Steve Bannon, White Nationalists and the Spread of Hate

by on January 30, 2017 · 2 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, History, Politics

Steve Bannon. Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Trump’s Scariest Move Yet
(It Wasn’t the Immigration Order)

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

While the national media was focused on the effects of and responses to the executive order on immigration, President Donald Trump was making an even scarier move.

Bannon’s creed is nothing new, as this Pre-WWII Seuss cartoon demonstrates.

From Common Dreams:

President Donald Trump signed memorandums on Saturday that kicked the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers off the National Security Council’s (NSC) Principals Committee and elevated his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in their place.

The memorandum gives Bannon, former executive chair of the right-wing website Breitbart News, a regular seat at some of the most sensitive meetings at the highest levels of government, along with other NSC meetings.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—who need to be confirmed by the Senate—will now only attend the meetings when discussions pertain to their “responsibilities and expertise,” the memo states.

The Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the only two statutory advisers to the National Security Council. Pushing them out is a BFD.

Steve Bannon’s inclusion in the NSC also breaks a long-standing precedent against political advisors having such a role.

Bannon is, at best, a fellow traveler for white nationalists, though he defines himself as an economic nationalist. He has long and deep ties to the so-called ‘alt-right.’

As David Corn, writing for Mother Jones, points out it’s fair and necessary to call Bannon a White Nationalist Champion:

In July, Bannon, who soon would leave Breitbart to become a top campaign aide to Trump, was interviewed by journalist Sarah Posner. He proudly declared of Breitbart, “We’re the platform for the alt-right.” The alt-right is an extreme but not well-defined wing of the conservative movement that rants against immigrants, Muslims, the globalist agenda, and multiculturalism and that generally advocates white nationalism (if not white supremacism—in this world, there is a difference). The alt-right also generates a hefty amount of anti-Semitism. (For more on the alt-right, see here and here.) …

…Race is central to the alt-right. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, notes, “The alt-right, in a nutshell, believes that Western culture is inseparable from European ethnicity.” That is, being white. Whether its activists prefer white nationalism (saying that different races can’t get along so nonwhites should somehow be separated from white America) or white supremacism (saying that whites are inherently superior to others), this is a racist movement. And its activists have also traded in anti-Semitism, often hurling anti-Semitic jabs at journalists who write about the alt-right or Trump. By the way, Bannon’s ex-wife did once accuse him of making anti-Semitic remarks. (Bannon denied making the comments.)

How does this affect White House policy?

From CNN:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized, government officials said.

Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.

The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.

Parsing The Executive Order

The executive order, according to the Intercept:

…relies on Division O, Title II, Section 203 of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which lays out security-related exemptions to the visa waiver program, to derive that list of seven countries. In the 2016 law, Iraq and Syria are explicitly listed, Iran and Sudan are included as state sponsors of terrorism, and Libya, Somalia, and Yemen are in the “area of concern” as designated by the Department of Homeland Security.

What all seven countries also have in common is that the United States government has violently intervened in them. The U.S. is currently bombing — or has bombed in the recent past — six of them. The U.S. has not bombed Iran, but has a long history of intervention including a recent cyberattack.

It’s like a twisted version of the you-break-it-you-buy-it Pottery Barn rule: If we bomb a country or help destabilize its society, we will then ban its citizens from being able to seek refuge in the United States.

How The Hate Spreads

The Islamophobe/White Nationalists on the right have been laying the groundwork for the Trump regime’s executive order.

From the New York Times:

Type the word refugees into Facebook and some alarming “news” will appear about a refugee rape crisis, a refugee flesh-eating disease epidemic and a refugee-related risk of female genital mutilation — none of it true.

For the months leading up to the presidential election, and in the days since President Trump took office, ultraconservative websites like Breitbart News and Infowars have published a cycle of eye-popping stories with misleading claims about refugees. And it is beginning to influence public perception, experts say.

Shutting Down CAIR

The Union-Tribune included Tribune News Service coverage in their Sunday edition:

In another legal challenge, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would file a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 individuals challenging the order. The suit, to be filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Virginia, argues that the executive order is unconstitutional because of its apparent aim of singling out Muslims.

“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security,” the group’s national litigation director, Lena F. Masri, said in a statement. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”

The Trump regime’s response to those challenges will likely include attacking the groups filing those lawsuits.

You can bet that Senator Ted Cruz will take advantage of the situation to promote his four-time losing legislation to have the Muslim Brotherhood declared a terrorist organization. Of course, the Brotherhood isn’t the real target: it’s the various civil rights groups in the United States advocating on behalf of Muslims and Arab-Americans.

It’s a long-standing article of faith among right-wing Islamaphobes that all these groups are part of one larger conspiracy. This conspiracy theory is based on a sole discredited document (written in 1991) seized in a 2004 FBI raid. These same folks, by the way, also think conservative tax warrior Grover Norquist is a Sharia stooge.

From the Huffington Post:

Headline at Bannon’s former home shows how to gin up the fear.

Yet with the election of Donald Trump, who has surrounded himself with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists, and with Republicans in control of the Senate and House, the proposed Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act has a chance of passing and being signed into law.

Lana Safah, a spokeswoman for the Muslim American Society, another high-profile Muslim advocacy group, told HuffPost that her group has “no affiliation with any foreign or international organization.”

Yet, she said, “in the Trump era, and in the most Islamophobic atmosphere the American Muslim community has ever experienced, it seems we should expect the unexpected, such as this unprecedented designation, which no former administration has made. It would cripple the operations of any Muslim organizations linked, however circumstantially, to the Brotherhood.”

“Demonizing these organizations,” she added, “will only hinder national security efforts to eradicate the roots of violent extremism.”

Nathan Lean, author of the 2012 book The Islamophobia Industry, agrees. He said designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group could give government officials cover to effectively dismantle U.S. Muslim groups. And that, he fears, would lead to “the wanton violation of American Muslim civil rights.”

Via Think Progress:

The Islamic Center in Victoria Texas was torched just hours after Trump signed the immigration executive order….

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jettyboy jettyboy January 30, 2017 at 11:42 am

Dems and Libs, should stop telling people to wait and see, when the government is extreme, it’s NOT ok to be moderate!

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John January 31, 2017 at 10:11 am

I am just amazed that there is no mention as to the bans’ temporary nature. It’s only until we can determine if the existing policies are working and if new policies need to be implemented. As to it being a Muslim ban, I just re-read the entire order and the word “Muslim” wasn’t used once. It’s not Islamophobic, it’s anti-terrorist whether they be jihadists or fanatical Christians.

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