We know we’re walking a tightrope here, because half the nation seems convinced that the Trump administration literally is composed of Nazis and white supremacists, and just about anything can and will be interpreted as racism.
But the Associated Press is walking an even thinner tightrope, reporting as hard news that a remark by President Trump draws parallels to white nationalistic rhetoric while citing sources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to bolster its case.
Trump's remark that immigration is "changing the culture" of Europe draws parallels to white nationalist rhetoric. https://t.co/40qGzDsQtY
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 14, 2018
The remark in question? Trump told The Sun that Europe is losing its culture by allowing in millions and millions of immigrants, and Brits “go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”
“Historians and advocates immediately denounced Trump’s comments, saying such talk would encourage white nationalists,” the AP reports, citing the SPLC and two academics.
But is he wrong? Contrary to what many liberals believe, conservatives are pro-immigration, but they’re also pro-assimilation; those who seek to come to the United States (or Europe, or anywhere else) ought to have an interest in integrating.
Call it racist of us to bring it up if you must, but remember after dozens of women in Cologne, Germany reported being sexually assaulted during New Year’s celebrations by groups of men of “Arab or North African descent?”
In response, Cologne’s mayor suggested that women keep “one arm length distance” to avoid assaults, a consortium of public TV and radio stations published an illustrated guide for refugees showing Germany’s new immigrant population how women are to be treated in Germany, and Berlin set up a “safe zone” for women at its New Year’s Eve festivities.
Here’s a page from that guide clarifying that women in everyday dress like short skirts aren’t signaling they’re prostitutes.
— Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) January 18, 2016
And check out this recent video from the BBC, featuring a program in Norway designed to teach asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa European “cultural codes” around rape:
Do asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa need classes to understand European 'cultural codes' around rape and domestic violence? pic.twitter.com/ZuEXimVUjz
— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) June 5, 2018
Sorry, but we’re not going to make the jump from Trump’s comment to white nationalism quite as quickly as the AP did. And isn’t it ironic that progressives are the first to call racism in order to defend sexual mores and attitudes that are, quite frankly, regressive?
In any case, the AP got what it wanted, as readers didn’t think the headline went far enough.
I think we can be a notch stronger, @AP
Like, it IS white nationalist rhetoric.
Why do you mess this up every time? https://t.co/9pHdS83SMd
— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) July 14, 2018
"Draws parallels?" It IS white nationalist rhetoric. When racists want to instill fear, this is what they do.
But these biases and beliefs about immigrants didn't arrive w/ Trump & they won't leave with him. It is not enough to be anti-Trump–we must be vigilantly anti-racist. https://t.co/hinfFU9o85
— Chardo Richardson (@Chardo2018) July 14, 2018
Sure we must be vigilantly anti-racist — but let’s not conflate race with culture.
The whole point of the Trump administration is stealing money and codifying white supremacy. https://t.co/uuoSTVU2Jb
— S. V. (@ContrarySarie) July 14, 2018
It's not parallel.
It IS white supremacist rhetoric. Period. https://t.co/fPBUErRLfX
— S.A. "Hey You Buy My Books" Barton (@Tao23) July 14, 2018
OK, we’ll make a deal. We’ll just open the borders and admit Europe has no immigration problem as long as liberals take full responsibility for setting up “safe zones” and “codes of conduct” for women and classes for refugees on “cultural codes” around rape.
* * *
Looks like The Washington Post didn’t punch up the white nationalist angle enough for at least one of its correspondents:
The more important part of the Sun interview, in my opinion, was Trump's echoing white nationalist rhetoric on immigration. https://t.co/dgDiCeKa3f
— Philip Bump (@pbump) July 13, 2018
There seems to be a consensus among reasonable people that Merkel misnahdled the migrant crisis. How is someone supposed to articulate the issues it caused without being labeled a racist? https://t.co/9bSxJUUJsj
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) July 14, 2018
Yeah, Merkel is in quite the pickle; that whole “just let everybody in” policy didn’t quite work out for her:
Close the border? Angela Merkel faces two-week deadline to address Germany's migrant crisis https://t.co/eAzn2jRahs
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 21, 2018
Is that you, Salon? NYT op-ed about Cologne attacks 'takes victim-blaming to pro level' https://t.co/8IJWD46yNt
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) January 9, 2016
'WE WON'! SPLC pays MASSIVE settlement to Maajid Nawaz after SLIMING him as 'anti-Muslim extremist' https://t.co/BoYDGmqsTJ
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 18, 2018