The 2016 presidential election has been filled with controversy and outrage. One of the most concerning aspects of the Trump presidential campaign was the racist ideology that he seemed to support. Now, in the wake of Trump’s election, white supremacists everywhere are celebrating. In a worrying turn of events, many racists seem to believe that their views are now more acceptable.
On Saturday, many members of the so-called alt right movement gathered together to express their joy and hope after Trump was elected. Many people with racist and xenophobic views are uniting underneath the so-called alt-right movement. This movement has been compared to a rebranded KKK movement by many due to its focus on suppressing minorities and removing anti-discrimination laws. They focus much of their efforts on criticizing politicians who promote diversity and immigrant-friendly policies. Their overall goal is to create a version of the United States that is primarily white.
Trump’s antics quickly captivated the alt-right’s attention because he has advocated for massive walls around the border and internment of Muslim citizens. They began joining Trump’s campaign, and many believe they are largely responsible for getting Trump nominated as the Republican candidate. Though Trump made a few brief statements that he was not connected to the KKK or the alt right movement, many of his speeches seemed designed to captivate them. Trump’s focus on “making America great again” and halting immigration are perfectly in line with most alt right beliefs.
Unfortunately, the election has caused many of these extremists to believe that the average member of the American public supports their goals. According to one alt right member, “I never thought we would get to this point, any point close to mainstream acceptance or political influence. The culture is moving in my direction.” This sort of belief was echoed by many other people in the alt right movement. It is therefore no surprise that there has been an increase in hate crimes against minorities in the past couple of weeks. It seems that many are being emboldened now that they feel like most citizens agree with their racist viewpoints.
The leaders of the alt right movement have great hopes for the Trump presidency. Their leaders are pushing Trump to halt immigration and end affirmative action policies. More radical members are hoping for citizens to be removed from the country if they are part of certain religious and racial groups. One man who writes a popular white nationalist publication says, “In the long run, people like Bannon and Trump will be open to the clarity of our ideas.”
Though most white supremacists are overjoyed at Trump’s elections, some of them are more concerned. In the past, Trump has run for president with the Reform Party, claiming that his focus was universal healthcare and taxation of billionaires. Since he later changed his opinion on most of his political views, many believe that Trump’s xenophobic and racist statement were simply yet another attempt at pandering to an enthusiastic user base. Many members of the alt right movement now worry that Trump will not follow through with his promised xenophobic policies. Since these policies would go against inclusive nature of America, hopefully the alt right movement will end up disappointed yet again.