I realize that, at this rate, the Venn diagram for Republicans/Neo-Nazis will be a perfect geometric circle by 2020, so apologies in advance for the (inevitable) triteness of the headline.
It used to be that Republicans just dog-whistled all day and looked down their noses at their thuggish second cousins in the white supremacist movement. But the distinctions between the two camps are blurring every day that Donald Trump remains in the White House.
Trump has long since blown the cover off the GOP’s disingenuous race-baiting game, which started in earnest with Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy. Trump put white power front and center, and it made him a conquering hero among our nation’s vilest voters.
And now, if you squint, it’s tough to see a dime’s worth of difference between the covert racism of the Republican Party and the overt hate of white supremacist groups.
Just look at the way Republicans have exploited the death of Mollie Tibbetts. Even though immigrants — undocumented as well as legal — commit crimes at far lower rates than native-born Americans, the GOP has cynically attempted to use Tibbetts’ death to frighten white voters in advance of the midterm elections by raising the specter of murderous swarms of Hispanics.
Newt Gingrich, who would be well advised to move to his imaginary moon base/adulterous sex pad sooner rather than later, recently stated, “If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble.”
And now, to no one’s surprise, bona fide neo-Nazi groups are cribbing straight from the GOP’s playbook with a robocall targeting Hispanic immigrants.
Authorities have said the University of Iowa student was abducted while she was out for an evening run in Brooklyn on July 18. The man charged in her death, 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera, is also suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. President Donald Trump and other politicians quickly noted that element of the case and called for changes to immigration law.
The robocalls reference comments Tibbetts’ father made in defense of Hispanics when he addressed friends and family at her funeral. The calls question whether his daughter would feel the same if she were still alive and describe Rivera as “an invader from Mexico.” The calls also reference immigrants living the U.S. illegally when saying: “We don’t have to kill them all, but we do have to deport them all.”
The calls were first reported by an Iowa political website, Iowa Starting Line.
The recordings say the calls are being paid for by The Road to Power, an Idaho-based group with a website and neo-Nazi podcast linked by officials to an Idaho man who, according to local media, distributed racist CDs in a high school parking lot in Sandpoint, Idaho, in December.
Meanwhile, according to ThinkProgress, the same group is also attacking Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum, who recently won his gubernatorial primary:
A neo-Nazi group is targeting Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum with racist robocalls to Florida voters, The Tallahassee Democrat reported this week.
“The automated calls are narrated by someone pretending to be Gillum and using an exaggerated minstrel dialect with jungle noises in the background,” the outlet wrote.
The Democrat, which first reported the calls Friday, said it chose not to publish audio of the call because it was blatantly racist and offensive.
You know, that’s really not all that different from Gillum’s opponent’s admonition to voters not to “monkey this up.”
Face it, GOP. This is your party now. You can change it, of course, but that would take moral courage. I have a feeling you’ll go down in flames before you ever find a scintilla of that.
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