I’ve become a racist’: Migrant wave unleashes Danish tensions over identity

The New York Times reports: Johnny Christensen, a stout and silver-whiskered retired bank employee, always thought of himself as sympathetic to people fleeing war and welcoming to immigrants. But after more than 36,000 mostly Muslim asylum seekers poured into Denmark over the past two years, Mr. Christensen, 65, said, “I’ve become a racist.”

He believes these new migrants are draining Denmark’s cherished social-welfare system but failing to adapt to its customs. “Just kick them out,” he said, unleashing a mighty kick at an imaginary target on a suburban sidewalk. “These Muslims want to keep their own culture, but we have our own rules here and everyone must follow them.”

Denmark, a small and orderly nation with a progressive self-image, is built on a social covenant: In return for some of the world’s highest wages and benefits, people are expected to work hard and pay into the system. Newcomers must quickly learn Danish — and adapt to norms like keeping tidy gardens and riding bicycles.

The country had little experience with immigrants until 1967, when the first “guest workers” were invited from Turkey, Pakistan and what was then Yugoslavia. Its 5.7 million people remain overwhelmingly native born, though the percentage has dropped to 88 today from 97 in 1980.

Bo Lidegaard, a prominent historian, said many Danes feel strongly that “we are a multiethnic society today, and we have to realize it — but we are not and should never become a multicultural society.”

The recent influx pales next to the one million migrants absorbed into Germany or the 163,000 into Sweden last year, but the pace shocked this stable, homogeneous country. The center-right government has backed harsh measures targeting migrants, hate speech has spiked, and the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is now the second largest in Parliament. [Continue reading…]


Muslim gathering laments a ‘normalization of bigotry’

The New York Times reports: An imam of a mosque in New York City and his associate shot dead while strolling following afternoon prayers. A presidential candidate calling for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States. Muslim women harassed and physically attacked in Chicago while walking to their car.

During the Islamic Society of North America convention that started here on Friday, official speakers said these actions had become all too commonplace in the United States.

“In this political climate, we’ve seen a normalization of bigotry,” said Altaf Husain, an associate professor at Howard University and a vice president of the society, whose convention here is the largest Muslim gathering in the United States and Canada.

But Mr. Husain, expressing what he said was the sentiment of many other American Muslims, said the Obama administration had made it a priority to bolster engagement with Muslims across the country. The latest example of the administration’s engagement came Saturday night when Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, became the first sitting cabinet member to address the Islamic Society’s convention.

Mr. Johnson said his speech was part of a sustained outreach effort that has taken him from the suburbs of Washington to Minneapolis to Los Angeles, where he has met with community leaders and visited mosques, while fielding questions about racial profiling and anti-Muslim speech on the presidential campaign trail.

In his address, Mr. Johnson told the audience that their lives were “the quintessential American story.” [Continue reading…]


Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians

Matthew Sheffield writes: Trump’s style and positions — endorsing and consorting with 9/11 truthers, promoting online racists, using fake statistics — draw on a now-obscure political strategy called “paleolibertarianism,” which was once quite popular among some Republicans, especially former presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Formally, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may be his father’s political heir. But there’s no question that the paranoid and semi-racialist mien frequently favored by Trump originates in the fevered swamps that the elder Paul dwelled in for decades. Most people who back Trump don’t do so for racist reasons, but it’s incredible how many of the same white nationalists and conspiracy theorists to whom Ron Paul once catered are now ardent Trump supporters. It’s because Trump and Paul speak the same language.

Mainstream libertarians have been agonizing over this legacy among themselves for some time, hoping that either the elder or younger Paul would definitively denounce the movement’s racialist past, but no such speech has ever come. Instead, the paleolibertarian strategy concocted decades ago as a way to push for minimal government threatens to replace right-wing libertarianism with white nationalism.

The figure whose ideas unify Pauline libertarians and today’s Trumpists is the late Murray Rothbard, an economist who co-founded the Cato Institute and is widely regarded as the creator of libertarianism.

Nowadays, many libertarians like to portray their ideology as one that somehow transcends the left-right divide, but to Rothbard, this was nonsense. Libertarianism, he argued, was nothing more than a restatement of the beliefs of the “Old Right,” which resolutely opposed the New Deal and any sort of foreign intervention in the early 20th century. Many of its adherents, such as essayist H.L. Mencken, espoused racist viewpoints, as well.

As moderate Republicans such as Dwight Eisenhower and “New Right” Christian conservatives such as William F. Buckley became more influential within the Republican Party in the 1950s and ’60s, the future creators of libertarianism gravitated instead toward the work of secular anti-communist thinkers such as economist Ludwig von Mises and novelist Ayn Rand. [Continue reading…]


Trump’s political police at the gates of America

Timothy Egan writes: Give me your extreme-vetted, your ideologically certified, your elite. Send only the smartest, the best-connected, the richest to our shores. No losers, no freethinkers, and no ugly people, please.

In the hate speech that Donald Trump gave on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday night, he all but deported the Statue of Liberty, laying out one of the darkest visions of the American experience that any major-party nominee has ever given. Despite the media misread by some who presented the speech as a pivot, it got rave reviews from neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan supporters, and prompted some of Trump’s few Latino advisers to resign in protest. “Excellent speech,” said David Duke, the former Klan leader.

In Trump’s America, those working in the shadows are not the lawn cutters, Sheetrock hangers, fruit pickers or nannies we see in every community, but the criminal dregs. Under his rules, this country would have closed its doors long ago to those who made the United States the great experiment, unique to the world. He would have shut off the flow of people whose best and perhaps only asset at the time was desire for a better life. [Continue reading…]


‘No vacancies’ for blacks: How Donald Trump got his start, and was first accused of bias

The New York Times reports: She seemed like the model tenant. A 33-year-old nurse who was living at the Y.W.C.A. in Harlem, she had come to rent a one-bedroom at the still-unfinished Wilshire Apartments in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens. She filled out what the rental agent remembers as a “beautiful application.” She did not even want to look at the unit.

There was just one hitch: Maxine Brown was black.

Stanley Leibowitz, the rental agent, talked to his boss, Fred C. Trump.

“I asked him what to do and he says, ‘Take the application and put it in a drawer and leave it there,’” Mr. Leibowitz, now 88, recalled in an interview.

It was late 1963 — just months before President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act — and the tall, mustachioed Fred Trump was approaching the apex of his building career. He was about to complete the jewel in the crown of his middle-class housing empire: seven 23-story towers, called Trump Village, spread across nearly 40 acres in Coney Island.

He was also grooming his heir. His son Donald, 17, would soon enroll at Fordham University in the Bronx, living at his parents’ home in Queens and spending much of his free time touring construction sites in his father’s Cadillac, driven by a black chauffeur.

“His father was his idol,” Mr. Leibowitz recalled. “Anytime he would come into the building, Donald would be by his side.”

Over the next decade, as Donald J. Trump assumed an increasingly prominent role in the business, the company’s practice of turning away potential black tenants was painstakingly documented by activists and organizations that viewed equal housing as the next frontier in the civil rights struggle.

The Justice Department undertook its own investigation and, in 1973, sued Trump Management for discriminating against blacks. Both Fred Trump, the company’s chairman, and Donald Trump, its president, were named as defendants. It was front-page news, and for Donald, amounted to his debut in the public eye. [Continue reading…]


Racism and talk of religious war: Trump staff’s online posts

The Associated Press reports: Donald Trump’s paid campaign staffers have declared on their personal social media accounts that Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war, according to a review by The Associated Press of their postings.

The AP examined the social media feeds of more than 50 current and former campaign employees who helped propel Trump through the primary elections. The campaign has employed a mix of veteran political operatives and outsiders. Most come across as dedicated, enthusiastic partisans, but at least seven expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions or broadly hostile to Muslims.

A graphic designer for Trump’s advance team approvingly posted video of a black man eating fried chicken and criticizing fellow blacks for ignorance, irresponsibility and having too many children. A Trump field organizer in Virginia declared that Muslims were seeking to impose Sharia law in America and that “those who understand Islam for what it is are gearing up for the fight.”

The AP’s findings come at a time when Trump is showing new interest in appealing to minority voters, insisting he will be fair in dealing with the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally and explicitly pitching himself to African-Americans, saying “what do you have to lose?” [Continue reading…]


Alt Right rejoices at Donald Trump’s Steve Bannon hire

The Daily Beast reports: Donald Trump’s campaign is under new management — and his white nationalist fanboys love it.

The campaign’s new chief executive, Stephen Bannon, joins from Breitbart News — where he helped mainstream the ideas of white nationalists and resuscitate the reputations of anti-immigrant fear-mongers.

White nationalists today invest a lot of energy worrying about growing Hispanic and Muslim populations in the U.S. Turns out, Breitbart News spends a lot of time worrying about those things, too. And in Bannon, they see a media-friendly, ethno-nationalist fellow traveler.

“Latterly, Breitbart emerged as a nationalist site and done great stuff on immigration in particular,” VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow told The Daily Beast.

VDare is a white supremacist site. It’s named after Virginia Dare, the first white child born to British colonists in North America. Brimelow said he and Bannon met briefly last month and exchanged pleasantries about each other’s work.

“It’s irritating because VDARE.com is not used to competition,” Brimelow added. “I presume that is due to Bannon, so his appointment is great news.”

Brimelow isn’t the only prominent white nationalist to praise the Bannon hire. Richard Spencer, who heads the white supremacist think tank National Policy Institute, said he was also pleased. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has given favorable coverage to the white supremacist Alt Right movement. And Spencer loves it. [Continue reading…]


Was it hate? Tulsa murder case shines light on lack of bias crime data


McClatchy reports: Stanley Vernon Majors was a neighbor from hell.

For five years, according to witness accounts and court papers, Majors terrorized the Jabara family living next door to him in suburban Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He disrupted their family gatherings. He hassled visitors if they parked in front of his house. He hurled racial slurs at a black friend of the family. He even made false claims to health inspectors, the Jabaras said, sabotaging their lucrative catering contract providing hummus to Whole Foods stores.

Majors often mentioned the family’s Arab roots in his tirades; one police report quoted him as calling them “filthy Lebanese.” He also used “Ay-rabs” and “Mooslems,” recalled the Jabaras, who are Christians.

The harassment took a violent turn last September, when Majors was charged with ramming his car into the Jabara family’s 65-year-old matriarch, Haifa, who suffered a collapsed lung, head trauma and broken bones from her nose to her ankle. Majors was awaiting trial on charges from that incident when, last Friday, according to the authorities, he walked next door and fired four shots at 37-year-old Khalid Jabara, killing him on his front porch.

Among Arab and Muslim Americans, the case immediately was viewed as a hate crime, with Jabara portrayed as the latest victim in a bloody wave of attacks against people perceived as foreigners or Muslims. “Hate was definitely part of it. This guy did hate our family,” said Jabara’s brother, Rami, speaking by phone to McClatchy this week.

Yet despite the well-documented history of Majors’ targeting the family, there’s no guarantee that prosecutors will seek hate crime charges in addition to the murder charge against him. Legal specialists who track hate-crime prosecutions nationwide say the Jabara case is likely to run into the same hurdles that civil rights advocates have warned about in numerous studies: Hate crime laws can be prohibitively difficult to use, narrow as to what offenses are covered, and dependent on police who often have no obligation to report – or lack training in how to respond to – crimes involving bias.

That disconnect – having laws on the books but problems using them – is a source of growing frustration for Arab-American, Muslim and other civil rights activists who have seen numerous attacks that appear to have been motivated by racial or religious hatred, but weren’t considered that way under the law. The result, activists say, is the loss of confidence in the justice system just as a nasty political climate deepens fears of bias-motivated attacks. [Continue reading…]


Why blacks loathe Trump

Charles Blow writes: So now Donald Trump is campaigning for the black vote. (Long, awkward pause.)

Like so much of what Trump has said and done, this new outreach forces writers like me to conduct scatological studies, framing Trump’s actions in their historical and intellectual absurdity.

But, here we go.

Trump, who got a shocking 1 percent of support among black voters in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, has been urged to reach out to black voters.

A day after The New York Times published an article pointing out that “the Republican nominee has not held a single event aimed at black voters in their communities, shunning the traditional stops at African-American churches, historically black colleges and barber shops and salons that have long been staples of the presidential campaign trail,” Trump ventured to a suburban town outside Milwaukee that is 95 percent white and 1 percent black to tell the black population of America — a population that has been consumed in recent years by a discussion of police misconduct and extrajudicial killings — that “the problem in our poorest communities is not that there are too many police, the problem is that there are not enough police.”

The speech was tone deaf, facile and nonsensical, much like the man who delivered it. [Continue reading…]


The deep roots of Donald Trump’s white nationalism


Timothy Shenk writes: [Leviathan and Its Enemies, by Samuel Francis, finished in 1995 but not discovered until after his death a decade later and published earlier this year, is] one of the most impressive books to come out of the American right in a generation – and the most frightening. It is a searching diagnosis of managerial society, written by an author looking for a strategy that could break it apart.

Like much of Francis’s writing, Leviathan and Its Enemies began with Burnham – in this case, quite literally. “This book,” Francis announced in the first sentence, “is an effort to revise and reformulate the theory of the managerial revolution as advanced by James Burnham in 1941 [in The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World].”

Francis agreed that society had been taken over by managers, but he believed the new ruling class was far more vulnerable than Burnham had realised. Not everyone had benefited from the rise of the experts – and Francis saw this unequal distribution of rewards as the managerial regime’s greatest weakness.

For reasons he never quite explained, he insisted that the cosmopolitan elite threatened the traditional values cherished by most Americans: “morality and religion, family, nation, local community, and at times racial integrity and identity”. These were sacred principles for members of a new “post-bourgeois proletariat” drawn from the working class and the lower ranks of the middle class. Lacking the skills prized by technocrats, but not far enough down the social ladder to win the attention of reformers, these white voters considered themselves victims of a coalition between the top and bottom against the middle.

According to Francis, this cohort had supplied the animating spirit of rightwing politics since the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. They had supported Goldwater – but Francis regarded Goldwater’s programme, like the “movement conservatism” of the National Review, as a “quaintly bourgeois” throwback to the oligarchic politics of the 19th century, with nothing to offer the modern working man. Their tribune was not Goldwater but George Wallace, the notorious segregationist and Democratic governor of Alabama – who won five southern states as an anti-civil rights third-party candidate in the 1968 presidential election. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan had appealed to this group, too, but neglected their interests after taking office. Despite having elected multiple presidents, the post-bourgeois proletariat had yet to find a voice.

Yet Francis had difficulty explaining why managerial society would generate so much opposition in the first place. In Leviathan and Its Enemies, he argued that resistance to the cosmopolitan elite would be driven by “immutable elements of human nature” that “necessitate attachment to the concrete and historical roots of moral values and meaning”.

He was more candid in a speech he gave while working on the book. “What we as whites must do,” he declared, “is reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms through the articulation of a racial consciousness as whites.” Where mainstream conservatives depicted the US as a nation whose diverse population was linked by devotion to its founding principles, Francis viewed it as a racial project inextricably bound up with white rule. The managerial revolution jeopardised this racial hierarchy, and so it must be overthrown.

Francis delivered his remarks on racial consciousness at a conference organised by American Renaissance, an obscure journal devoted to promoting white nationalism. Years earlier, Francis had struck up a friendship with Jared Taylor, who went on to found the magazine with Francis’s encouragement. From their first encounter, Taylor recalled, he and Francis “understood each other immediately”.

Francis’s employers at the Washington Times were not as sympathetic. The paper fired him after his comments were released, a move that was part of his larger expulsion from the respectable right. [William J.] Buckley himself dismissed Francis as “spokesman” for a group that had “earned their exclusion from thoughtful conservative ranks”.

Yet Francis would not be so easily purged. For years he had cultivated a relationship with Pat Buchanan, a one-time Nixon protege who had become one of the country’s most recognisable conservatives thanks to his role as co-host of CNN’s popular debating programme Crossfire. In 1992, Buchanan launched a long-shot campaign against incumbent president George HW Bush that, against all expectations, garnered almost 3m votes in the primaries. While all this was going on, Buchanan was growing closer to Francis, whom he later called “perhaps the brightest and best thinker on the right”.

Francis and Buchanan were linked by their association with a breakaway faction on the right known as paleoconservatism. While mainstream conservatives had taken advantage of cushy gigs in New York and Washington, paleocons depicted themselves as spokesmen for the forgotten residents of flyover country. Francis urged Buchanan to make another run for the White House in 1996, this time as the candidate of the post-bourgeois resistance. That campaign would be based on three issues: protectionism, opposition to immigration and an “America First” foreign policy that repudiated global commitments and foreign interventions in order to focus on defending the national interest. [Continue reading…]


Trump seems to be seriously inciting intimidation of minority voters


Based on its analysis of the polls, FiveThrityEight currently gives Donald Trump an 11.9% chance of winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes on November 8. In its aggregate of all recent polls in Pennsylvania, RealClearPolitics finds that in a two-way race, Hillary Clinton leads with 49.2% and Trump trails at 40.0%.

With collapsing support, Trump seems to have concluded that the only way he can win in a state like this is by promoting a stop-the-vote campaign targeting minority voters.

The Los Angeles Times reports: In remarks with strong racial overtones, Donald Trump told a mainly white rural crowd in Pennsylvania on Friday that vote fraud could cheat him out of victory and vowed to dispatch police who support him to monitor polls in “certain parts” of the state.

“We’re going to have unbelievable turnout, but we don’t want to see people voting five times, folks,” the Republican presidential nominee said at a rally in Altoona, Pa.

After months of racially charged violence between Trump supporters and protesters at his rallies, the comments raised the specter of confrontations on election day in precincts with many minority voters.

Trump, who previously suggested the Nov. 8 election would be rigged for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said he’d “heard some stories about certain parts of the state, and we have to be very careful.”

“Maybe you should go down and volunteer or do something,” Trump told the audience, bemoaning Pennsylvania’s lack of voter identification requirements.

“We have a lot of law enforcement people working that day,” he said. “We’re hiring a lot of people. We’re putting a lot of law enforcement — we’re going to watch Pennsylvania, go down to certain areas and watch and study, and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”

Trump’s remarks came two weeks after a federal appeals court struck down a voter ID law in North Carolina, another presidential battleground state. The law targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision” in an effort to suppress the black vote, the court found. [Continue reading…]

The Washington Post reports: After telling an audience in Altoona, Pa., that he would seek their help in policing the polls in November to root out voter fraud — something that even the state of Pennsylvania has noted doesn’t exist in any meaningful way — Donald Trump’s campaign nationalized the effort on Saturday morning. Now eager Trump backers can go to Trump’s website and sign up to be “a Trump Election Observer.” Do so, and you get an email thanking you for volunteering and assuring you that the campaign will “do everything we are legally allowed to do to stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election.”

There are any number of problems with this, again starting with the fact that the frequency of in-person voter fraud in elections is lower than getting five numbers right in the Powerball. But there’s a potentially bigger legal problem noted by election law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine: Trump’s unnecessary effort could be violating a prohibition against voter intimidation that applies to the Republican Party. [Continue reading…]


Trump crowds are angry about the demise of America’s white Christian majority

Robert P. Jones writes: On the surface, the answer to why the campaign rallies of Donald Trump have been frequently marked by vitriolic and racist outbursts, harsh rhetoric and even violence is simple: the candidate has encouraged it. But the raw materials Trump has at his disposal have been mined and refined for nearly half a century. Trump is not the source but an igniting spark.

The apocalyptic rhetoric that regularly escapes the bounds of civil discourse at Trump events is fueled by the particular energies that are unleashed when a long-dominant group senses the looming end of its era. Certainly, the boarded up shop fronts of small towns that testify to the disappearance of reliable working class jobs are a critical part of this sense of loss and distress. But the watershed moment that many analysts have missed, and that Trump’s most ardent supporters feel in their bones, is this: During Barack Obama’s tenure as president, the United States has crossed the threshold from being a majority white Christian country (54 percent in 2008) to a minority white Christian country (45 percent in 2015). The passing of a coherent cultural world — where working class jobs made ends meet and white conservative Christian values held sway — has produced this powerful politics of white Christian resentment. [Continue reading…]