“Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America – including at Mar-A-Lago,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates in a statement regarding former President Donald Trump’s dinner meeting with avowed white supremacist Nick Fuentes, and newly minted virulent antisemite Ye formerly known as rapper Kanye West.
Although Bates is earnest, the truth is that bigotry, hate, and antisemitism absolutely have found a place in America, as well as Canada and beyond.
In the past few years hate as an ideology has grown and the former President has a lot to do with its ascendance.
Donald Trump is the man who started his 2016 campaign calling Mexicans; rapists and drug dealers, tried but failed to implement a discriminatory ban on Muslims entering the US, and said he did not want any more immigration from so-called “shithole” countries. There was also the infamous comment “fine people on both sides,” made by Trump after Neo-Nazis and other far-right groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia and a counter-protestor lost her life.
Donald Trump says these things because he is a shrewd politician. His team is aware of the far-right musings online; on sites like 4 Chan, 8 kun, and Stormfront. Sites that are at the fringe or dark corners of the internet but still have millions of visits a month. Their talking points are finding their way into mainstream discourse at an ever-increasing rate.
The former President does his best to maintain loyalty from these alt-right groups and not ruffle their feathers. He has failed to denounce former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and told the Proud Boys a far-right militia group to “stand back and stand by.”
Nick Fuentes is a good avatar for this online movement that Trump plays to. He is a young white male who shrouds bigotry, antisemitism, and misogyny with his Catholic beliefs and love for America.
It is Fuentes’s view that West is founded by White Christian men and any other group whether it be Jews, Black people, modern women, or gay people are a destructive force.
Fuentes and his ilk often whine about a concept called “degeneracy.” Claiming that the America of the past has been corrupted by women gaining more freedom and allowing for racial/sexual minorities to have equality.
Another conspiracy theory that the young members of the alt-right like Fuentes seem to be obsessed with is the “Great Replacement Theory” which contends that a shadowy Jewish elite is flooding “White” nations with “Brown hordes” to completely replace the defiant white race with a more submissive brown slave class.
The Great Replacement theory has been attributed to be a motive for many mass shooting terrorist attacks around the world including the recent shooting in a Buffalo supermarket where the shooter specifically targeted African Americans. Often the perpetrators of these attacks like the shooter in Buffalo cite the Great Replacement theory in their manifestos.
Former President Trump declared in a post on his social media website Truth Social that he did not know who Nick Fuentes was. Hard to believe as Fuentes is prominent in the same circles as other Trump loyalists and the young man played a very prominent role during the January 6th capitol riots.
Trump claims that he was only set to meet Ye, and every other guest present was just a member of his entourage. This is not a redeeming argument as Ye, formerly Kanye, has been involved himself in anti-Semitic and anti-Black tirades in the past few weeks.
Ye had been doing a tour of his antisemitic tirades over various Internet platforms. Even though he has lost business deals, he has seen enough support online to declare his own Presidential run in 2024 and went to meet Trump to ask him to be his running mate.
The dinner between Donald Trump, Ye, and Fuentes is a culmination of three people on separate trajectories, propelled to meet each other to break bread over common ground. All these individuals feel emboldened by the army of online anonymous followers who cheer them to a point that they feel unstoppable.
Ye in a video after the meeting said Trump, “seemed very taken” with Fuentes, impressed that the 24-year-old was able to rattle off statistics and recall speeches dating back to his 2016 campaign. Fuentes has shown support for the former President. Fuentes advised Trump to be more authentic and “off the cuff,” citing his belligerent attitude as a large reason for the frenzied popularity he has with the Republican base.
Fuentes is twenty-four and already has risen to a meeting with a former head of state. Nick Fuentes has stated he would like to be President himself one day.
Trump and Ye can try and sanitize the beliefs that are gaining so much steam, but the dog whistles are being heard loud and clear. The issues of hate and bigotry are not going anywhere anytime soon.
On the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Matsqui and the Sumas Nations, of the Stó:lō nation