Donald Trump was seen largely as a Republican presidential candidate who you could choose to ignore or not take seriously at first. Most people already knew about his over-the-top personality, blatant narcissism and questionable history in the public spotlight. This is why it was so surprising to many people from average citizens to seasoned pundits when Trump showed remarkable staying power. He started leading in the polls and has only ever dipped out of first place for short periods of time.
The problem many people are now starting to see is that Trump is courting racists, white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in order to generate votes. The question of whether Donald Trump is a genuinely racists and bigoted person remains to be seen. It is possible that he has been harboring resentment and hated for immigrants and non-white people for decades. It is also possible that Trump is simply leveraging the hatred of others in order to get ahead and win the election. What is undeniable is that Trump has started to fuel a new class of white supremacists and racists. This new class is largely made up of people who want to be a little more subtle when talking about racist beliefs but have no problems acting on those feelings. Something being heard more and more from many Trump supporters is the claim that “I am not racist,” usually followed immediately by the word “but.”
These followers understand that speaking like a flat-out racist or bigot is bad. Unfortunately, those same people follow the word “but” with racial dog whistles and obfuscated language that is really intended to be a racist statement. This can be seen when someone claims to not be racist but just against illegal immigration. This often means non-Caucasian people since those same Trump supporters seem to have no problems with illegal Canadian, Australian, English or French immigrants. Trump is directly encouraging and supporting this new class of racists. He is helping to create the coded language being used every day to say racist things while whole-heartedly claiming to be not a racist. Trump supporters know exactly what those phrases mean.
The fervor for Trump from these white supremacists and racists have grown to such heights that a few forget to use the dog whistles at his rallies. Trump supports were caught on video exclaiming “white power.” Others were seen giving the Nazi salute. One person yelled to set a black protestor at a rally on fire using an explicative. This is dangerous because the new class of racists Trump is fueling is starting to follow the words in his speeches. Some are beginning to take violent action in his name. Two men beat and urinated on a Latino man in Boston.
“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” the men said when giving their police report after being arrested. Loyal fans at Trump rallies have assaulted protestors several times often spouting his rhetoric while doing so. There is no telling how many more acts of violence this new class of racists might engage in. Trump is allowing the racists and white supremacists to feel justified in their beliefs. He is legitimizing hate and bigotry. He is doing this partly by stating he will “make American great again,” as his campaign slogan. The undertone of his slogan implies American was great when it was largely white. He is confirming exactly what the racists and white supremacists want to hear. That is why he will continue to garner their support. One white supremacist group even started making robo-calls to potential voters talking about how Trump will bring in only white immigrants. Trump is potentially doing more harm to this country and the Republican Party than he knows in his pursuit of the White House.