We’ve reported on the recent shooting of Dwyane Wade’s cousin and Donald Trump’s self-congratulatory tweet telling Black voters to vote for Trump. It was Trump’s standard style of self-promotion that shouldn’t really surprise anyone.
Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2016
However there is one other bit of this story that deserves a mention in relation to the wider presidential campaign. Namely, the Associated Press’s coverage of this incident. They treated Trump’s tweet and comments as if they were normal behavior, but they aren’t. His entire campaign has been an exercise in bigotry.
The AP is a widely respected news outlet, and they’ve earned that respect by building a reputation for objectivity and neutrality. This leads to an important question, is objectivity always synonymous with accuracy?
For example, the AP recently wrote an article discussing the role of conspiracies in the current presidential campaign. The article compared the Trump campaign rumors regarding Clinton’s ill health to Clinton’s Reno speech tying her opponent to the alt-right.
There is a major difference between the rumors circulated by the Trump campaign and Clinton’s claims regarding the GOP nominee’s ties to the alt-right. For starters, Trump has produced no evidence that Clinton is ill. Nor has he produced any evidence that President Obama was not born in the United States.
However, Trump’s ties to the alt-right are undeniable. His campaign manager, Steven Bannon, is the editor of Breitbart News. During an interview with Mother Jones, Bannon bragged “We’re the platform for the alt-right.” Breitbart News even wrote a guide explaining who the alt-right is and what they stand for.
During the aforementioned interview, Bannon tried to distance the alt-right from the white supremacist elements within the movement, but such attempts are, at best, misguided. Assuming that Bannon and the others within the alt-right truly have a problem with the racist elements within their movement, then they should do something about it.
They won’t do that because that would require them to figure out what attracts such racists to them in the first place. Unfortunately, we already know the answer. The alt-right is, despite what Bannon claims, a white nationalist movement. Trump has earned the support of neo-Nazis and the KKK, and has now elevated one of the alt-right’s leaders to be the CEO of his campaign.
There is no equivalency here. Trump’s campaign is based on the ideas of the alt-right. His campaign is led by one of the leading alt-right voices. His campaign doesn’t just indulge in the occasional conspiracy theory — it is built on them.
Featured image via Getty Images.