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Trump’s far-right embrace – The New York Times


Donald Trump has claimed he didn’t know who Nick Fuentes was until he sat down to dinner with him and other guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week. But Fuentes is certainly well known to groups that track racist and anti-Semitic tendencies in American society.

While the Justice Department has described Fuentes in court documents as a white supremacist, this is only just beginning to fully capture the range of inflammatory views he expressed disparaging Black, Jewish, Women, LGBTQ Americans , Muslims and immigrants.

At 24, Fuentes has become a far-right star for a slew of extremist statements that would have disqualified him from meeting any other modern president. He used a racial slur for black people; called homosexuality “disgusting”; claimed that the Republican Party was “led by Jews, atheists and homosexuals”; said it would be better if women could not vote; compared himself to Hitler and hoped for “total Aryan victory”; said “the First Amendment was not written for Muslims”; and argued that Jim Crow segregation “was better for them, it’s better for us, it’s better in general.”

Fuentes first rose to prominence in 2017 when he attended the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, after which Trump claimed there were “very good people on both sides” even then. that he denounced the neo-Nazis. Fuentes dropped out of Boston University after he said he received threats over his participation in the rally and began hosting a live show, “America First”, the same year, generating an audience of followers called Groypers, named after a cartoon frog.

He founded the America First Political Action Conference in 2020 and hosted far-right Republicans in the House, including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. Fuentes rejects the term white supremacist because it is an “anti-white slur”, but embraces the language of white racism and anti-Semitism and calls himself “reactionary” and “misogynist”.

Trump often claims not to know much about the extremists whose support he accepts, as he did with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the Proud Boys and QAnon supporters. But even if it were true in this case, Fuentes was brought to dinner by Kanye West, the rapper now known as Ye, who was invited by Trump just as West was under fire for his own comments. anti-Semitic. And even after that, Trump didn’t condemn Fuentes, leaving white nationalists to take the dinner as validation.

While news outlets are understandably reluctant to amplify hateful statements, it’s important to understand exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about someone being welcomed to the table by a former president seeking to return to the White House. So here is a summary compiled with the help of my colleague Ian Prasad Philbrick from research conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations and media. Fuentes did not respond to interview requests made through an attorney.

Fuentes regularly invokes fears of “white genocide” and echoes the replacement theory, according to which elites seek to “replace” white Americans with immigrants and other people of color. The theory has inspired a number of mass shootings in recent years, including at a Pittsburgh synagogue, a Walmart in El Paso and a Buffalo supermarket.

“Our civilization is being dismantled, our people are being genocidal, and conservatives can’t think beyond what will play well with liberal media in the next election,” he once tweeted. Sources. He also said, “The Founders never intended America to be a refugee camp for non-whites.” And on Alex Jones’ Infowars last year, he said, “I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, especially because they’re not Christians. .

Fuentes advanced Holocaust denial, or what he calls Holocaust “revision,” most memorably in a video riff in which he compared Nazi death camps to Cookie Monster baking cookies, suggesting that it was not possible to have killed six million Jews during World War II. He later said the video was just a “bookstore”, while saying he acknowledged the Holocaust, and he said he used “irony” to discuss taboo topics.

While again saying he was only joking, Fuentes appeared to approve of violence against women, telling a listener on his livestream who asked how to punish a woman ‘for crossing the line’ that he should hit her .

“Why don’t you take your hand and give him a vicious slap on his face, on his ignorant face?” he said. “Why don’t you give him a vicious, forceful slap with your knuckles across his face, disrespectfully, and hurt him?” He later disavowed the violence and claimed he was joking, saying he would never hit a woman “unless she deserves it”.

Fuentes hailed the fall of the US-backed government in Afghanistan because the Taliban “are a religiously conservative force” while “the United States is godless and liberal”, and applauded the invasion of Ukraine by President Vladimir Putin saying, “Can we give a round of applause for Russia? He said that the crusades and inquisitions were “very good things” and that he wanted “the people who run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged”.

As for the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he and other Trump supporters gathered outside the building, Fuentes called it “awesome” and “mild mischief.” On the anniversary of the riot, he revered it as “part of our new heritage”, adding that it should be a public holiday. “This is a historic moment for us,” he said. “We should celebrate that it happened, absolutely.”

Related: Some Jewish Republicans who were among Trump’s staunchest supporters are backing down over fears he will legitimize anti-Semitism.

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