Opinion by PoliticusUSA‘s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Jones.
Nothing to be alarmed about, but oh, hey, The Daily Beast has an exclusive up about the president of New York’s Metropolitan Republican Club who advises a far-right group in Germany that endorses shooting migrants, forgetting the Holocaust, and is “Nazi-friendly.”
“The new president of New York’s Metropolitan Republican Club says he advises a far-right group in Germany that is Nazi-friendly and endorses shooting migrants and forgetting the Holocaust.”
“Ian Walsh Reilly heads group that invited Proud Boys to New York and did work for Alternative fur Deutschland, which wants to shoot migrants and forget about the Holocaust,” Davis Richardson reported.
Sure, the Republican Party often looks, behaves, and speaks like a club of white-supremacist, Neo-Nazis gathering on the fringe of society, but not to worry, “Reilly told The Daily Beast on Wednesday night that said he supports border security in the U.S., but ‘does not agree with’ AfD’s stance of shooting migrants.”
Apparently we are to be impressed that his hate has boundaries that stop somewhere around shooting migrants.
What’s underneath all of this? Certainly the prevalent undercurrent of racism isn’t contained to Republicans. The Democrats in Virginia are dealing with decades old blackface photos and posing with someone in a Klan outfit found by a conservative site in the medical yearbook of the Governor. It’s a fact that our country has not dealt honestly or well with racism.
And it’s a fact that our preferred method of “denial” isn’t working.
Racism is a social and political construct that is designed to be used by the elite to maintain power. It’s used to keep the have-nots fighting among themselves, while the plutocrats steal from us all. Donald Trump wields racism as a weapon with the ease of someone who has long used it.
Racism is a problem all over America, not just the South. But it is an identifier, as in identity politics, in the South more than it is elsewhere, deriving from their loss of economic strength when African Americans were freed from slavery.
There is no form of racism that is not poisonous. Not even a little joke. It’s all meant to feed division and harm one group of people over the color of their skin. But we should also not allow the media to equate modern day embracing of neo-Nazis with decades old photos. Neither is acceptable. But they do not pose the same current danger. They should not be conflated with one another.
We have a president who said of neo-Nazi white supremacists after one of them murdered an innocent women, “people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
Trump also identifies as a “nationalist.”
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that “(n)early 16 percent of the 4,131 incidents in 2017 involving race or ethnicity were fueled by anti-black or African-American bias, increasing to 2,013 from 1,739 in 2016, the FBI said.”
In October of 2018, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre became the worst attack on America’s Jewish community.
U.S. anti-Semitic hate crimes spiked 37 percent in 2017 according to the FBI, “Hate crimes in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017, with a huge 37 percent spike in anti-Semitic attacks, marking the third year in a row that such attacks have increased.”
When held accountable for his rhetoric, the Trump White House misses the opportunity to lead and instead indulges in self-centered outrage.
This is not a test. This is actually happening. This is why there can be no compromise with people enabling and supporting this hate. The President of the United States enables and at times condones and even echoes this hate.
The time to speak up and out is now. The time to insist on change is now. Doing nothing while playing games with false equivalencies won’t help.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.