Trump turns sports into a political battleground with comments on NFL and Steph Curry

The Washington Post reports: President Trump turned professional sports into a political battleground Friday night into Saturday, directing full-throated ire toward African American athletes who have spoken out against him and prompting a sharp rebuttal from the National Football League and the two most prominent basketball players in the world.

In a span of roughly 12 hours, as the sports world would typically be gearing up for college football and baseball’s pennant races, Trump ensnared and agitated the most powerful sports league in North America and angered NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James. His comments set the stage for potential mass protest Sunday along NFL sidelines.

At a political rally Friday in Huntsville, Ala., Trump called on NFL owners to release players who demonstrated during the national anthem in the manner of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt last season to draw attention to police violence against African Americans. Saturday morning on Twitter, Trump rescinded a White House visit invitation to Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, although it is unclear whether the Warriors had been invited in the first place.

“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump posted at 7:45 a.m. Saturday. [Continue reading…]

The New York Times reports: Since last season, when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, the protest has become a litmus test for players, many of whom say they support the protesters but continue to stand for the national anthem. Many coaches and owners have been more explicit, with some all but demanding that players stand for the anthem.

More than half a dozen owners contributed to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, and many of them donate heavily to conservative causes. Some owners, including Robert K. Kraft of the New England Patriots, consider Mr. Trump a personal friend.

Opinions have sharpened in recent months as Mr. Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl several seasons ago, remains unsigned, leading to charges that the owners have blacklisted him for his political views. [Continue reading…]

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Defunding bigotry: Sleeping Giants is picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

The Washington Post reports: Hardly anyone paid attention last November when a strangely named Twitter account, Sleeping Giants, sent its first tweet into the digisphere. “Are you aware that you’re advertising on Breitbart, the alt-right’s biggest champion, today?” read the tweet, aimed at a consumer lending outfit called Social Finance. “Are you supporting them publicly?”

Within 30 minutes, Social Finance replied, tweeting that it would stop running ads on Breitbart.

It was, it turns out, the start of an odd, and oddly effective, social media campaign against Breitbart, the influential conservative news site headed by Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former campaign chairman and ex-chief White House strategist.

Sleeping Giants is a mysterious group that has no address, no organizational structure and no officers. At least none that are publicly known. All of its leaders are anonymous, and much of what it claims is difficult to independently verify. A spokesman for the group wouldn’t identify himself in interviews for this article.

But the group does have a singular purpose, pursued as relentlessly as Ahab chasing a whale: It aims to drive advertisers away from Breitbart. “We’re trying to defund bigotry,” the spokesman says. [Continue reading…]

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Meddling in Germany’s election by alt-right

USA Today reports: Less than a week before Sunday’s vote that is likely to hand German Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term, evidence of anticipated Russian meddling has yet to materialize, but U.S. right-wing groups have interfered, according to German researchers.

“So far we have not been able to track down any specific Russian activity,” said Simon Hegelich,” a professor of political science data at the Technical University of Munich who has advised the German government about the threat of hacking and fake news.

Instead, Hegelich and others point to an alliance of mostly anonymous online trolls and extremist agitators who are disseminating right-wing materials through YouTube; messaging board sites like 4chan and reddit; and Gab.ai, a texting service.

“A lot of the stuff we are seeing in Germany can be linked to, or is at least inspired by, the ‘alt-right’ movement in the U.S.,” Hegelich said, referring to a loosely defined group whose far-right ideology includes racism, populism and white nationalism.

He said proving connections among sympathizers is extremely difficult and may never be conclusive. But an analysis of 300 million tweets over the past six months by Hegelich and researchers at the Technical University of Munich shows Germany is a hotspot for posts that use the hashtag “#AltRight.” [Continue reading…]

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Undercover with the alt-right

The New York Times reports: Last September, Patrik Hermansson, a 25-year-old graduate student from Sweden, went undercover in the world of the extreme right. Posing as a student writing a thesis about the suppression of right-wing speech, he traveled from London to New York to Charlottesville, Va. — and into the heart of a dangerous movement that is experiencing a profound rejuvenation.

Mr. Hermansson, who was sent undercover by the British anti-racist watchdog group Hope Not Hate, spent months insinuating himself into the alt-right, using his Swedish nationality (many neo-Nazis are obsessed with Sweden because of its “Nordic” heritage) as a way in. It wasn’t always easy. “You want to punch them in the face,” he told me of the people he met undercover. “You want to scream and do whatever — leave. But you can’t do any of those things. You have to sit and smile.”

What he learned while undercover is one part of a shocking, comprehensive new report from Hope Not Hate that sheds light on the strange landscape of the alt-right, the much discussed, little understood and largely anonymous far-right movement that exists mostly online and that has come to national attention in part because of its support for Donald Trump.

As a result of the growing influence of the far-right social-media ecosystem, once-moribund hate groups in both the United States and Europe — groups that mostly existed long before “alt-right” entered the vernacular — are enjoying a striking uptick in recruitment. [Continue reading…]

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‘America has done a terrible job of telling the truth about racism’

Jamiles Lartey writes: If one set out to crown a symbolic epicenter for the 400-odd year odyssey of white supremacy in the US, they would be hard-pressed to do better than Montgomery, Alabama.

It was at the statehouse in Montgomery that Jefferson Davis was first inaugurated as the president of the Confederacy in a bid to preserve the institution of slavery and in defense of the inferiority of the black race. It was here too, nearly a century later, that Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat, and a young Martin Luther King launched his first direct action campaign: The Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Indeed the official city seal tells some of this story in ironic juxtaposition, nesting its claim as “Cradle of the Confederacy” inside that of “Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement”.

But there’s a deeper racial history here too, one that often gets buried in favor of the hagiography of leaders and legends like Davis, Parks and King. Montgomery was also for a time the central hub of the domestic US slave trade, and that’s part of why writer and activist Bryan Stevenson thinks is a perfect place for a “new kind of museum” entitled From Slavery to Mass Incarceration that will trace the untoward history of racial capital through generations and simultaneously shine a light on the legacy of US racial terrorism.

“It all begins with enslavement and the ideology of white supremacy and what follows is lynching, segregation, and many of the issues that we’re dealing with today,” Stevenson told the Guardian. [Continue reading…]

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Racist currents still run deep in White America

Larry J. Sabato writes: A new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics finds that while there is relatively little national endorsement of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, there are troubling levels of support for certain racially-charged ideas and attitudes frequently expressed by extremist groups. The survey also found backing for keeping Confederate monuments in place, the removal of which has become a hot-button issue in communities across the country.

As is often the case, these survey results can be interpreted in two quite different ways. On the one hand, despite the events in Charlottesville and elsewhere, few people surveyed expressed direct support for hate groups. But on the other hand, it will be disturbing to many that a not insubstantial proportion of those polled demonstrated neutrality and indifference or, worse, expressed support for antiquated views on race.

The large-sample poll (5,360 respondents for most questions) was conducted from Aug. 21 to Sept. 5 in the aftermath of a neo-Nazi rally and counter-protest on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 11-12.

Among the questions, respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with statements asking whether white people and/or racial minorities in the United States are “under attack.” Notably, 14% of all respondents both 1) agreed that white people are under attack and 2) disagreed with the statement that nonwhites are under attack.

Nearly one-third of respondents (31%) strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.” Another third (34%) strongly or somewhat disagreed with the statement, and 29% neither agreed nor disagreed. [Continue reading…]

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‘Racism is as American as baseball’ banner unfurled at Fenway Park

The New York Times reports: Four fans were ejected from Fenway Park after in Boston they unveiled an anti-racism banner over the Green Monster on Wednesday night.

“Racism is as American as baseball,” the sign said.

The banner was unfurled in the fourth inning, just above an advertisement for Foxwoods Casino. Umpire Joe West consulted with the police and security about the sign because it was in fair territory. It was taken down and the fans were removed peacefully within minutes.

No arrests were made in the incident.

The Red Sox said in a statement: “During the fourth inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”

Sam Kennedy, the team’s president, told The Boston Globe that the fans “felt connected to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

One of the protesters, maintaining anonymity, emailed a statement to several news organizations that said in part: “We are a group of white anti-racist protesters. We want to remind everyone that just as baseball is fundamental to American culture and history, so too is racism.” [Continue reading…]

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After Charlottesville, black Republican gives Trump a history lesson on racism

The New York Times reports: Tim Scott, the lone black Republican in the Senate, delivered a pointed history lesson on America’s 300-year legacy of racism to President Trump on Wednesday in response to what he called Mr. Trump’s “sterile” response to the riots in Charlottesville, Va., last month.

The president invited Mr. Scott, a conservative from South Carolina who had expressed disgust with Mr. Trump’s equivocal reaction to the white supremacist protests that left one woman dead, to the Oval Office for what Mr. Trump’s staff described as a demonstration of the president’s commitment to “positive race relations.” Both men described the interaction as positive and constructive, but Mr. Scott clearly had a point to make.

When a reporter asked the senator after the meeting if the president had expressed regret, a pained look flashed on Mr. Scott’s face. He paused for a few seconds and replied, “He certainly tried to explain what he was trying to convey.”

White House officials emailed reporters a photograph of Mr. Trump listening intently as Mr. Scott made a point, with both sitting in chairs often used for bilateral meetings with foreign leaders. The White House misidentified him as Tom Scott.

In his remarks to reporters, Mr. Scott made it clear he did not go to the White House for a photo op, but to decisively rebut Mr. Trump’s claim — to the president’s face — that “both sides,” racists and anti-racist protesters, were responsible for the violence that followed a torchlight protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

“My response was that, while that’s true, I mean I think if you look at it from a sterile perspective, there was an antagonist on the other side,” Mr. Scott said.

“However, the real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side,” he said.

“It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries of this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as their reason for existence,” he continued. “I shared my thoughts of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis. So there’s no way to find an equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that is occurring today.”

Mr. Trump responded by repeatedly saying, “That makes sense,” and concluded the meeting by telling the senator, “Let’s keep talking.” [Continue reading…]

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Trump doubled down on blaming both sides for violence in Charlottesville — again

BuzzFeed reports: President Donald Trump again blamed the violence in Charlottesville on both sides on Thursday, when discussing a conversation with Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, the day prior.

On Thursday, on board Air Force One while returning from touring Hurricane Irma damage in Florida, Trump reinforced his previous controversial comments defending white supremacists by pointing to a sometimes violent group that opposes them, Antifa.

Trump told reporters he and Scott “had a great talk yesterday. I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said. Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’”

Trump added, “I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also. But we had a great conversation. And he has legislation, which I actually like very much, the concept of which I support, to get people into certain areas and building and constructing and putting people to work. I told him yesterday that’s a concept I can support very easily.”

When told of Trump’s comments, Scott, of South Carolina, told BuzzFeed News that it’s unrealistic to think President Trump would have an immediate “epiphany” regarding race after their meeting. [Continue reading…]

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Steve Bannon has a Nazi problem

Vanity Fair reports: Hunkered down for his first television interview since he left the White House, an unkempt Steve Bannon succinctly outlined the populist-nationalist mission of Breitbart News. “Our purpose is to support Donald Trump [and] to make sure his enemies know that there’s no free shot on goal,” he told 60 Minutes host Charlie Rose last week. Those enemies include a familiar list of Breitbart targets: establishment lawmakers like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of the G.O.P. swamp; undocumented immigrants protected under DACA; the liberal media; White House “globalists” such as Gary Cohn, and so forth.

But the biggest danger to the president and to Breitbart may be their fellow travelers on what Bannon once called “the alt-right,” as became especially clear after Charlottesville. And Bannon was itching to distance himself from the white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis that have rallied under Trump and supported his agenda. “They’re getting off a free ride off Donald Trump. They’re getting a free ride,” he exploded, his eyes red, calling them a “small,” “vicious group” that “add[s] no value.” As he condemned them, though, he took a characteristic swipe at the media for continuing to blur the lines between racial extremists and his movement. “I don’t need to be—I don’t need to be lectured—by a bunch of—by a bunch of limousine liberals, O.K., from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons, O.K., about any of this.”

Prior to Trump’s surprising election, Bannon’s Breitbart pursued, essentially, a no-enemies-on-the-right policy, with a disparate group of believers in its big tent. For years, as Breitbart cultivated a scurrilous following of anti-Islamists, anti-immigrants, and Internet trolls with questionable Photoshop skills and even more questionable taste, Bannon defended his collection of deplorables as people who were simply united by their hatred of the establishment, whatever it was at any given moment. In August 2016, Bannon called Breitbart “the platform of the alt-right,” yoking his site to an ugly strain of American politics at the expense of his own allies. “I’ve talked to people who work with him, and they said, ‘They don’t know why he said that,’” said Morton Klein, echoing several other Bannon associates I’ve spoken to over the past several months. He rolled with it, however, and tended to dismiss complaints about some of the constituencies as political correctness. [Continue reading…]

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Steve Bannon says he talks to Donald Trump every two to three days

The Wall Street Journal reports: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon speaks with President Donald Trump every two to three days, he told a private lunchtime gathering Tuesday in Hong Kong, some three weeks after the adviser left his administration job.

Mr. Bannon said he most recently spoke with Mr. Trump the previous night for an hour, according to two people who attended the closed-door meeting with the former presidential adviser. The gathering, at a Grand Hyatt hotel restaurant, included a group of about 20 money managers.

Mr. Bannon wasn’t immediately reachable for comment.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday she was aware of two conversations between Mr. Bannon and the president. Of the former chief strategist’s comment that the two speak every two to three days she said, “Certainly not that frequently.” [Continue reading…]

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Echoes of Charlottsville are hard to miss as truck driver threatens antifa protesters in Vancouver WA

Willamette Week reports: Police in Vancouver this afternoon arrested a man after a Patriot Prayer rally when he nearly ran his truck into a crowd of antifascist counter-protesters.

After a rally organized by the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, antifascist protesters marched north into downtown Vancouver along Columbia Avenue.

A black Chevy Silverado with Oregon plates and two large American flags and several small flags hanging from its windows (along with a Confederate flag decal displayed on the back window of the cab) drove up to the marchers. It was driving slowly down a street flanked by people dressed in black bloc clothing.

As the crowd parted to clear the way for the truck to move forward, protesters filled the street behind it and started throwing rocks and water bottles at the truck.

The driver suddenly put his vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward the protesters. As he sped up, people jumped out of the street. [Continue reading…]

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Why white nationalists love Bashar al-Assad

Mariam Elba writes: It shouldn’t be surprising that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become an idol among white nationalists in the United States.

During the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally several weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, Baked Alaska, an infamous far-right YouTuber, livestreamed an encounter with a demonstrator wearing a T-shirt that read “Bashar’s Barrel Delivery Co.” The shirt alluded to the Assad regime’s frequent, horrific use of barrel bombs — weapons employed to indiscriminately target rebel-held areas of Syria.

That rally-goer shouted, “Support the Syrian Arab Army!” and “Assad did nothing wrong!” They gloated over how Assad can “solve this whole ISIS problem” with just two chemical bombs. James Fields, the 20-year-old white supremacist who allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, posted a portrait of Assad, in military regalia and aviator sunglasses to Facebook. A superimposed caption read: “UNDEFEATED.”

There’s a simple explanation for how the American far-right became curiously infatuated with the Arab totalitarian leader: Their hearts were won over by the Assad family’s years-old propaganda campaign at home in Syria. Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power. American neo-Nazis see Assad as a hero.

As the chaos of Charlottesville and its aftermath was unfolding, Assad addressed a group of diplomats in Damascus about the ongoing war in Syria. “We lost many of our youth and infrastructure,” he said, “but we gained a healthier and more homogenous society.”

Whereas white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity, for Assad it means a society free of any kind of political dissent, excluding any Syrian living outside the territory his regime controls. Anyone who does not fit Assad’s specific definition of what it means to be Syrian is up for execution.

Alexander Reid Ross, a lecturer of geography at Portland State University and author of the new book, “Against the Fascist Creep,” said Assad is a figure that is central to a realization of “Eurasianism.” The notion “holds that Russia will lead the world out of a dark age of materialism and toward an ultranationalist rebirth of homogenous ethno-states federated under a heterogeneous spiritual empire,” Reid Ross said. [Continue reading…]

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Trump’s inner racism revealed

Charles M Blow writes: Allow me a moment of personal indulgence: When I began writing a column many years ago, it quickly dawned on me that although I had strong and firm views on some things, there were many others about which my opinions weren’t fully formed. I believe that many of us have areas in our lives where our opinions are fungible. It was only through my experience in this job that my own opinions became so clear to me. Doing the job honed me, revealed me, exposed me.

I believe that something similar, but on a much grander and much more consequential scale, happens with presidents. As Michelle Obama said: “Being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are.” That is what is happening with Donald Trump.

He has in the course of his life been on all sides of many issues, although he was always a liar, bully, misogynist, opportunist and economic isolationist. But his racial hostility and white supremacy seem to have blossomed with his entry into politics and his Russia-aided election. After spending a life catering to the appetites of the greedy and gauche, he realized that there was an exponentially larger market of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. To the aspirational he could be landlord, but to the racists he could be overlord.

Trump’s outrageous decision this week to end DACA, the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allowed many young people brought to this country as children to stay and work here, is just the latest expression of Trump’s growing intolerance and his growing adoption and internalizing of white nationalist ideology.

Not only did Trump wimp out and send the anti-immigration zealot Jeff Sessions out to make the announcement, he also made the sadistic and emotionally manipulative act of professing his “love” for the Dreamers last week, while moving to bring them pain this week. [Continue reading…]

The New York Times reports: President Trump’s immigration policies faced a renewed legal onslaught on Wednesday, as a coalition of Democratic attorneys general, nonprofit groups and private companies announced they would oppose his rollback of Obama-era protections for people who entered the country illegally as children.

In an echo of the campaign against Mr. Trump’s effort this year to ban travelers from parts of the Muslim world, a group of 16 attorneys general — all Democrats — filed suit in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, claiming that Mr. Trump had improperly upended the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

Led by Attorneys General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York, Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Bob Ferguson of Washington, they alleged Mr. Trump’s shift was driven by racial animus toward Mexican Americans and that the Trump administration failed to follow federal rules governing executive policy making. [Continue reading…]

Ishaan Tharoor writes: When describing the deepening political polarization taking place in the United States, Indian American essayist and author Anand Giridharadas once put it this way: “America is fracturing into two distinct societies — a republic of dreams and a republic of fears.”

That line struck me in the wake of the Trump administration’s move to unwind an Obama-era program that gave legal rights and guarantees against deportation to nearly 800,000 undocumented people brought to the United States as children, often known — appropriately, for our purposes — as “dreamers.” These are people who know no real home other than the United States, who are productive members of the American workforce, sometimes serve in the U.S. military and abide by the nation’s laws.

As participants in Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, usually known as DACA, they entrusted their personal information to a government which may soon use that data to conduct mass arrests and deportations. Their fates — in many instances, those of their families — hang in the balance as the White House dangles red meat to its right-wing base. Dreams are turning into nightmares. [Continue reading…]

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Trump’s move to end DACA and echoes of the Immigration Act of 1924

Jelani Cobb writes: From the outset, the rearguard movement that is Trumpism has been honest, at least, about its intentions to deliver the United States back to an earlier era in its history. We have heard this sort of appeal to an Edenic past from conservative politicians for decades—for so long, in fact, that those who wished to avoid the more alarming implications of Donald Trump’s resentment agenda could see him as simply a more rough-hewn version of that variety. They imagined him capable of the fabled “pivot” that would allow a more mature, statesmanlike version of Trump to emerge. When this didn’t happen—when his campaign compiled such a vast collection of bigoted actions and statements that it began to seem as if a case study from a syllabus for a course on intersectionality had sprung off the page and run for high office—they held out hope that he would “grow into” the Presidency. That faith was never warranted, but the past month effectively revealed the difference between unfounded optimism and an outright delusion.

In the span of three weeks, Trump has equivocated on the moral character of Nazi sympathizers, pardoned a former sheriff found guilty of racial profiling (though that is possibly the least egregious of the sheriff’s list of civil-rights affronts), and, finally, announced his plan to rescind President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, imperilling the future of eight hundred thousand people who are Americans in all but the most technical sense of the term. This move is part of a larger vision of immigration. Last month, Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s senior policy advisers, sparred with CNN’s Jim Acosta during a press briefing on the proposed RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) Act. If passed, the legislation would slash legal immigration by fifty per cent, and prioritize highly skilled English speakers among those who are allowed to immigrate. But even the preference for highly skilled immigrants should be viewed skeptically, given Trump’s campaign rhetoric about reducing the numbers of people allowed into the country on H-1B visas. The issue is not whether these immigrants are in the country legally; it’s that they are in the country at all. [Continue reading…]

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The economic senselessness of Trump’s DACA repeal

The Atlantic reports: The president’s statement makes it sound like Dreamers are often violent members of society who, even when they’re not committing crimes, are busy stealing native-born Americans’ jobs and draining scarce government resources. The facts, however, paint a starkly different picture. There is little evidence to suggest that Dreamers are more violent than average Americans, and criminals were never eligible for protection under DACA anyway. Instead, there is considerable evidence that Dreamers are productive members of society.

The typical Dreamer is young and employed at a job that earns about $17 per hour, according to an analysis by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Dreamers pay taxes and are not eligible for federal welfare. As a result, far from being a drain on government, they are a boon. Cato estimates that ending DACA could cost Washington nearly $280 billion in lost tax revenue over the next decade.

Dreamers’ youth is an asset on its own, since the U.S., like most advanced economies, is beset by an aging population and a low natural birth rate. As the economist Paul Krugman points out, a slow-growing population hurts economic growth, exacerbating what economists fear might be long-term, or “secular” stagnation. This is a lesson that Europe and Japan have learned all too well after many years of lackluster GDP growth. “What would make secular stagnation more of a problem?” Krugman asks. “Hey, let’s expel hundreds of thousands of young people from the current and future work force.”

As a group, Dreamers over the age of 25 are more than twice as likely to start a new business than the national average, according to a survey from the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP). The same survey found that more than 90 percent of Dreamers over the age of 25 are currently employed, and, on average, they work 40 hours a week and earn an annual income of $37,000. More than 98 percent of them speak English, and more than 70 percent of them are pursuing (or have attained) a bachelor’s degree. Since the initiative was signed, these young people have increased their college enrollment, found better jobs, and earned more money.

This is the group that the president’s note has accused of being overrun by gang members and criminals. For an administration that has been accused of sympathizing with white supremacy, it may significant to point out that less than 2 percent of Dreamers self-identified as white in the CAP survey. More than 90 percent said their ethnicity was “Hispanic/Latino.” [Continue reading…]

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Trump’s support comes from white resentment

Jamelle Bouie writes: Seven months into his presidency, Donald Trump is deeply unpopular. In Gallup’s latest poll of presidential job approval, he’s down to 34 percent, a level unseen by most presidents outside of an economic disaster or foreign policy blunder. In FiveThirtyEight’s adjusted average of all approval polling, he stands at 37 percent. And yet, few Republican lawmakers of consequence are willing to buck him or his agenda, in large part because their voters still support the president by huge margins. What we have clearer evidence of now is why. From polling and the behavior of individual politicians, it’s become harder to deny that people support the president not just for being president, but for his core message of white resentment and grievance—the only area where he has been consistent and unyielding.

You see broad Republican allegiance to Trump in the polling. Nearly 70 percent of Republicans say they agree with Trump on the issues. And 78 percent of Republicans say they approve of the president’s overall job performance. Republicans who have bucked or criticized Trump, like Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, have jeopardized their political futures as a result.

You also see the degree to which white racial resentment is a key force among Republican voters. Most Republicans, remember, agreed with President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he held both sides—white supremacists and counterdemonstrators—responsible for the chaos that claimed the life of one anti-racist protester. In an analysis of recent polling, my colleague William Saletan observes that, across a number of questions gauging racial animus, Republicans generally (and Trump supporters specifically) are most likely to give answers signaling tolerance for racism and racist ideas. Forty-one percent of Republicans, for example, say that whites face more discrimination than blacks and other nonwhite groups (among strong Trump supporters, it’s 45 percent). Ten percent of Republicans and 19 percent of strong Trump supporters have a favorable impression of white nationalists, while 13 percent of the former (and 17 percent of the latter) say it’s “acceptable” to hold white supremacist views. [Continue reading…]

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U.S. ad agency boosts Germany’s right-wing populist AfD

Der Spiegel reports: For several days now, many Facebook and Twitter users in Germany have been confronted with a disturbing image on their profile pages: It shows bloody tire tracks running across the screen, reminiscent of the ones left by Islamic State terrorists in several European cities. It is accompanied by the slogan: “The tracks left by the world chancellor in Europe.”

Angela Merkel as a terrorist — that’s the motif that the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has chosen to launch the internet portion of its campaign leading up to national parliamentary elections on Sept. 24. The right-wing populists plan to spend a large part of their 3-million-euro budget on similar publicity offenses. The party is planning a digital campaign that may well be more drastic and aggressive than anything German voters have ever seen.

The party’s election posters, designed by advertising professional and prize-winning scandal author Thor Kunkel, have already stood out from those of other parties. One shows the belly of a pregnant white woman with the slogan, “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves,” a reference to the party’s rejection of immigrants in the country. Yet another shows a piglet with the words: “Islam? It doesn’t fit in with our cuisine.” Finally, the one getting perhaps the most attention states, “Burkas? We prefer bikinis.”

But now the AfD, which has always been an internet-savvy party that likes to use the medium to bypass the mainstream media and communicate its messages directly to its fans, has had enough of dead-tree media. It intends to rely heavily on the web as it enters the last, intense phase of the campaign.

To assist in its efforts, the party has tapped Kunkel’s contacts to engage the services of advertising professionals in the United States with experience on the right-wing spectrum. The party is working together with the Texas-based agency Harris Media, which recently presented its plans to the AfD’s national committee. With its provocative and aggressive campaigns, the agency has already contributed to the success of a number of controversial politicians. In Britain, it worked with the anti-EU UKIP party; in Israel, it worked with the governing Likud party; and in the United States, news agency Bloomberg has dubbed company founder Vincent Harris “the man who invented the Republican internet.” [Continue reading…]

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America’s getting more tolerant and haters hate it

Albert Hunt writes: Sure, there were a lot of haters in Charlottesville. That shouldn’t obscure some better news, which is that the U.S. is becoming a more accepting and tolerant nation. Unlike President Donald Trump, most citizens don’t equivocate when asked their opinion of the hate groups that descended on Virginia two weeks ago.

One of the most interesting changes over the years is in attitudes toward interracial marriage. In 1968, a year after interracial marriage was given constitutional protection, 73 percent of the public opposed these unions, including one-third of African-Americans. Only 20 percent approved of them. By 2013, the last year Gallup’s pollsters asked the question, attitudes had dramatically reversed: 87 percent of poll respondents approved of interracial marriage and only 11 were opposed.

According to the Pew Research Center, 7 percent of Americans consider themselves multi-racial. This is an accelerating trend embraced by young people.

While most multi-racial people say they’ve been targets of racial slurs or jokes, almost none think their status is a liability. One in five, the Pew survey finds, say it’s an advantage, while three-quarters say it has made no difference in their daily lives or career.

The Pew Center’s conclusion: Multi-racial Americans “are at the cutting edge of social and demographic changes in the U.S. — young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.” [Continue reading…]

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