Things That Matter

President Trump Furthers Speculation Of Ties To White Supremacy After Sharing Video With White Supremacist Symbol

Once again, Americans are left questioning whether Trump’s campaign simply needs more competent researchers and video editors or if its legitimately using imagery that invokes an adoration for white supremacy. President Donald Trump posted a new campaign video to his Twitter account on August 28 that included the regular content we’ve come to expect: his high approval rating among Republicans, low unemployment rates and stock market growth. Sure. Then, it ended with a symbol of lion’s head, wearing a star-spangled collar and red stripes for a mane. 

Various white supremacist groups have clung to the exact same symbol as a “Lion Guard” for Trump supporters.

“Thank you for the support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump tweeted alongside the video.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“Record low employment” the video claims, with the words “Blacks, Latinos, Veterans” fading into view. It boasts that zero federal dollars have gone to Planned Parenthood in a claim to protect life and liberty. Then, an “I stand with Trump in 2020. DO YOU?” scene fades in, followed by the sound of a lion’s roar and the above image.

White supremacist outlet, VDARE, self-describes as “America’s Immigration Voice,” and has been using this exact symbol since before Trump’s election.

Credit: @vdare / Twitter

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated VDARE as a white nationalist hate group, calling it an “anti-immigrant hate website,” which describes its mission as “dedicated to preserving our historical unity as Americans into the 21st Century.” White nationalist Peter Brimelow founded VDARE and has given a platform to white supremacists around the country, including Jason Kessler, the organizer of 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

VDARE’s own founder, Peter Brimelow, has posited that Latinos “specialize in rape, particularly of children.”

Credit: @letsgomathias / Twitter

Not only has he suggested this, but he’s lauded Trump for reflecting that sentiment in his immigration policies. In a 2017 American Renaissance conference, he said, “But there’s no doubt that something in that book got to [President Donald Trump] because the way his speech was set up. His announcement speech went to the question of Hispanic crime, specifically rape. And [Ann Coulter]’s book is a very powerful statement of the fact that crime in this country is ethnically variegated. There’s ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They’re very prone to it, compared to other groups.”

Then, there’s the dedicated Fascist militia, called the “Lion Guard.”

Credit: @DustinGiebel / Twitter

The “Lion Guard” was born on March 15, 2016, and describes itself as an “informal civilian group dedicated to the safety and security of #Trump supports by exposing Far-Left infiltrators and saboteurs.” Its website homepage commemorates the controversial moment that Trump retweeted a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini: “Better to be a lion for a day, than a lamb for eternity.” The “Lion Guard” is essentially a right-leaning Internet troll group, which aims to monitor Trump protesters by posting images of citizens who plan to protest Trump rallies. The “Lion Guard” has also idolized Communist Mao Zedong, tweeting “Mao had the Red guard, Bernie has the #BernOut Guard.”

That said, those white nationalist groups didn’t design the symbol, but have taken it to new depths of meaning.

Credit: @thewooga / Twitter

“For normies, like a kids soccer jersey logo etc, nah, probably not,” writer Dustin Giebel replied. “Politics? Duh! Especially if it connects to extremists groups. This is elementary stuff. They—being the campaign—should understand all the logos and emblems they’re sharing. Only took you two mins, right?” So, again, we ask the question. Is the Trump campaign that deft or do they know they’re dog-whistling the “Lion Guard,” and the white nationalists to come out to the polls?

One lawyer did some digging and found that the symbol was first used by a Dutch white supremacist that Trump retweeted in 2015.

Credit: @puckthecat1 / Twitter

Trump retweeted Twitter user @keksec_org’s message, “I truly believe you are the best #MakeAmericaGreatAgain” with a “Thank you so much!” Meanwhile, @keksec_org’s own Twitter bio read “#KekSec/Stop #WhiteGenocide/White Preservist/Programmer/Dutch Patriot/Race War when?” Talking Points Memo also noted that the user defended slavery and colonialism, and fears for white genocide. When Black folks called out his racism, he called them “melanin enhanced” or condescended to the “feeble mind of the African American negro.”

The account has since been suspended. According to the Daily Beast, Trump has retweeted 178 unverified users, 10 percent of whom have been suspended.

You can watch the full video below.

READ: Trump Campaign Posts ‘Summer Of Winning’ Video In Response To Criticism

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

Things That Matter

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz about who Vice President Joe Biden will pick to be his running mate. One thing everyone agrees on is that the running mate should be a woman of color. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reportedly asked to going through the vetting process. Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto came forward to say she has no interest in being a running mate.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is officially withdrawing her name from Jo Biden’s list of potential running mates.

Sen. Cortez Masto is the first Latina ever elected to the Senate and her career has been a highlight for the state. However, the serious impact of COVID-19 on Nevada, one of the hardest-hit economies in the U.S., convinced her not to try to earn the position of running mate for Biden.

Sen. Cortez Masto has been engaged in the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in the Silver State.

“I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” reads a statement from her campaign. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits are 28 percent, which is the highest in the country right now. The number is also the highest unemployment number recorded by a state since 1976. Latinos make up 30 percent of the state’s population meaning that Latinos in the state are feeling the crunch.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, praised Sen. Cortez Masto for her work with Nevada.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

There is still time for Biden to pick his running mate and women seem to be at the top of the list.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar came under fire recently after it was discovered that she refused to bring charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In 2006, Chauvin was involved in the deadly shooting of a Black man and Sen. Klobuchar, who was the Hennepin County attorney at the time, declined to bring up charges in the death.

Sen. Klobuchar sent the case to a grand jury and the grand jury found no reason to prosecute. It is a decision that Sen. Klobuchar claims to realize was a lapse of judgment.

“I think that was wrong now,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself.”

READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator

A Woman Left Racist Notes On People’s Front Doors Telling Them America Is A ‘Nation Of White People’

Things That Matter

A Woman Left Racist Notes On People’s Front Doors Telling Them America Is A ‘Nation Of White People’

@_dalenaaa / Twitter

Racism never stops in America – no need to look any further than the news headlines from the past 48 hours. From Central Park Karen to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officers, people of color continue to experience outrageous acts of racism.

During the global Coronavirus pandemic, racism and white supremacy have been used to ignite attacks against communities of color and especially at immigrants. Although the U.S. has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world, many Americans ignorantly continue to blame foreigners and immigrants for bringing the virus to the U.S.

A SF Bay Area woman left racist notes containing white supremacist views on doors of homes belonging to immigrants.

A white woman in the Oakland suburb of Dublin has been arrested by police for allegedly leaving handwritten racist messages at several homes, targeting immigrants.

The white supremacist notes suggested that those not native to the United States should leave the country immediately so a ‘white, brave, American’ could live there instead.

“If you are a woman or man and was born in other country, return, go back to your land immediately, fast, with urgency,” the note said. It ended with “One American, white, brave, that serves the Nation or USA is going to live here.”

According to police department news release, the messages were directed towards women and children as well. Officers from the department had investigated a similar incident after a “related note” ordering Asian people to “leave immediately” was found on an information board on a popular hiking trail. Police said they believe the same woman was responsible for that note as well as the others, “messages that instilled fear and intimidation upon those residents.”

Residents targeted by the notes posted the incident to their social media, which helped lead to the woman’s arrest.

One resident gave the officers images captured on his doorbell security camera of a woman taping the note, and the officers soon found her in the area, police said in a statement.

The photo of the note shows text referring to the U.S. Constitution and God, demanding that anyone “born in other country” go back immediately. The note includes white supremacist language. Another note posted to Twitter used similar language, claiming that “in this place no Asian allowed,” and mentioning a May 23 deadline.

The surveillance images shared on social media quickly led police to identify and arrest a suspect, Nancy Arechiga, 52, authorities said. She was “soon located near the community while officers were still in the area,” police said, adding that she was carrying a backpack containing “handwritten notes of the same nature.”

Reports of racist acts directed against Asian people have surged amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Credit: Steven Senne / Getty

According to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that’s been tracking self-reported incidents, more than 1,100 physical and verbal attacks against Asian Americans have been documented since late March. 

The high number of reports, which have been submitted over just two weeks, is especially striking since people across the country have predominantly been sheltering in place. The incidents — logged through the Stop AAPI Hate website, which launched on March 19 — are wide-ranging. 

In one, an Asian American child was pushed off her bike by a bystander at a park. In another, a family at a grocery store was spat on and accused of being responsible for the coronavirus. For some, including one Japanese restaurant owner, the harassment has come in the form of vandalism.

In a VOX interview, Manjusha Kulkarni says, “So many of us have experienced it, sometimes for the first time in our lives. It makes it much harder to go to the grocery store, to take a walk, to be outside our homes.”