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Trump Can’t Escape Having Called Nazis “Very Fine People” by SOTU Spectacle

Trump’s assiduous attempts to get the Nazi vote by making endless racist slurs did not pass unnoticed among the various American minorities, including Jews

One of the targets of the Neonazis was the synagogue in Charlottesville. They chanted “Jews will not replace us.”(Photo: Informed Comment)

One of the targets of the Neonazis was the synagogue in Charlottesville. They chanted “Jews will not replace us.” (Photo: Informed Comment)

So this is the story of how Donald Trump tried to use misdirection at his State of the Union address to take the spotlight off his Neonazi tendencies, which underlie his hatred of African-Americans (against whom he was found to discriminate as a landlord), of Mexicans, of Muslims, and other peoples not coded as “white” in his warped little brain. Trump tried to appropriate the fight against the supremacist who killed Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, but the effort came across and calculating and staged.

Trump cares so little for minority rights that he actually said “Islam hates us” and urged a ban on all Muslim immigration to the US.

Trump cares so little for minority rights that he actually said “Islam hates us” and urged a ban on all Muslim immigration to the US.

Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm founded by billionaire and part-time neo-fascist Robert Mercer, illicitly used 50 million voter profiles from Facebook on Trump’s behalf. Cambridge Analytica also met with the Russians. Mercer was also behind building up white supremacist rag Breitbart, and appears, despite denials, to have been close to Steve Bannon, who was a vice president at Cambridge Analytica and the editor of Breitbart. Bannon, for a while White House chief strategist, has recently been in Europe urging French fascists to own their racism and boast of it, and praising Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, whose troops killed or wounded 300,000 American and British soldiers. That is what Trumpism, which Bannon championed, stands for.

Trump appointed Bannon to run his campaign after Paul Manafort was forced out over rumors that he took $12.7 in off the books money to lobby for pro-Russian Ukrainian pooh-bah Viktor Yanukovych, and Trump then made Bannon his chief White House strategist.

This point must be underlined. Bannon was Breitbart. He was supremacism. He was a Boston Irish Catholic reworking of whiteness to include northern European Catholics but to exclude Latin American ones. It was the ultimate revenge for white people having viewed the Irish who immigrated in the 19th century as “black.”

Bannon praises Benito Mussolini, who is not as widely vilified in today’s America as he should be. His armies slaughtered 330,000 Allied troops during World War II, including large numbers of Americans. Of 45,000 Italian Jews, 8,000 were delivered to Nazi death camps and a similar number were forced to flee abroad. Some $1 billion was stolen from them as a community.

I mean, Ezra Pound, the great poet who went insane in his old age, haunted by his paranoia about Jewish banking conspiracies, and did radio broadcasts for Mussolini– Ezra Pound was consigned to an insane asylum for holding views that have a family resemblance to Bannon’s own. In contrast, Bannon is running around free in the wild.

And Trump made Bannon his chief strategist in the White House.

George C. Patton has turned in his grave so much he is digging a tunnel straight through to China.

Then in August of 2017, Neonazis showed up in the small college town of Charlottesville, Va., to intimidate that community with thuggish violence over their determination to take down a Confederate statue to a slaver. The Neonazis and various other horrid creatures had been emboldened by Trump’s embrace of Bannon and Breitbart, of a New New Right wherein pampered and effete white suburbanites were finally allowed to play out their fantasies of racial superiority and to engage in berserker rage against the minorities who were keeping them down.

One of the targets of the Neonazis was the synagogue in Charlottesville. They chanted “Jews will not replace us.”

This is a reference to their insane conspiracy theory that globalism is a plot of Jewish bankers who are making money by sending the jobs of the white working class to China and elsewhere, replacing American workers with Chinese or Mexican ones.

My friend Sam Seder explains:

Majority Report with Sam Seder: “White Men March & Chant: ‘You Will Not Replace Us'”

The Neonazi thugs terrorized the whole town of Charlottesville, killing one counter-protester and beating others viciously. Less reported was the deliberate scare they tried to throw into Charlottesville Jews:

Newsy: “Jews in Charlottesville face anti-Semitism”

And when Trump was asked about the Neonazi riot, he said that among the marchers were “very fine people.”

Then at last night’s State of the Union address Trump tried to coopt the murder of 7 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the whole Holocaust for his political purposes.

But guess what. In an opinion poll, 72% of Jewish respondents said they hold that Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the synagogue massacre.

Trump’s assiduous attempts to get the Nazi vote by making endless racist slurs did not pass unnoticed among the various American minorities, including Jews.

Trump isn’t giving people orders to commit violence. But fringe violent racists clearly are taking encouragement from Trump’s outrageous bigotry. White supremacists who bombed a mosque in Minnesota had also volunteered to help build Trump’s wall. Trump delights in his MAGA crowds and his arch one-liners and in whipping people up.

His SOTU spectacle cannot cover up that he helped galvanize those Nazis who invaded Charlottesville.

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Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon and Schuster), will officially be published July 1st. He is also the author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (both Palgrave Macmillan). He has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment.

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