White nationalist organizations have surprisingly come to support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The surprise is not necessarily because of the white supremacists, but moreso that they support him — someone they used to distrust.
Politico reports that most of the white nationalist movement is represented with online activity, with the entirety expressing anger, irritation and criticism of varying nonwhite ethnic groups. They also ventured into current events and political discussions with some regularity.
In the 10-plus years prior to him becoming a presidential candidate, Trump the businessman, entrepreneur and public figure was sometimes a topic of discussion on white nationalist websites like Stormfront, the most prominent English-language white nationalist forum, according to Politico.
Posts about Trump were usually negative and mostly complained about the diversity of the contestants on both “The Apprentice” and in the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
“Users on the forums mostly saw Trump as annoying or entertaining, but they frequently speculated that he was secretly Jewish, or close enough to Judaism to be worthy of hate: In the fevered white nationalist worldview, it’s inconceivable that a New York real estate magnate could make billions of dollars without support from a Jewish financial conspiracy,” Politico reports.
Fast-forward to 2016, and not only is Trump a viable presidential candidate, but he is now heavily supported by neo-Nazis, former and current members of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists across the United States.
In Philadelphia, neo-Nazi groups are planning to congregate at polling places in the name of Trump next week to keep an eye out for supposed “voter fraud,” and also to discourage people from showing up to vote at all.
The group plans to hand out free alcohol and marijuana to voters in the “ghetto,” to encourage them to get drunk and high as opposed to voting.
“We have had success with this in the past,” a representative for the pro-Trump website TheRightStuff.biz told Politico. “We also have some teams going in to the ghettos in Philly with 40s and weed to give out to the local residents, which we think will lead to more of them staying home.”
Politico also reports that a militia group called the Oath Keepers is apparently training its members to perform undercover “sting” operations, with the purpose of monitoring polling places for supposed fraud. Their aim is to watch “thousands of precincts across the country.”
Some are hopeful that these intimidation tactics will fall through. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told Politico, “If on the morning of Election Day it turns out that we have white supremacists standing around looking threatening at polling places, I think it would arouse anger. People would vote just to prove they’re not being intimidated by these radical racists.”