Yesterday, Clinton gave a speech about Trump’s link to the hard right wing. As a preemptive move, it seems, Trump called Clinton a bigot. Essentially he claimed that she has not done anything for the African American community with her policies. He had a difficult time articulating his reasons in an interview with Anderson Cooper and finally agreed that she was “lazy”, presumably for not helping that community.
The response from the right winger Trump supporters on Facebook was fast and furious.
I received within a span of a couple of minutes, images and references to Robert Byrd.
The point these people posting were trying to make is—Byrd was a democrat ex-KKK, Hillary Clinton and others cozied up to Byrd, therefore, it is Hillary that is soft on bigotry, not Trump.
I have heard this explanation ad nauseum by anybody who feels infuriated that Trump or anyone else they like, is questioned about their alleged racism or bigotry.
I would think that if you have been within a mile from the nearest Facebook stream, you will have encountered the same argument at some point in time. In fact, you might have been the one making it.
But, let’s get some facts on the table.
The image of Hillary Clinton and Senator Robert Byrd is of relatively recent vintage. It took place towards the end of his congressional hitch, which ended in 2010.
Byrd indeed was a member of the KKK and reportedly, a chapter leader.
However, something interesting occurred on his way through the US Senate. He changed. The leopard actually changed his spots. Not like David Duke who blew dried his hair and convinced a bunch of angry whites that he could be trusted.
Yes, Byrd changed. And the change lasted decades, for a longer period than some of my readers have been alive.
But, that would not convince Fox News and the alt-Right media darlings Infowars and Breitbart which essentially declared Hillary a hypocrite for embracing Byrd, both figuratively and literally.
You mean Hillary Clinton is associating Donald Trump with bigotry but she hugged the former Klan recruiter close to the end of his life after years of service trying to help the same African Americans he considered subhuman?
How dare she do that!!.
Well, here was my Facebook response:
If you cannot understand that Robert Byrd was in the Klan in 1940, the 50s and became a liberal for 40 , 50 years or so. The picture was taken over fifty years after he left the klan and became a liberal. Compare that to the alt-right, Nazi, hate trash, now supporting trump,
Admittedly, I was generalizing but here are the details:
Byrd was in the Klan in the 40’s. Nobody should be pleased that he nor anyone would be supportive of the Klan.
That was again, in the 40’s.
The change appears to have taken place in the mid-sixties. He voted against the Voting Rights Act but three years later, voted for it.
According to Wikipedia, he cited being a member of the Baptist Church changed him.
Anybody following politics or history from the mid-sixties onto when he left the US Senate, would know about Robert Byrd’s politics.
He became one of the most fierce liberals in Congress. He and Ted Kennedy were constantly lambasted for their liberal views and votes. Roughly forty years passed, Byrd had been a liberal, the antithesis of who he was during the early part of his manhood and political life.
By comparison, Donald Trump today is hobnobbing with the “right of the right”. He has called for the total and complete ban of Muslims. When he first gave his initial campaign speech, he referred to Mexican illegal immigrants and rapists and murders. He even said there might be some “good people”.
I know these people have broken the law by trying to find work and a better way of life. Absolutely, illegal immigration should be controlled and I am sure that one day Trump will come up with a consistent plan. But, to say or to insinuate that there might be some good people among the Mexican illegal immigrants, is and was an insult to everyone except for people who, in my view, want to hate.
I could go through the list of reasons that I believe Trump is not worthy of office. I could do the same about his foe, Hillary Clinton for there were four Republican candidates I preferred over her to be President. But, at the top of the list, other than his horrible temperament that scares the willies out of me (and others), is the way he has used hate to mobilize the Klan-types, the David Dukes, the super right wing uglies including the alt-right.
You say you don’t know much about the Alt-right?
Well, here in Louisiana, if you say anything negative on twitter or Youtube about David Duke, you are immediately accosted--called a Zionist or some type of low-life, shown pictures of Jews going into ovens, with big noses and a pile of money. Almost always, will be a pro-Trump hashtag.
Trump has had ample opportunities to distance himself from these dregs. Has he? Not a single time that I recall. Instead, by comparison, he has been much more visceral and hateful towards a Muslim Gold Medal mother, a Hispanic reporter, his GOP opponents, and GOP leaders who have been appalled by his bigotry. And, if I thought and hoped that he was moderating in his closeness to these haters, he certainly disappointed me when he recently chose the head of Breitbart to be the top man in his campaign. This is the man who said a few weeks ago when referring to his publication, "We're the platform for the alt-right".
What can we expect from a man whose front page editor calls for the removal of all Muslims (not just immigrants) from the United States.
And, I am supposed to think and preach that Donald Trump is not trying to attract the worse that we have?
No wonder David Duke said whites would be traitors of their heritage if they did not support Trump. No wonder that it appears that every far-right activist act as if Trump is the savior they have waited for all of these years. How often have you heard somebody who you consider to be out there in the land of extremism say or write, Trump is saying things I have been thinking. Boy, when he says these things in public, so can I"
So, do I think Donald Trump is a bigot?
Before I end this column, let the record show that I believe we must rationally restrict immigration by using stricter scrutiny of the individuals, but not based upon religion. I do believe we need to engage in a broad immigration policy and be mindful that laws should not be broken, or else there is a penalty. We should consider those penalties for those who are here already and restrict the flow of illegals in a way that is respectful to all. I also believe that Hillary Clinton should address the actions of the Black Lives Matters group and tell us with certainty if the organization is promoting the killing of cops or anyone for that matter. If so, she verbally set the record straight just like her husband did with Sister Souljah in 1992.
I was asked by some in that Facebook stream to cite my reasons.
They are too many to cite but I do refer to these links which in my opinion show that Donald Trump has been cited discriminatory practices, has made statements that have shocked the goodness in people yet he defends them by claiming “political incorrectness”.
Perhaps worst, he is intentionally trying to appeal to the very lowest instinct in the worse of us, so that he can be President.
This is sad.
And the right wingers are supporting him and giving us the Byrd.