Donald Trump often boasts about his certainties, but he couldn’t say what he thought about an endorsement from extremist David Duke or how he felt about the KKK.
Trump first told reporters he didn’t know anything about Duke’s support and then curtly said: “All right, I disavow, OK?” Asked three days later about Duke, Trump said, “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. ... I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
So, the Anti-Defamation League decided to help, providing Trump and other presidential candidates with a “list of racist individuals and extremist groups who have inserted themselves in the presidential campaign.”
“We are providing information to all of the campaigns to ensure that they steer clear of these extremists and others who promote anti-Semitism, racism and white supremacy,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “It is incumbent upon all candidates for office to reject and disavow any of these groups should they endorse or express support for their campaigns.”
ADL said each individual on its list voiced support for a presidential candidate seeking higher office.
The ADL list of extremists …
- David Duke. The former KKK leader and a virulent anti-Semite has asked supporters to back Trump. Duke has been active in the white supremacist movement for more than 40 years.
- Kevin MacDonald. The retired professor, notorious for anti-Semitism, has said electing Trump “may be the last chance for whites to elect a president who represents their interests.” MacDonald is a leader in the American Freedom Party.
- William Johnson. The head of the white supremacist American Freedom Party created the American National Super PAC, which funded robocalls supporting Trump, disparaging minorities and promoting white nationalism.
- Rachel Pendergraft. She is a spokeswoman for the Knights Party, a Klan group based in Arkansas, and says her groups use Trump’s candidacy as a “talking point” in feeling out potential recruits.
- Louis Farrakhan. He is the racist and anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. In early March, he praised Trump as “the only member who has stood in front of (the) Jewish community and said, ‘I don’t want your money.’” He added, “Not that I’m for Mr. Trump, but I like what I’m looking at.”
- Andrew Anglin. He runs a neo-Nazi website, the Daily Stormer, which is filled with racist and anti-Semitic articles.
- Lee Rogers. He runs a neo-Nazi website, Infostormer, which contains racist and anti-Semitic articles.
- Jared Taylor. He runs the white supremacist site American Renaissance, which features articles that purport to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites.
- Richard Spencer. He is the head of National Policy Institute, a small white supremacist think tank.
- Matthew Heimbach. He is a racist and anti-Semite who founded the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network.
- Don Black. He runs Stormfront, the largest white supremacist Internet forum.
HATE CRIMES RISING
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the number of hate groups operating in the United States increased 14 percent from 2014 to 2015. Hate groups increased from 784 groups in 2014 to 892 last year.
The number of anti-government “patriot” groups also grew by 14 percent, from 874 in 2014 to 998.
“While the number of extremist groups grew in 2015 after several years of declines, the real story was the deadly violence committed by extremists in city after city,” stated Mark Potok, senior fellow at the national SPLC. “Whether it was Charleston, San Bernardino or Colorado Springs, 2015 was clearly a year of deadly action for extremists.”
Potok, in a news release, also said the bloodshed in 2015 “did little to dissuade some political figures from spouting incendiary rhetoric about minorities. In fact, they frequently exploited the anger and polarization across the country for political gain.”
— Lisa Neff