November 2016: KKK endorsed Donald Trump. Flash forward to November 2017: Meaner, stupider campaigns

From Blue Jersey’s News Roundup one year ago today, this photo – along with Washington Post reporting that KKK’s official newspaper endorsed Donald Trump and Huffington Post reporting that the Klan was all-in for Trump with GOTV. Bigly.

And the funny thing is, Trump’s new era of fear-mongering, targeting brown and black people – and jacking up the racists who used to hide under rocks – has consequences. We see it in unsigned racist mail pieces that single out school board opponents not because they differ on policy but because they’re Indian or Chinese. Or play cricket (run for your lives). Or the mailer in Somerset County mailboxes last week, about which Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman says:

“Once again, we see white candidates relying on innuendo and racially divisive language to attack a person of color. It’s a tactic straight from President Trump’s playbook, and has no place in Somerset County.”

Well. Where I’d disagree from Rep. Bonnie is that that kind of dog-whistle racism very definitely lurks out here in the Whitelandia of both (most of) Somerset and my neighboring county of Hunterdon. And close to the surface (though we also have plenty who reject it). White folks know when white folks are talking their language. And some white folks specialize in it. But I feel her; it shouldn’t have a place here. It’s beneath us all.

Or wait, maybe it’s not. Nope. I’ve got my friend Deb Cornavaca to thank for pointing me to this Facebook post from Carlos Rendo yesterday. Seems Kim Guadagno’s running mate is happy to employ the Trump-style dog-whistle. First off, it’s straight-up pitiful what passes for a “massive rally” in GaudagnoLand. But sadder still is that these folks came out to hear Rendo say Murphy is “dangerous” because he promotes a sanctuary state. Ignore the fact that all research shows that sanctuary communities are safer because they encourage trusting and productive relationships between undocumented immigrants and the local law enforcement. And that’s of huge importance in a state like ours where many undocumented people are living, raising kids, and working. But no, Guadagno’s not doing well in the polls. She can’t make her case on the issues, so she and her running mate are just going to scare up fear of the other.

Honestly, silly season tactics have been devolving for years. But all of this seems meaner and stupider than it ever was. I hope none of it works. And I can’t wait till it’s over. And that includes Mister Trump. Speaking of meaner and stupider.

Note: The Klansman photo above came 17 years before President Trump. It was taken at a Skokie white owner rally in 2000. But then, these folks don’t change much, do they? Photo: Tim Boyle/Newsmakers


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