview published on 11/18 was truly creepy:

      “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they (liberals) get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

      The senior counselor for the President of the United States pushes hate and models himself on Lucifer and lies.

      Can you can see why so many Americans are disgusted and upset about our post-truth president?


    • Over 15 thousand lawyers have signed a recent letter to Trump opposing Bannon. They complain:

      Mr. Bannon has demonstrated his opposition to the stable, democratic form of government that our profession embraces and strives to maintain. His words could not be more clear: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too . . . I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” This contempt for our longstanding governmental institutions has no place in a crucial leadership position.

      See entire letter at:

    • The congressional letter, first announced by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island on Tuesday, asks President-elect Trump to rescind his appointment of Bannon as the White House chief strategist and senior counselor and also to “build a diverse White House staff who are committed to the core American values of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.”

      The letter was sent to Trump Tower last Wednesday.


      • And those lawyers (and a lot of others) have volunteered to fight every single unconstitutional action that alt-right nut cases inside the Trump administration try to move forward. There is going to be a storm of lawsuits filed against Mr. Trump et al. As much sand as possible will be tossed into the gears that Mr. Trump tries to turn.

        • It would be humorous to see where the world will be in the next 6 months. Try these.
          “If oil prices stay below $60/bbl. Russia and many of the cash starved OPEC nations will be bankrupt. Trump will be in office and had already nexed OCARE and Iranian deals. The Muslim terrorists in this country will have been rounded up and shipped out or killed off(my personal preference).

          Coal will make a surprising come back, as the EPA will have ousted of all the commie agents planted in o’s admin. George Soros will be dead. HC will either be indicted or have moved to, was it, Qatar, to seek asylum as they have no extradition treaty with the US and she has supposedly stashed $1.8 billion for a rainy day fund.

          The DEMS. will have put Ellison, the commie muslim from Minn. as their party leader. The REPS. couldn’t have made a better pick, to ensure their continued winning at the polls.

          Speaking of polls, there will be a massive and effective movement to substantially decrease voter fraud, as more states will require proper id’s to cast one’s ballot. A conservative judge will be appoints to the Supreme Court, which will protect the 1st and 2nd Amendments from further attacks.

          And, lastly, many of the Hollywood types will move to Canada or Europe, thus fulfilling their threats. Don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out.”

        • IRT Klastri, President-elect Donald J. Trump will be our President for at least 4 years and possibly 8 years to in-do all the progressive liberal agenda items of former Hawaii born President Obama. It’s you and your legal friends to challenge any unconstitutional action of the Trump Administration and GOP Congress as the rolls have changed. One huge advantage is the make up of the U.S. Supreme Court with an nominee and consent of a Constitutional Originalist. God bless the progressive liberal opposition.

        • Apparently Trump supporters didn’t read the article or perhaost they have no concern about white supremacy.

          Bannon, Trump’s senior counselor, pushes hate and models himself on Lucifer and Vladimir Lenin, and they have no comment.

          Bannon says, “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too . . . I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

          Trump supporters reply…. [crickets]

        • sarge22 – Your comments are just so sad.

          Coal will make a comeback? A comeback to what? No new plants burn coal because no one knows what to do with the ash slurry. Don’t you read at all?

        • I have always loved Constitutional Originalists. I’ve always wanted to be granted a “Letter of Marque and Reprisal.” (ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11) Of course, I really need to reinforce the foredeck of my ketch to accommodate a carronade.

        • Sarge22, it’s difficult to “substantially decrease voter fraud” when voter fraud is virtually non-existent. This is just another lie spread by the far-right to justify voter suppression efforts. Despite their many such claims there has never been objective proof of significant or orchestrated fraud. As to the 1st amendment, the only danger is from trump, who wants to shut up anyone who disagrees with him.

    • For other concerns about Steve Bannon’s appointment as Trump’s senior advisor, see the NYT editorial board’s response. They did not compare him to Hitler’s propagandist, Joseph Goebbles, but a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer has:

      Or consider these responses to Councelor Bannon:

      So much for Trump unifying the country…

      • IRT DannoBoy, all your posts are being dumped into H-Power. Very few citizens believe in your posts. Mr. Bannon will remain in the President Trump administration.

        • Kuroiwaj: “Very few citizens believe in your posts.”

          I know. I find them hard to believe as well. That’s why I fact-check them and provided links to legitimate news sources.

          Aren’t you troubled by them? Given your professed patriotism, why haven’t you taken time to look into Bannon’s background?

          A true American patriot would want to protect the country:
          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

          Maybe you are just a teenage Macedonian patriot (see:

        • kuroiwaj – Why would you make up something like this? DannoBoy actually researches things and cites sources. You don’t, and you’re almost always wrong about things.

        • IRT Klastri, we have President-elect Donald J. Trump and Mr. Bannon is his Chief Strategist. Not made up and true.

        • IRT DannoBoy, heard of “Fake News”? Nearly all your quoted media are those posting and printing “Fake News” or in other words, most are half truths or out right lies.

  • Trump may not be racist, but the alt right and white nationalist are and they are clear about it. You can go to websites and see list of groups they feel are not white and should be subjugated– Jews, Asians, mixed races (they use the term “hapa” like in Hawaii), and Polynesians. Recently there has been harassment of polynesians in Idaho and Utah by alt right racist groups– including some students from Hawaii. Some polynesians in Utah have been dealing with this by apologizing for their cultural practices which are angering whites (see column by Vai Sikahema a former BYU football player). A student from Hawaii who signed a petition against an alt right group on campus had her backpack cut up and spray painted whites.

  • Donald Trump is sleeping with the White Supremacist movement and the main stream media is trying to normalize this. We are are taking a large step backwards as a nation.

      • Just because someone researches and provides sources, that in itself does not inherently prove the person correct as it really depends on the accuracy and substance of the citations. With that in mind, let’s take a cursory read of the first link that Dannoboy cited. The first citation compares Trump to Hitler and links Trump to white supremacists despite Trump’s disavowal. On the face of it, there is nothing inherently wrong with nationalism and more importantly one can be a nationalist without resorting to Nazi-like tactics. Moreover, Trump’s own son-in-law is Jewish; knows Bannon personally and has endorsed Bannon. This tar & feather link amounts to nothing more than painting with a broad brush and poor logic.
        The second link by the NY Times is no better. What it amounts to is a fallacy of guilt by association. It links the alt-right of being composed of white supremacists, opposed to immigration, feminism, etc. Again, a tar & feather approach by the supposedly unapproachable NY Times. One can be a conservative and have good reasons for opposing immigration (illegal)and feminism etc., but the NY Times much prefers the character assassination approach.
        So the moral of the story is anyone can post links but it is the analyses of those links that determine their veracity and integrity.

        • Mr. Bannon is an admitted supporter of the alt-right. That’s all an educated and informed person needs to know.

          Mr. Trump received endorsements from white supremacists, KKK leaders, racists and bigots. He was and continues to be their man. It’s a national disgrace.

  • So Obama invites “Black Lives Matter” who are nothing but a modern day black version of the KKK to the White House and it’s perfectly fine. Trump wants to secure the Border and he’s labeled a racist.

    What a bunch of BS.

    • Of course, you’re lying that Black Lives Matter is anything like the murderous Ku Klux Klan. That share absolutely nothing in tactics or strategy, so I’m not sure why you would make up and write something like this.

      Trump was not labeled a racist because he spoke of the wall (which will not happen, of course) but rather, he was correctly labeled a racist because he said a federal judge could not be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Like a lot of Republicans said at the time, that is the textbook definition of racism.

      You really need to read a lot more.

      • Read this, the latest tidbit on Obama’s BLM buddies….

        “The Black Lives Matter movement has come out in support of Fidel Castro, following his death on Friday, saying they must “come to the defense of El Comandante” and thanking him for safeguarding Assata Shakur, who’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.”

        I think it’s safe to say that these anti-cop racist maniacs are no less evil than the KKK.

        • You’re believing fake news again.

          Who is the author of that BLM piece? Where was it published? BLM folks always – always – take credit for their work, so I’m sure you know the author and have confirmed it’s a real press release. Right?

      • IRT Klastri, you must explain to us your support for “Black Lives Matter” when they support Mr. Castro a Communist, oppose Law and Order and the American Police, detest Free Enterprise with the destruction of private property, support abortion that by % are highest among Blacks, and support many anti-American beliefs.

        • Trump and Castro are like two sides of the same coin – both boastful, both nationalist, authoritarian, both propagandist, both against the press, and both believing “the ends justify the means”. Is this why Trump chose a senior counselor who models himself on Vladimir Lenin?

          “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant. “Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.


        • Who, exactly, in the Black Lives Matter leadership wrote anything in support of Mr. Castro? Who wrote what you think was written and where was it published? What are you talking about?

          How many times are you going to be taken in by fake news with no byline? Are you incapable of learning?

          Legal access to abortion is not an anti-American belief. You may think it is, but a large majority of Americans support choice.

        • From a BLM blog post: “Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.”

          This blog post praises the Castro-led revolution against an exploitive and corrupt ruling class system and his efforts to create a better society.

          “Revolution,” the blog states, “is rooted in the recognition that there are certain fundamentals to which every being has a right, just by virtue of one’s birth: healthy food, clean water, decent housing, safe communities, quality healthcare, mental health services, free and quality education, community spaces, art, democratic engagement, regular vacations, sports, and places for spiritual expression are not questions of resources, but questions of political will and they are requirements of any humane society.”

          This post and the blog itself are anonymous. It uses the pronoun “we”, but it’s not clear who wrote or approved it.


  • Just reading these comments only makes a person sad about one thing…the cultural melting pot that is supposed to be Hawaii may indeed be a pot, but it has layers. Ultimately these layers may not want to congeal. Openly racist diatribe has become a hallmark of the anonymous comment maker in a public forum. The truth is all lives matter. Individually we may have difficulties dealing with cultural and racial issues, but as a society we try to make it work. The country has been trying for over two centuries.

    • There is racism in Hawaii. It just may not be as overt or “out there” as on the mainland. We do tend to get along a little better with each other, probably because we are stuck on islands and have intermarried over the generations, but you do see it in commentaries. I laugh every time someone says “go home” because everyone migrated here from somewhere else. If we all “go home,” no one would be left. Same for the US mainland, BTW. If you really want to see mega-racism, check out Craigslist Oahu Rant and Rave. I read it for entertainment. A certain recent candidate loves to make commentaries on Mark Takai and Tulsi Gabbard. You would be amazed at what she writes; yet, I wonder how many people sort of feel that way, just not as strongly?

  • Sorry AP and SA, not buying it. The progressive media has lost all credibility so they are merely playing to the hard left with these endless Trump hit pieces. In the process they are further alienating large swaths of voters who rejected Barry Hussein and Waldo.

    • Sorry CEI, not buying it.

      The press fulfills an essential American patriotic duty by covering Trump’s ties to white supremacists and any other threats to our core values:
      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      Anyone who thinks that being against white supremacy is “hard left” is out of the American mainstream… way out. Maybe as far out as a Macedonian troll.

    • So by writing what Mr. Trump and his staff have spoken & written, and write & speak now, signifies a “hit piece?” What else are they supposed to write?

      You’re reminded that a lot more folks voted for Mrs. Clinton than voted for Mr. Trump. A whole lot more. That is the fact that is digging into Trump’s brain like a virus. He’ll never let go of it, because the opposition will remind him every minute of every day that he didn’t win the popular vote, and his talk of a “mandate” is nonsense.

      Get ready for a non-stop loop of hit pieces.

    • The problem is, of course, that his supporters can’t smell their own terrible odor. This latest Twitter rant by Trump should be proof positive to everybody that Mr. Trump is dangerously unstable. That’s been obvious for decades. But now he has real power, thanks to his impossibly gullible followers. What a disgrace.

  • for the next four years, the sad clinton news media will continue to issue daily stories attempting to connect trump to racists.

    highly indoctrinated people will cheer these stories as validations of their mistaken beliefs that they were educated while attending institutions of socialism.

    america avoided electing a real racist to the office of president when americans rejected hillary clinton who referred to inner city black youths as “super predators” who have “no conscience” and “who need to brought to heel” and campaigned for increased sentencing and longer incarcerations for black youths. and it was bill clinton who said that in the old days, obama would be fetching coffee for people like the clintons.

Scroll Up