Two things happened this week that have slightly more in common than the simple fact that they both involved Donald Trump.
First, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, who started saying nice things Trump long ago, said on his radio program yesterday that white people who don’t vote for Donald Trump are committing “treason to your heritage.”
Duke then encouraged listeners to volunteer for Trump’s campaign:
And I am telling you that it is your job now to get active. Get off your duff. Get off your rear end that’s getting fatter and fatter for many of you everyday on your chairs. When this show’s over, go out, call the Republican Party, but call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer…They’re screaming for volunteers. Go in there, you’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mind-set that you have.
He didn’t have to spell out what “same kind of mind-set” meant.
That’s because the very word “Trump” has become so closely associated with white grievance that it is literally being used as a racial taunt. On Monday night, in an example of what has apparently been a common occurrence throughout the season, a racially diverse high school basketball team in Iowa was forced to play (and win) through chants of “Trump” and “USA” from opposing fans.
From the Washington Post:
Perry High is located in a rural part of the state, making its relatively high percentage of minorities unusual. According to a report by Iowa TV station WHO, fans at a game Monday were chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “U-S-A” at Perry players, who include boys of Latino, Native American and African American heritage.
“It’s honestly disrespectful. That’s how I take it. I hear it during the game, on and off the court. Everywhere I go,” Shammond Ivory, a senior on the team, told WHO.
Donald Trump has spent his career obsessing over his name. Well, that name is now being used as shorthand for racial taunts, and white nationalists are associating it with racial loyalty.
Branding expert, indeed.