Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon’s views on race have been scrutinized heavily over the past few weeks, largely due to anecdotal evidence of his alleged anti-semitism and views about black voters. Despite there being no hard evidence of Bannon’s views on race, I’m inclined to believe the rumors for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the toxic, divisive strategy he helped Donald Trump implement during the 2016 election could have only been created by someone with no compassion for minorities and a steadfast belief in their own ethnic superiority. Trump worked night and day to ramp up fear of immigrants, muslims and minorities to help get out the white vote, and Bannon was no doubt egging him on all the way. While Bannon and Trump may not be as overtly racist as the movement they created, their innate belief that White Anglo Saxon Protestant culture is superior to all others was blindingly obvious. It is worth noting that earlier this year, Bannon wrote this about African Americans shot by the police:
“What if the people getting shot by the cops did things to deserve it? There are, after all, in this world, some people who are naturally aggressive and violent.”
No white supremacy here.
Secondly, if you look at the website Bannon helped found and run, Breitbart.com, the readership is extremely indicative of the type of politics he advocates. Bannon has admitted his site is a breeding ground for “Alt Right” (white nationalist) views. “There some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe,” said Bannon to Mother Jones. “Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that’s just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements.”
In the age of Trump, attracting virulent racists and anti semites isn’t all that bad, as long as there are other fans who don’t believe blacks are inherently more aggressive than whites and Jews are controlling the media in order to destroy Christianity etc etc. Furthermore, they can be compared to the progressive left — a political movement dedicated to reducing wealth inequality, providing health care for all Americans and caring for the environment.
As the publisher of a political website, I am well aware of who our readers are. I often scan the comment section to participate in discussions or prevent it from being taken over by trolls. We often block commenters who refuse to engage civilly in discussions, but generally speaking, our readers are a thoughtful bunch who use the comments section to engage in interesting debates. However, if you pick a random Breitbart article and peruse the comment section, you’ll notice something quite different. While there are intelligent readers taking part in discussions and offering interesting insight, the majority of them are extraordinarily hateful and racist. Today, I went through the comments section of a piece about Dylan Roof representing himself in court for the murder of nine worshipers at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year (and no, I’m not linking to it). Here is a selection of some of the comment threads:
Sofa King Tired Of Libs: He should be set free on the streets of South Chicago. Let the thugs have a taste of actual justice
OrphanedRepublican: This nonsense with the whole “hate crime” things has to stop. The evil of murder stands on its own. If the guy hates Jews, Hispanics, blacks, and modern America, so be it. I don’t care. It’s not a crime to hate anyone. It’s a crime to kill anyone though and that’s what we focus on, not whether he hates anyone. Murder is crime enough to punish. His misanthropic views are irrelevant.
White Male: The problem was not what he wrote in his manifesto, but what he did. By the numbers, there is no question that [B]lacks are the most violent race in America and that Jews are overrepresented in the media. Noticing these facts should not be condemned. Killing people at random for whatever reason is what should be condemned and punished harshly. I have no doubt that it will be. I think he wants the death penalty at this point anyway.
Marcus Garvey 1 I agree. Dylan was a hero for his beliefs!
RobL_v2 What no ACLU lawyer for him? Oh that’s right… the ACLU only defends minority racist murdering terrorists..
Deplorable Jessica Roof is classic Democrat
HorusMaximus Why aren’t they showing pictures of this thug when he was 11 years old and wearing a bow tie for church like they do with all the black thugs?
Ed Edgerton The Charleston church shooting event was almost certainly a hoax. Look at the videos of the next of kin after the event. This is not the way real grieving people act. Consider how quickly they reopened the church after the event. It is true that there was an open-casket funeral for the minister who was supposedly shot, but if you think about it you will realize that this could have easily been faked too.
The comments on other race related articles posted today are even worse. Here is a small selection of quotes about teenagers looting a gas station in Connecticut:
faithfulmom: “teens” is becoming a euphemism for black thugs
Ralphie C Bring back the whip.
drperry ‘Yep’, the same old story, see the headline and wonder, rhetorically, if they happen to be black youth. 0bama-youth?
wavetheshales Yeah, if Øbozo had a son…..Hmm. First name Trayvon, but last name Shirly? Confused kid. Could be Øbozo’s…..
stevemusicmaker12_4 Yeah, tell Travon to skittle…Uummmm, —-Skattle?No, —-Skedaddle! ——-Oh, gotta run. Tea taa!
There are 596 comments on this particular piece as of writing this, and the vast, vast majority of them are sickeningly racist.
As the owner of The Daily Banter, I would not tolerate this for a single second. Every single comment would have been deleted, and all racist commenters would have been banned for good. And if these commenters kept showing up to my website, I’d have a long, hard think about why they were coming in the first place.
Steve Bannon has most certainly thought about why vile racists flock to his site, and hasn’t done anything about it whatsoever. To the contrary, he has actively used these readers to help put Donald Trump in office. By creating the unholy alliance between Trump’s GOP and a subculture in American society that would be marching Jews to the gas chambers given half the chance, Bannon is the 21st century Joseph Goebbels. And to be clear, I am comparing him to a Nazi. He uses the media to scapegoat minorities, whip up racial tension, and promote white nationalism.
So is Steve Bannon really a racist? Yes. He most certainly is.
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Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.