By Peter Holley Washington Post, November 01, 2016
Ku Klux Klan and front page of KKK Crusader newspaper endorsing Trump
WASHINGTON — Among the small number of American newspapers that have embraced Donald Trump’s campaign, there is one, in particular, that stands out.
It’s called the The Crusader — and it’s the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan.
Under the banner ‘‘Make America Great Again,’’ the paper’s current issue devoted its entire front page to a lengthy defense of Trump’s message — an embrace some have labeled a de facto endorsement.
‘‘While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What made America great in the first place?’’’ the article continues. ‘‘The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did – but because of who our forefathers were.
America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.’’
Reached by phone, Robb said that while the paper wasn’t officially endorsing Trump, the article signaled the publication’s enthusiastic support for his candidacy.
‘‘Overall, we do like his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens. It’s not an endorsement because, like anybody, there’s things you disagree with,’’ Robb said. ‘‘But he kind of reflects what’s happening throughout the world. There seems to be a surge of nationalism worldwide as nationals reclaim their borders.’’
The 12-page-long, quarterly newspaper calls itself ‘‘The Political Voice of White Christian America!’’ and has a well-known white supremacist symbol on its front page. The latest edition includes articles about Jewish links to terrorism, black-on-white crime and a man who claims to be Bill Clinton’s illegitimate child. An article near the end of the paper writes that Trump’s candidacy is ‘‘moving the dialogue forward.’’
The publication’s website states that its ‘‘number one goal’’ is to ‘‘stop white genocide.’’
Trump campaign aligned with white supremacists
Since the earliest days of his presidential bid, Donald Trump has attracted the support of prominent white nationalists across the country, setting off fears that a dormant fringe faction of the GOP base — one steeped in xenophobic and white supremacist rhetoric — would be folded back into mainstream politics.
In the early months, white nationalists said they were reluctant to publicly throw their support behind the controversial billionaire for fear of harming his strengthening campaign. But the group said as Trump became more emboldened, they did too.
In January, Jared Taylor, editor of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance, lent his voice to a robo-call recording urging registered voters in Iowa to back Trump. Those potential voters, Taylor said, are part of a silent majority who are tired of being asked to celebrate diversity but are afraid of being labeled bigots.
A month later, Trump was embraced by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, which led to a controversial exchange between CNN’s Jake Tapper and the Republican candidate. Asked by Tapper to ‘‘unequivocally condemn’’ Duke, Trump pleaded ignorance.
‘‘Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?’’ Trump said. Tapper pressed him several more times to disavow Duke and the KKK, but Trump again declined.
‘‘I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,’’ he said. ‘‘So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.’’
That same month, Rachel Pendergraft — the national organizer for the Knights Party, a standard-bearer for the Ku Klux Klan — said that Trump’s campaign offered the organization a new outreach tool for recruiting new members and expanding their formerly dwindling ranks.
The Republican presidential candidate, Pendergraft said, provided separatists with an easy way to start a conversation about issues that are important to the dying white supremacist movement.
‘‘One of the things that our organization really stresses with our membership is we want them to educate themselves on issues, but we also want them to be able to learn how to open up a conversation with other people,’’ Pendergraft said.
Using Trump as a conversation piece has been discussed on a private, members-only website and in ‘‘e-news, stuff that goes out to members.’’ In addition to opening ‘‘a door to conversation,’’ she said, Trump’s surging candidacy has electrified some members of the movement. ‘‘They like the overall momentum of his rallies and his campaign,’’ Pendergraft said. ‘‘They like that he’s not willing to back down. He says what he believes and he stands on that.’’
In August, the American Nazy Party’s chairman Rocky Suhayda agreed, declaring on his radio show that Trump offers ‘‘real opportunity’’ to build the white nationalist movement.
Recently – Trump’s rallies marred by racially charged incidents
Last week, a black Trump supporter was booted from a North Carolina rally after he was mistaken for being a protester. Trump’s security detail escorted a man out of the rally as the audience cheered. ‘‘You can get him out,’’ Trump said, making a sideways motion with his thumb. ‘‘Get him out.’’
The person in question turned out to be C.J. Cary, a North Carolina resident, who claims to be a longtime Trump supporter.
Cary, in a phone interview Saturday, said he had gone to the rally because he wanted to hand-deliver a note to the Republican presidential nominee. He made his way to about 20 to 30 feet from the stage and was shouting ‘‘Donald!’’ while waving his note around to try to catch his attention.
‘‘Everyone else is waving Trump signs, and I’m waving this white letter,’’ Cary, 63, said. He said that, coupled with the fact that he was wearing sunglasses during an evening rally to deal with his sensitivity to light, may have been what set people off.
Cary said a security official noticed he appeared to be a supporter but said he should not have disrupted the rally. ‘‘He asked me, ‘What happened? You have on a GOP badge,’ ‘‘ Cary said. ‘‘I said, ‘I’m yelling at Donald, and he thinks I’m a protester.’ ‘‘
Days later, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway forcefully disavowed a supporter as ‘‘deplorable’’ for chanting ‘‘Jew-S-A!’’ at a weekend rally, the latest incident of anti-Semitic rhetoric used by some of the GOP nominee’s backers, according to two reporters.
‘‘[The man’s] conduct is completely unacceptable and does not reflect our campaign or our candidate. Wow,’’ Conway said during an interview on CNN’s ‘‘State of the Union.’’ ‘‘That man’s conduct was deplorable. And had I been there, I would have asked security to remove him immediately.’’
The Saturday afternoon incident in Phoenix was captured on video that showed a man confronting reporters at the rally with shouts and a three-fingered hand gesture that resembled hate symbols flagged by the Anti-Defamation League.
‘‘You’re going down! You’re the enemy!’’ the man yelled. As the rest of the crowd broke into a chant of ‘‘USA! USA!,’’ the man repeatedly chanted, ‘‘Jew-S-A! Jew-S-A!’’