Meanwhile, Trump calls Black reporter’s white nationalism question “racist.”
By Jayme S. Ganey
Patrick Casey, leader of alt-right white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, and Charlottesville marcher, posted a visit to the White House on social media this week:
Casey’s group, aimed at recruiting young white college-age men, believes in returning people of color back to their “home” countries as part of a remigration effort so that people of European heritage “retain demographic supermajorities in our homelands.”
Trump has discussed and put into practice racist policies that target Black and Brown immigrants for deportation and had also instituted Muslim travel bans.
Members of Evropa told the media after Trump was elected that Trump was “the closest to us that we’ve ever had in recent memory,” and when a reporter said those statements could be viewed as racist, one replied: “I think those slurs like ‘racist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ ‘Nazi,’ these are anti-white slurs.'”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Casey’s visit, he “was one of more than twenty-five thousand people who came to the White House Fall Garden Tour, which is open to the public. Free tickets are made available to anyone who wants to attend.”
The same day as the social media post, Black journalist, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, asked Trump about white nationalism:
“On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying…There are some people that say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalism because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?”
“That’s such a racist question,” Trump told Alcindor.
This from the man who said on the Charlottesville anniversary:
“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides…. I condemn all types of racism.”
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center said,
“White people think they’re the ones being targeted for racism and a lot of these people are Trump supporters, so when the president makes a comment like this with ‘all types,’ it’s hard to not be suspicious.”
Identity Evropa, led by Casey, was launched in March 2016 with 15 members, and grew tremendously after Trump was elected. They helped plan the Charlottesville rally, but rebranded themselves after it to disassociate from violence.
“Trump supporters [can] realize that identity politics needn’t involve genocide and hatred,” Casey said.
The hate group, identified by the SPLC as the welcoming face of white supremacy, may also have an ally in welcoming white men to the cause with the open White House doors.
Several former staffers in Trump’s administration have been connected to the white nationalist movement as well.
Months ago, Lionel Lebron, a far-right activist who promotes that QAnon conspiracy theory, posted his visit where he was escorted to the Oval Office on Instagram.