The United States is a nation of immigrants, coming from all directions. Most white Americans have ancestors that only go back to no further than the 1880s, making them “less American” than descendants of African slaves. When my great grandfather, Michael Blazak, came here from Prague in the 1890s, he faced plenty of anti-Catholic hostility. His son converted to Protestantism and married the daughter of a Klansman and the cycle of immigrant hating continued. “They’re taking our country away! Let’s make America great again and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”
Considering the violent history of anti-immigrant hysteria in this country, it comes as little surprise that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, with his over-the-top xenophobic scapegoating of immigrants and Latinos, has attracted the seemingly unanimous support of self-proclaimed white nationalists. Donald Trump, after all, has promised that as president he would try to make their dreams of an America where white is always on top into a permanent reality.
August 24, 2015
Before you think this article is “just one liberal’s opinion,” let me briefly say I have dedicated my life to studying racism. I earned my PhD from Emory University in 1995 after spending several years doing ethnographic field studies of white supremacist groups. I have published books and articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject and have appeared on more TV shows than I can remember discussing how hate works. In my 20 years at Portland State University, I interviewed scores of committed racists, from teenage skinheads to racist murderers and founders of Nazi prison gangs. So when I say that presidential candidate Donald Trump is a racist hate-monger it’s not just a political pejorative. He has a constitutional right to hold and express racist views, but using those views to manipulate the intellectually vulnerable and mobilize active bigots requires a coherent response. As an expert on hate…
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