Believe it or not, it was less than two weeks ago when all the chatter was about Omarosa’s claim that she heard a tape of Donald Trump using the “n” word. I never wrote about that because I didn’t understand why it had garnered so much attention.
If you needed to hear this guy using that word on tape to prove that he’s a racist, you really haven’t been paying attention. I could list all the racist things he’s said and done, but the New York Times has chronicled the most obvious examples.
To put an exclamation point on that list, Trump tweeted this Wednesday evening:
As has happened often in the past, that didn’t come from his own intelligence or State Department sources, it was prompted by Tucker Carlson, who did a segment on the subject that night. Two days prior, the same story was highlighted on a Neo-Nazi website, which must be one of the places Carlson goes these days to get his stories. Why would he be interested in this one? A white identitarian group explains how it fits right in with his racist fear mongering about a changing America.
Of course that story is full of lies about what is actually happening in South Africa.
Land is a complex issue in South Africa. Racist policies of the past forcefully removed black and non-white South Africans from the land for white use.
There has been a land redistribution and restitution provision in the country’s constitution since South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994. The government has been criticized for not moving quickly enough to settle land disputes.
The political debate over land reform has stepped up a level ahead of next year’s elections.
Farm seizures, as described in the Fox report, are not ongoing in South Africa. However, President Ramaphosa announced on July 31 that the ruling African National Congress would seek to change the country’s constitution to explicitly allow land that was seized during apartheid to be expropriated without compensation.
Furthermore, the government has said that only unused land would be subject to seizure, despite these inequities:
Land reform is a highly divisive issue in South Africa, where white residents, who make up 9 percent of the population, own 35 percent of the land, according to official figures, a legacy of colonial and apartheid-era dispossession.
A government land audit last year reported that black South Africans directly owned less than 9 percent of the country’s land, despite making up 79 percent of the population.
But there’s something missing from all of the reporting I’ve seen on this story. I watched Carlson’s entire segment about South Africa and nowhere does he mention “the large-scale killing of farmers” that Trump included in his tweet. His focus was solely on the land appropriation. So where did Trump hear about the killing of white farmers? Take your pick:
As the Guardian’s Jason Wilson has written, stories about the dastardly plot against white farmers (which, again, doesn’t actually exist) have shown up on alt-right, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi websites including AltRight.com (which is run by white nationalist Richard Spencer), VDare, American Renaissance, and Stormfront.
Lauren Southern with the European alt-right group Identity Evropa is making a documentaryabout the subject. An alt-right podcast called White Rabbit Radio has an episode about it. So does American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor’s podcast. It’s also a hot topic on the pro-Trump Reddit forum r/TheDonald.
What this tells us is that, even beyond the racist rantings of Tucker Carlson, the current president is consuming information from self-proclaimed white supremacist groups and using it to direct his foreign policy. In response, the white supremacists are absolutely jubilant.
We’ve gone way beyond debate about whether or not Donald Trump is a racist. I’m actually finding it hard to see any daylight between him and card-carrying neo-Nazis.