There are ideas more important than politics.
Via (cc) Flicker user Jonah Engler
The far right has a history of dog-whistle racism: cryptic comments protect the speaker from being called out as racist, while sending the desired message of intolerance to the target audience. Rather than cloak the candidate’s racist messages, the Donald Trump campaign has chosen to put his bigotry on full display. Over the course of Trump’s campaign, he’s made racist statements about Mexicans, backed anti-Muslim immigration policies, and posted an anti-black meme on Twitter. Trump took things a step further last weekend when he refused to disavow former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke on CNN’s State of the Union.
The show’s host, Jake Tapper, asked Trump if he would disavow racist groups that support his candidacy, including Duke. Trump responded: “So I don’t know. I don’t know—did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.” Trump’s statements were clearly dishonest, given that Trump had spoken out against Duke in 2000, telling The New York Times, “The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. [Pat] Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. [Lenora] Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.” Tapper repeatedly asked whether he’d disavow the KKK, and all Trump could muster was, “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look.”
After Trump’s refusal to disavow Duke, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sent out this tweet chastising Trump.
Sanders’ tweet was then retweeted by the rival Hillary Clinton campaign in a show of unity. Although the candidates are fighting each other in a tough battle, the show of unity was a breath of fresh air. The display was especially poignant after a recent GOP debate featured more bickering than an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Clinton’s actions showed that there are ideas more powerful than politics.
After a harsh backlash, Trump did disavow Duke by saying, “I was sitting in a house in Florida, with a bad earpiece,” he told Today. “I could hardly hear what he’s saying. I hear various groups. I don’t mind disavowing anyone. I disavowed Duke the day before at a major conference.”