STAND BY….THIS IS NOT A TEST
By C.C. Campbell-Rock
Last week during the Presidential debate, the proof emerged that Donald J. Trump is a white supremacist. Later, Trump pretended dumb about knowing the white supremacist group, Proud Boys. But he clearly sent them a message to “Stand back and stand by.” And he refused to both denounce the group, specifically, and white supremacy in general.
Over 100 million watched the debate. Now those who have tacitly ignored Trump’s behavior must now admit what Black people have known all along. That Trump is racist is not the overriding problem with him harboring racist ideologies. It is his racist-tinged policies and those of the Republican Party, in toto, that is most destructive.
Trump’s law and order declaration is a coded message to police forces nationwide. Law and order means continue punitive attacks on communities of color. And law and order means attack anyone who supports the Black Lives Matter Movement. Also, there is a report that points to the infiltration of police forces by white supremacists.
FBI Recognizes White Supremacy Groups
Michael German, a former FBI special agent has written extensively about US law enforcement’s response to far-right domestic terror threats. He found US law enforcement officials directly tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states. Also hundreds of police officers were caught posting racist and bigoted social media content.
FBI Director Christopher Ray testified that the greatest domestic terrorism threat is from white supremacists. Still Trump `continues to deflect, and shift blame for the carnage in the street. Trump points out Anti-FA., which he claims is an organization.
“The anti-fascist protest movement known as ’antifa” gained new prominence in the United States after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017. In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Founded in 1913, the ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. They started in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry.
So, it isn’t a leap of faith to suggest that Trump is a fascist. He acts like many of the so-called “strong men” he admires. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are two examples.
Add to that Donald Trump, Jr. has called for a Trump Army to be poll watchers. It’s clear that Trump is depending on his Trump army to react violently if he loses the general election.
In February, the FBI elevated the threat posed by racially-motivated violent extremists to a “national threat priority” for 2020. Violent extremism motivated by racism is now a priority for the FBI. “On the same footing as ISIS,” Director Christopher Wray told the House Judiciary Committee.
“Racially-motivated violent extremists were the primary source of ideologically-motivated violence in 2018 and 2019 and have been considered the most lethal of all domestic extremists since 2001,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
Signs of Trump coddling of white supremacists didn’t go unnoticed in 2019, either. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sounded the alarm on “Face the Nation,” when he said that President Trump “encourages racism” and “encourages white supremacy” with his words.
Words do Matter
“Words matter,” Bloomberg told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, after she asked whether it was a mistake to tie the president’s words to white supremacy. “What the president says is very important, and if he supports or says nice things about racism, it encourages racism. If he goes and says nice things about white supremacists, he encourages that kind of violence.”
“The U.S. has seen a rise in violence by white supremacists, including the murders of 11 people at a Pittsburgh Synagogue in 2018. There was also a deadly clash at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, the murders of nine people at a church in Charleston in 2015 and the deaths of six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012,” CBS News reported in 2019. “In the U.S., right-wing extremists were linked to at least 50 murders in 2018, a 35 percent increase over 2017.”
“The danger, I think, of white supremacists, violent extremism or another kind of extremism is of course significant,” Wray told the House Appropriations Committee. “We assess that it is a persistent, pervasive threat.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists 21 hate groups in the state, including the Patriotic Brigade Knights of The Ku Klux Klan, Patriot Front, American Identity Movement, Identity Dixie, and a New Orleans-based chapter of the Proud Boys, which the organization describes as a “general hate,” group.
Trump and the White Supremacists
“Established in the midst of the 2016 presidential election by VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes,the Proud Boys are self-described “western chauvinists” who adamantly deny any connection to the racist “alt-right,” insisting they are simply a fraternal group spreading an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda,” the SPLC noted.
After Trump’s comment, the Proud Boys added “Stand Back, Stand By,” to the group’s logo; and some political analysts say Trump is “encouraging violence.” https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54352635
It’s clear that Trump will stop at nothing to remain in power, to avoid convictions for his alleged crimes, and to continue to destroy American democracy so he can become the dictator of his dreams.
Most recently, Trump floated the idea of invalidating mail-in ballots. “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump said, when questioned if he will leave office peaceably, if he loses.
It is no surprise, then, that Trump’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy presided over changes in the USPS to delay mail-in ballots and that Trump is orchestrating all kinds of sleazy acts to undermine a fair electoral process.
Attempt to Invalidate Election
Trump has inferred that he will challenge the election results in the courts; with the goal of having the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case and rule in his favor. Trump said the process could take “months.”
Mitch McConnell and Congressional Republicans are aiding and abetting Trump in this scheme by expediting the Supreme Court Senate confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, so a Republican super-majority can invalid the election results.
Trump is a habitual court abuser. His use of the courts to delay justice has intensified during his tenure in the Oval Office. Legal subpoenas of administration officials faced court challenges. And Trumps legal maneuvers have delayed requests for his taxes and sexual abuse cases.
Trump has also hinted at encouraging Republican-led state legislators to appoint electors who will vote for him, even if he doesn’t win the popular vote in certain states.
Louisiana voters will choose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote. The state of Louisiana has 8 electoral votes in the Electoral College.
Nonetheless, Louisiana’s Republican-led legislators have been pulling out all the stops to suppress the vote.
In May, Louisiana’s Republican-dominated legislature and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin tried to suppress the vote by removing the COVID-19 stipulations for absentee ballots that was in place for the earlier elections for the November 3 elections. They were sued.
“The lawsuit, brought by the NAACP, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and four individual voters, said the reasons voters can access mail-in ballots under the so-called “emergency voting plan, fell short of protecting voters of the coronavirus, which has taken an outsized toll on Louisiana,” according to The Advocate.
“Chief Judge Shelly Deckert Dick, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, ordered Louisiana election officials to make available to voters in the November 3, 2020, general election the same COVID-19 absentee ballot application used in the state’s summer elections. This application offered COVID-19-specific reasons for requesting an absentee ballot.”
Louisiana voters should check to make sure they haven’t been purged from the voting rolls. Also check to make sure their polling places are open.
Meanwhile, Trump is depending on his supporters, including white militias and white supremacists groups, to go to the polls and look for voting fraud and to vote twice. While poll watching is legal, with certain restrictions, voting twice is not. If voters see questionable actions by poll watchers or feel intimidated, they should seek the help of the trained election workers at the precinct, experts say.