Last week, President Trump gave his first State of the Union (SOTU) Address. And while it wasn’t anywhere near as racist as his 2015 presidential announcement speech, or as dark as his inauguration speech, it still left plenty of xenophobic soundbites for his alt-right supporters.
Several prominent white nationalists lauded the address, or at least the parts of it that dealt with immigration. Others were more focused on the reactions it provoked among political pundits and left-leaning politicians. But they all seemed to agree that some of what Trump said could be used to further their cause.
On the most recent episode of Alt-Right Politics, co-hosts Gregory Conte, Don Camillo, and Elliot Kline — better known as Eli Mosley — discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the speech.
Mosley was perhaps the most critical of the three, lambasting Trump’s choice of non-white guests, including a North Korean defector whose presence, he said, indicated that Trump is preparing for a military strike against the small East Asian country.
But one line from Trump’s speech still stood out as positive, and that was Trump’s assertion that “Americans are dreamers, too.” The statement was an obvious reference to the thousands of undocumented immigrants protected by DACA who are colloquially referred to as Dreamers.
Of that line Mosley said they “cannot ever forget this” and “need to drive this home.” “I think that, essentially, as long as we do — we keep doing what we’re doing with our rhetoric, it’s going to seep into the White House,” he boasted. “‘Americans are dreamers, too’ is something that we’ve been saying and we’ve been harping on for months.”
Camillo added that “when [Trump] says ‘We are dreamers too,’ that implies that the Dreamers with the capital ‘D’ are not dreamers. That means that us, we are dreamers, little ‘d’ dreamers, and that our dreams have precedence.”
At the Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, Lee Rogers excoriated a group of African-American Democrats for refusing to applaud President Trump’s speech. The Infostormer host complained that a “gaggle of blacks on the Democrat side” was “showing no respect” to the President, which he called “quite rude.”
He went on to say that this was “not really unexpected from blacks, because a lot of blacks simply don’t understand the concept of respect, it’s like an alien concept to them. Because, I mean, these are individuals whose ancestors were running around in the jungles of Africa, so they have no real biological concept of what respect is, and what civilization is.”
Rogers continued his rant by complaining that African-Americans can vote and serve in office, and accusing them of being “ungrateful.” “We give them all this free shit, and no, no, it’s never enough, we need more,” he said. “And if you don’t give us more, well it’s racist. Well fuck you. You know what? Go back to Africa, if you feel that way.”
In a special post-speech episode of Fash the Nation, Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, Jazzhands McFeels, Ricky Vaughn, and Paul Kersey lauded the speech’s anti-immigrant content, and heralded it as a sign of a rejuvenated alt-right.
Kersey, author of the racist blog Stuff Black People Don’t Like, called the speech a “testament to a lot of the hard work that we’ve been putting in over the past few years.” And he credited anti-immigrant adviser Stephen Miller with “keepin’ [Trump] honest with his campaign promises.”
And while he admitted that many in their movement expected more from Trump’s administration in the first year — even more deportations and the arrest of sanctuary city mayors — things are still moving in the right direction. “You know, we’re in this for — we’re in this to win, and to win forever,” he told listeners. “And we only have to win once.”
Both Kersey and Peinovich agreed that it was a blessing Trump won, because if the presidency had gone to Clinton they believe they’d be in prison by now. “I don’t know about you guys but I doubt I would be a free man if Hillary Clinton [had won],” said Peinovich. “And that’s not hyperbole,” Kersey added.
Pivoting back to the speech, Peinovich offered mild criticism by pointing out — as Eli Mosley did — that Trump emphasized non-white guests at the event, such as an African-American welder from Ohio and the North Korean defector. And he accused Trump of “pandering to people who just don’t care” in response to the President’s DACA “compromise.”
“Like, who is it that votes Republican that doesn’t want beaners just deported?” he asked. “Like, who is that?”
Ricky Vaughn, whose nom de troll comes from the 1989 Charlie Sheen flick Major League, suggested that white nationalists “change perceptions” on Dreamers, because the American people largely view them as sympathetic.
Peinovich was unconvinced, claiming white Americans aren’t “buying that crap.” “I agree, I think when you go back to Trump talking amnesty for these ‘people’,” McFeels spat before getting cut off by Peinovich, who said it wasn’t a “good look” for Trump.
McFeels continued his point, which is that the response from lawmakers to a potential DACA deal was “tepid” at best, meaning it stands little chance of passing the House let alone the Senate. And he praised President Trump for including anti-immigrant rhetoric, and for highlighting the crimes by gangs like MS-13.
Although as José Miguel Cruz, a researcher on Central American gangs, stated in the Washington Post, Trump “overstat[ed] the danger the gang poses here in the United States” while “using the gang to demonize all Latino immigrants.” Citing Justice Department estimates, he noted that the roughly 10,000 MS-13 gang members in the U.S. make up less than 1 percent of 1.4 million gang members in the country.
But McFeels et al loved this demonization, since fearmongering about Latinos might convince Americans to back more draconian immigration laws. As McFeels put it, “He dropped somewhat of a bomb on the notion that these people are all good Dreamers.”
And they all agreed that Trump’s line about Americans being “dreamers too” was a great bit of propaganda, especially since the alt-right had been using that as an anti-immigrant slogan for months before the President uttered the phrase. McFeels called it a “nice parallel to ‘White Lives Matter,'” while Peinovich insinuated that when Trump said “Americans” he was referring exclusively to white people.
“We had used that slogan before a few times, like we had actually — we actually used that in a protest in front of the White House several months ago,” Peinovich bragged. And while he admitted Trump probably didn’t get that line from them, having the sitting President “push that meme out into the public” was more significant than if it just came from a handful of white supremacist agitators.
[This 13 minute series of clips comes from an hour and fifteen minute podcast.]