18 Mar 2019 Troubling Tropes of Anti-Trump Tirades
One of the more ludicrous ways critics accuse President Donald Trump of racism is by saying that his silence about an incident betrays his support for white nationalism.
That’s what Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, suggested on MSNBC. He said President Trump was “probably not happy” about the arrest of Christopher Hasson because he didn’t thank law enforcement officials. Hasson is an alleged white nationalist who was arrested on domestic terrorism charges in February.
Project 21 member Dr. Carol Swain, a retired Ivy League professor, refutes this line of thinking in a commentary that appeared in the Epoch Times and was reprinted on the Ohio Star website. She writes:
Steele’s accusation against the president feeds into the left’s narrative of Trump and his white supporters being a bunch of white supremacists with a vision of making America great again by getting rid of nonwhites.
But, she points out, the white nationalist narrative can hurt a lot of innocent people while ignoring the real issue:
The people who push the narrative of white nationalist Trump followers paint with a broad brush that taints many ordinary Americans who harbor no ill-will toward ethnic minorities. The label is applied to people and situations without much rational thought preceding the accusation.
To prove this, she uses the left’s most powerful cudgels to prove her point:
Even the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has an official definition that would exclude many of the people who find themselves dismissed as nationalists. The SPLC defines a white nationalist group as one that “espouse[s] white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites.”
Undoubtedly, there are some white extremists in America; I commissioned interviews with some of them more than a decade ago. However, most of the people who are called white nationalists don’t fit the SPLC definition.
The author of eight books, Dr. Swain quotes from her prophetic The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration. Though it was published 15 years ago, many of her predictions now seem to be coming true. For example, she wrote in that book:
There now exists an emerging white interest that is parallel with, and structurally akin to, a black and brown interest, which increasingly sees itself in need of protection from public and private initiatives that are said to favor minorities at the expense of more deserving whites.
“I concluded by warning of the need for Americans to move away from identity politics and multiculturalism toward an American national identity – the same nationalism the President endorses,” Dr. Swain notes. “Far from driving us apart, a move from identity politics might bring us closer together.”
To read Dr. Swain’s commentary – “’White Nationalism’ is the Left’s Latest Trope Against Trump” – as it appeared on the Ohio Star website, click here.