The Red Caps
Someone in the Trump campaign is an excellent student of history.
The campaign has been very effective in stoking fear and resentment for political gain. Chris Christie, who was reduced on Super Tuesday to being a grotesque caryatid standing behind the new leader, said that Trump was heading up a “movement“. Trump is a leader, indeed, of a movement fueled by a propaganda machine that attracts the white working class by – not in so many words – appealing to family, faith, and folk.
The white nationalist fuse has been lit. The Republican establishment that is trying so hard now to extinguish it has only itself to blame.
“Make America Great Again” is a facade; a subtweet.
How do we know this to be true? Suggesting that “black lives matter” is, astonishingly, a point against which many argue. People are stabbing each other with flagpoles at Klan rallies. Muslim Buffalo schoolgirls wearing hijabs have eggs hurled at them at a bus stop. African-American students in Valdosta are escorted out of a Trump rally although they had done nothing wrong. In Louisville, meanwhile, at least one African American anti-Trump protester was subjected to assault and battery by Trump supporters while leaving the premises. A Secret Service agent throws a Time photographer to the ground in a chokehold at a Trump event.
This isn’t new. As far back as November, Trump supporters assaulted and battered a protester.
Typically, political campaigns will be subjected to protests. Typically, these are handled with boos, chants, and security escorting the protesters out of the venue. It is atypical for the crowd to become a violent mob and put its hands on someone yelling a slogan at a campaign rally.
Kicking out a protester is one thing. Kicking out someone who happens to be Black is another.
Kicking a person out of a rally is one thing. Assault and battery on her is another.
“I was called a n—– and a c–t and got kicked out,” said Shiya Nwanguma, a respected student at the University of Louisville to a local interviewerin a video posted on Facebook.
“They were pushing and shoving at me, cursing at me, yelling at me, called me every name in the book. They were disgusting and dangerous.”
Another demonstrator, Molly Shah, watched as Heimbach tried to recruit other attendees.
One protester recalled,
…one disturbing chant, which was lead by the white supremacists, “You’re scum, you’re time will come. You’re scum, you’re time will come.”
It wouldn’t take much for Donald Trump – a billionaire who relies on his last name’s goodwill – to not only condemn, but work to prevent these outbursts of violence. It wouldn’t take much for Donald Trump – someone who has quick condemnations for Mexicans, Muslims, and the Pope – to as quickly condemn white nationalists, the Klan, and the neo-Nazis attracted to his campaign like termites to wood.
But he doesn’t, and from his silence we can only infer assent.
If you don’t think this hearkens back to Germany in the 30s, you need to brush up on your history. We’re just replacing brown shirts with red ballcaps.