Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Trump Denies the Rise of White Nationalism Amid New Zealand Massacre 
By Kimberlee Buck, Staff Writer  
Published March 21, 2019

Mourners place flowers as they pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, there has been an ongoing nationwide conversation on the rise and the potential threat of White nationalism 

Last Friday (March 8), during a White House press conference, a reporter asked Trump whether or not he believes the rise in White nationalism is a threat around the world. The question comes shortly after the massacre of 50 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand.  

Trump responded: “I don’t really; I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s a case I don’t know enough about it yet. They’re just learning about it and the people involved but it is certainly a terrible thing.   

After making this statement, Trump began to receive major pushback from the Democratic Party, religious leaders, minority leaders and activists. One, in particular, was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 

“White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017. What the President is saying here: ‘if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way,’” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in a Twitter post.  

This July 8, 2017 photo shows members of the KKK escorted by police past a large group of protesters during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, Va. Some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederacy tried and failed to do in the 1860s: secession from the Union. So-called Southern nationalists are within the group of demonstrators who are fighting the removal of Confederate monuments around the South. They say it’s time for Southern states to secede again and become independent of the United States.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Although Trump does not see an increase in White nationalism around the world, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) statistics on hate groups proves otherwise. 

In the Spring 2019 issue of SPLC’s Intelligence Report, the center noted that “Trump has opened the White House doors to extremism, not only consulting with hate groups on policies that erode our country’s civil rights protections, but also enabling the infiltration of extremist ideas into the administration’s rhetoric and agenda.”  

Two of the policies SPLC are referring to is the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies.  

This information was released after SPLC conducted an investigation on hate crimes across the U.S. where they found a “50 percent increase in White nationalist hate groups between 2017 and 2018.”  

Demonstrators against racism march along city streets as they mark the anniversary of last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

During 2018, SPLC tracked 1,020 hate groups across the U.S. with California among the highest with 83 hate groups, followed by Florida with 75 and Texas with 73.  

The report also calls out the members of Congress who SPLC believes to be associated with White supremacists, anti-LGBT and other hate groups which are: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Rep. Kevin Kramer of North Dakota, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rep. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Rep. Greg Giaforte of Montana, Rep. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, and Rep. Mark Harris of North Carolina 

The full hate group map can be viewed at https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map. To view the full Spring 2019 Intelligence Report please visit www.splcenter.org.  

Categories: National | News | Political
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