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How Trump has Fielded Concerns About White Nationalism Over Time

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 17, 2019 17:40

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Trump's comments regarding White nationalism haven’t helped him to combat accusations of racism.

The recent shooting of Muslims inside two New Zealand mosques gave President Trump an opportunity to assuage the Left about his general positions on white nationalism. Whether or not Trump’s comments were reasonable or factually sound, they were interpreted by the media and the Left in a negative light.

This isn’t surprising, considering the immense political bias that exists against Trump. However, Trump’s previous comments on White nationalism haven’t helped him to combat the charge that he is a racist who is sympathetic to White nationalist movements.

His first encounter with the subject came when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke publicly endorsed Trump for president. In an awkward exchange with Jake Tapper, Trump seemingly was hesitant to disavow David Duke and White supremacist groups in general, even after doing so in a press conference before the interview and on Twitter after the interview.

Afterwards, Trump claimed that he couldn’t properly hear the questions posed to him because of a faulty earpiece. After a while, the controversy over this interview was forgotten, as Trump kept flooding the media with controversial material to cover throughout his campaign. Nonetheless, Trump dug himself into a hole with this interview, out of which he has yet to fully climb.

His next clash with white nationalism came when the Charlottesville riots broke out. In the ensuing press conference, Trump handled the questions thrown at him much more adeptly. In the context of the full press conference, it was clear that Trump was referring to the Confederate statue dilemma when saying that there are “good people on both sides.”

In this sense, Trump was actually extending an olive branch to the Left by sympathizing with the arguments of those who are offended by Confederate statues - arguments with which Trump himself disagrees.

However, likely because of his interview with Tapper, the media didn’t interpret Trump’s comments in that light, but rather as another attempt by Trump to sympathize with white nationalists by refusing to condemn them and calling some of them good people. Although Trump made it clear that this wasn’t what he meant, the biased media has been running with this story ever since.

At this point, it seems as though the Left has created a false memory that Trump actually called white nationalists good people - similar to the false memory they have of Trump describing all Mexicans as rapists during his campaign declaration speech.

Trump’s responses to the New Zealand shooting were interpreted similarly. When asked if he thought white nationalism was a growing concern, Trump could have simply agreed in various ways. Instead, he marginalized the issue by suggesting it involves just a few people with serious problems.

Although there isn’t any data to support the claim that white nationalism is on the rise, Trump’s response added fuel to the Left’s narrative that Trump is a racist, white-nationalist sympathizer. It will be interesting to see how Trump responds to these accusations as he campaigns for reelection in 2020.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 17, 2019 17:40

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Following the mosque shootings in New Zealand, President Donald Trump addresses white nationalism.

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