Before you thank Trump for finally telling the violent racists emboldened by his victory to “Stop it,” you should know that he also announced his chief White House strategist would be Steve Bannon, the man who brought white nationalism into the mainstream with the alt-right


Since the election, as I’m sure you know, a number of non-white Americans have come forward to report instances of racial intimidation. Last night, Mark Fancher of the Michigan ACLU, who was one of my guests on the Saturday Six Pack, told us that, over the preceding 48 hours, his office had received an “avalanche” of such reports coming in from across the state. He then proceeded to share several examples, including the story of the University of Michigan student who reported Friday night that a man near the intersection of East William and State Street had forced her to remove her hijab, saying that, if she didn’t, he would set her on fire. According to Fancher, so many reports have been coming in that the ACLU simply doesn’t have the resources to look into all of them. I suppose it could all be a coincidence, but it seems likely, given the timing, and some of the things being reported, like the fact that white Royal Oak middle school students were just caught on video chanting “build the wall” at their Hispanic classmates, that there’s a direct tie to the race baiting rhetoric of the Trump campaign.

Given how many racist events we’ve seen these past several days, a number of people have been urging President-elect Trump to come out and publicly urge his supporters to stop celebrating his victory by lashing out against people of color. Well, up until this evening, at least as far as I’m aware, he didn’t feel that it was necessary to do this. While he did tell the Wall Street Journal yesterday that he “want(ed) a country that loves each other,” he refused to either take responsibility for the increasingly hostile environment in America, or ask for his followers to stop acting out in such ways… When asked by the Wall Street Journal point blank if his rhetoric during the campaign had gone too far, Trump, if you can believe it, responded, “No. I won..” [Take a second and think about that statement, and what it implies.]

Well, tonight, during 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl continued to push the matter with Trump, and he finally acquiesced, essentially saying, if it’s true that such things are happening, then people should “Stop it.” The following comes from CBS News.

…Trump told CBS News’ Lesley Stahl that he hadn’t heard about the acts of violence carried out in his name either by his supporters or targeting his supporters. He also told Stahl that he hadn’t heard about reports of racial slurs or personal threats by his supporters that have targeted African Americans, Latinos and gays.

“I am very surprised to hear that,” he told Stahl, “I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that.”

And he added that he he had seen only “one or two instances” but “I think it’s a very small amount.”

Stahl asked whether he wanted to say anything to those perpetrators.

“I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together,” he responded. Told that they were harassing Latinos and Muslims, he added, “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it– if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it”…

I’m angry, of course, that it took this long for him to say “Stop it,” and it disgusts me to hear him downplay the severity of what’s happening right now in America, but I suppose we should be thankful that he finally asked those racists emboldened by his victory to “stop” harassing gays, Latinos, Muslims, and other people of color. And I might be willing to accept that as a step in the right direction, if not for the fact that Trump also announced today that Steve Bannon, the white nationalist head of Breitbart News Network, would be his chief White House strategist. [Ben Shapiro, who worked with Bannon for four years as Breitbart’s editor-at-large, has said that Bannon “openly embraced the white supremacist alt-right.”] And I think that should make it clear to anyone paying attention what Trump is really all about.

If Trump actually cared about those facing the brunt of the newly emboldened alt-right, he wouldn’t have to be coerced into saying “Stop,” and he certainly wouldn’t have then announced that the man who brought the alt-right to the mainstream in America would be his chief strategist.

I know there are many out there who don’t think this election was primarily about race, and they may well be right. Regardless of why people voted for Trump, though, they are now part of this. In my mind there’s very little distinction between someone who is actively racist, and someone who turns a blind eye to racism, voting for a candidate who engaged in dangerous race baiting throughout the campaign, who surrounds himself with men like Bannon, and who now stays quiet on incidents of racial violence and intimidation. I understand that some of you voted for Trump because you didn’t think that your lives got better under the Obama administration. You wanted change, and you were willing to take a gamble on Trump. Well, this is what your gamble has gotten us. You may have climbed down into the swamp with the racists for the best of reasons, but you’re still in the swamp, rubbing elbows with the likes of David Duke and Steve Bannon.

I know it hurts to hear. Several of you who supported Trump have told me since the election that you are not racists, and that you’re offended by the suggestion that you might be, just because you supported Trump against Clinton. Well, if that’s true, now’s your chance to prove it. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but, if you sit quietly by as Trump fills the White House with men like Bannon, and don’t speak up on behalf the people who are, at this very minute, being harassed by your fellow Trump supporters, you are no better than they are. You can hide behind your claim not to be a racist, but, if you do nothing, it’s meaningless. As someone who voted for this man, you now have a responsibility to speak up. We need to to join us in standing up and declaring that this is unacceptable. If you sit by and do nothing, you might as well be a member of the Klan.

And, here, because I’d rather end this post with something beautiful than with a video of our new President-elect on 60 Minutes, is video of Kate McKinnon performing the late Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah on last night’s Saturday Night Live. If nothing else, I hope it reminds you, as it did me, that you’re not alone in this. A lot of people realize what’s happening right now, and they’re just as upset, confused and scared as you are. And there’s some comfort in that.

[If you should see incidents of racial intimidation, after calling the police, “report the hate” to the Southern Poverty Law Center, who are doing their best to track the spread of post-Trump violence.]

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  1. Taco Farts
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Reminding us that we’re not alone is great.

    Providing comfort is not necessarily great.

    Now is the time to not allow yourselves to be calmed or complacent. It’s too easy to know that you will be safe tomorrow, and therefore choose to do nothing.

    And we will let 100 safe tomorrows pass before we realize what we’ve all let happen.

  2. Posted November 13, 2016 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if I gave that impression. I’m certainly not advocating complacency, just reminding everyone that they’re not alone in their feelings right now. And, yes, this is the time to fight. We’ve put it off for far too long, and this is where it’s gotten us. We can’t afford to put it off any longer.

  3. Jeff Lark
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I think we can expect him to be all over the map with his pronouncements. He is ego-driven and amoral. Any single thing he does is, first and foremost, an exercise in power. He will be keenly aware of reactions and we know how sensitive he is. He can be manipulated with taunts and praise alike. We’ll see what happens when there is a mass murder by bushmaster, or a peaceful demonstration busted up by a motorcycle gang or another senseless homicide of a black person by a frightened law enforcement officer.

  4. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink


  5. charlieRomeo
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 2:03 am | Permalink

  6. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump is God’s messenger, who will save America from the dark forces of Satan.

    Newt Gingrich will be instrumental in making God’s plan a reality.

  7. Eel
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Charlie, I guess I know what I’ll be making my kids for Christmas this year.

  8. Jennifer Albaum
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    “Stop it” is a very quiet whisper with your hand covering your mouth. Weak.

  9. Quinn Marie
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Too little too late. He courted white nationalist support and then lied saying he doesn’t even know who David Duke is.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    “Two white working class women who live in a town about a half hour west. The town went for Trump.They were so angry about the election!
    They had dragged some of their friends to the polls, all voted for Hillary but for one, who wrote in Bernie. They said, you’re an idiot, you just wasted that one.
    I asked why they thought so many of the town went for Trump, was it about trade.
    One woman said – No! NO! NO ONE THINKS THOSE JOBS ARE COMING BACK! No one thinks that! These guys know better! They just hate black people!
    Her sister added: Yup, they hate black people but you better not call them a racist, either!
    And the first woman said: They also hate women and even the women hate women!
    Both of them were adamant, this isn’t about the economy, they think black people and immigrants are getting something that they aren’t and are going to roll into this sad little town and ‘take over.”

  11. EOS
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I get it. You were surprised at the outcome of the election. But the vandalism and protests in the streets need to stop. The fear is unjustified. Trump has not sent any “coded” messages to harass or intimidate gays, blacks, or muslims. He supported gay rights and gay marriage years before the Clintons. He will bring jobs and economic opportunities to the black community. Muslims will be the group of Americans that will benefit most if he prevents radical terrorists from crossing our borders. Healthcare for everyone will be better and cost less. The fears are manipulated by a media that was overwhelmingly in support of Clinton. It’s the elites in our country that are most fearful because their lies, corruption, and mass propaganda are coming to an end, or at least they will be significantly diminished. Trump is not the monster character that some have tried to portray.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    EOS believes her own gaslighting.

  13. Oliva
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    True, he didn’t send “coded” messages; he made it so that coded messages aren’t needed anymore. (Best to have it exposed is true–so people can stop lying to themselves and one another.) And not the media’s doing–we have video evidence of the man’s hateful views, not to mention throngs of his followers’ at rallies and now in schools and everywhere. These are facts, backed up by evidence, and are not open for debate.

  14. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It is hard to tell if EOS is truly that clueless, or if she merely parrots whatever she thinks her ideology requires.

    Of course, Trump did not send “coded” messages like so many Republican candidates before him. On this, EOS is entirely correct.

    He said them explicitly, and that’s exactly what got him elected and the power of those threats and insults against those specific groups is what Democrats truly underestimated.

  15. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    As for demonstrations. OF COURSE destruction of property is unacceptable. That’s a given.

    But people have a right to demonstrate. That’s what a democracy is about.

    I’m glad to see it happening.

    Unfortunately, Trump has taken back his Twitter account and seems to be hinting that he will return to “coded” calls for violence against people who don’t like him. A Presidential move would be to say something like, “I recognize that some people are not happy and I will work on their behalf and on behalf of all Americans.”

    But that’s too much to ask.

  16. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Trump called the demonstrations “unfair.”

    Wait till he actually takes office.

    Life isn’t fair, Donald.

    What a fucking crybaby.

  17. Meta
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    From Gizmodo:

    Sunday, the Trump transition team announced that conservative media king and alleged anti-Semite Stephen K. Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counsel to the President-elect. They also announced that former RNC chair and terrible name haver Reince Priebus will be the chief of staff.

    Bannon—the man Bloomberg once called him “the most dangerous political operative in America”—ran conservative news site Breitbart from March 2012 to August 2016, when he left to join Trump’s campaign as chief executive officer. In 1996, Bannon was charged with domestic violence. His ex-wife also claims he said, “He doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls to go to school with Jews.” (((Welcome to the White House, baby.)))

    Breitbart has supported the careers of prominent shitbags like tech blogger Milo Yiannopolous, along with his 44 interns. If the site’s most infamous headlines—written under Bannon’s leadership—are indicative of the future of technology and science in this country, it is bleak. Very, very bleak.

    The article then goes on to share several quotes from Bannon, like this one concerning mental health.

    “Bannon once wrote on the subject of Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul the mental health system, ‘I’ve got a cure for mental health issue. Spank your children more.’”

    Read more:

  18. EOS
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Did you see the 60 minutes interview yesterday? I think he said just that.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    white people sharing the MacKinnon SNL skit.
    POC sharing this one:

  20. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Does it matter?

    He should grow some.

    Clearly, the man is weak. I hope there are demonstrations daily.

  21. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink


    Then he backtracks…

    Weak, poor judgement.

    Unfit for the office.

  22. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    LOL. Yeah, I had more than one of my black friends make fun of me, especially about having a long day of moping on facebook part.

    I am really angry and for now am content with peaceful demonstration with lots of flag desecration and burning. However, I have been wondering to myself at what point would I start a more violent resistance? When he starts rounding people up for deportation? When he implements a policy that encourages rather than just allows police officers to harass and kill black people? When he appoints a Nazi as his chief strategist? When he starts building the concentration camps?

    I really don’t know. So far, there is both deep cause for concern and some hope too. I know I am planning to do some flag burning just as a test of how well our institution of constitutional law is holding up. well that and it makes conservatives go crazy! That is the fun part. :)

  23. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Death can’t come soon enough.

    The world is a miserable, miserable place.

    Fuck life.

  24. Southern Poverty Law Center
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Last night, President-elect Trump announced that he would hire Stephen Bannon as chief strategist. This is unacceptable.

    Bannon is the mastermind behind a resurgent white nationalism online through his Breitbart empire and now, it seems, he intends to bring that project into the most powerful office on the planet.

    Bannon must go. Trump pledged to be a president for “all Americans.” This appointment makes a mockery of that pledge.

    Call your representatives immediately and sign the petition at the link.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Trump will not do much about immigration or global trade or anything that would detrimentally effect big business. (see the SNL link above: white people aren’t going to start picking thier own strawberries) Ironically since billions are invested in green tech globally and domestically he probably can’t do much to impact progress on climate change either. His messed up economic plan relies on huge drivers of growth to fund substantial expenditure. He was a rich Dem a few years ago. He already proposed what was close to HRC’s plan to reduce student debt, but with no funding mechanism. What he will do is through the bigots a bone and fortifying national pride by cutting access to abortion, ignoring violence, increasing mass incarceration to unseen levels (private prison stocks are UP) and dropping a bunch of bombs. Our national debt is about to go through the roof. There will be no penalties for wall street. No increased minimum wage. Medicare will be cut. The poor will suffer. The rich will get richer. People like EOS will be happy if abortion rights are curtailed and she can continue to blame the marginalized for their fates.

    Trump never had enough ideas to be an effective totalitarian. He responded to his racist crowd by goading them on. He changes with the wind. And now the people he is listening to are lobbyists. And big business guys who think they are the only ones with anything at stake.

    I don;t expect any concentration camps beyond the one we already have, Guantanimo. Since GITMO is now prohibitively expensive to hold just 90 detainees, I am concerned our CEO in chief will want to fill it with political prisoners. He won’t build anything. But he may grow whatever predatory mechanisms are in place.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

  27. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The Blessed Donald Trump is merely a humble messenger of God.

  28. Oliva
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Jean Henry, you might appreciate hearing last year’s Wallenberg lecture–was at Rackham Auditorium last November. The brilliant, bold speaker and Wallenberg award winner, Masha Gessen, tried to rouse us to recognize that Trump could surely be elected and was a direct danger; she gave powerful warnings to not try to soften this blow. Is an excellent lecture, available on YouTube thankfully:

  29. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    A good place to start protesting is on his first full day as President. I plan to be there.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I’m going too Lynne. We’ll have 8 women from my family there. (we had planned for it to be her inauguration, now we’ll be marching instead. ) Some people are organizing a bus from Ypsi if you want a quick in and out. Hotels are booked mostly.

  31. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I am not sure how I am getting there but my brother lives there and I have called dibs on his spare room so I have a place to stay. I have been surprised at how many women I know are going. It is going to be a big protest.

  32. Loser Larson
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    No doubt, Breitbart News, the new propaganda wing of the White House will be covering the entire event.

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    For now, Pete, there are many news outlets still standing. NYTimes just basically said it is committed to speaking truth to power– which is somewhat amusing. I have a two bit theory that there may be a culture shift in media coverage, that they may get off the click bait, the new paradigm having been established and some of the old guard still standing, and realize that there is a niche market aka need for multi-faceted journalism with a commitment to revealing the truth, not repeating a compelling narrative. Hope springs eternal I guess.

    Action and hope and discernment. That’s all I have left. I was prepared for the loss, because months ago Pete said it was inevitable. He seems to have forgotten. For some reason, I took that perspective in as valid and was never entirely confident of an HRC win. I think it helped me manage Trump’s ascendency to the degree that I did. That and reading Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism book this winter. (Masha Gessen mentions it at length in that Wallenberg lecture Olivia– thank you) I have odd comforts.

    Anyway, it is looking like there may be numbers at the March too large to ignore. If they ignore us anyway, at least we will have tried.

    Lynne, if they run a bus from A2 Ypsi I will let you know here.

  34. Steve
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    He’s the Good Cop in the 1-2 punch from the Alt Right Oligarchy. Big Daddy come to give assurances and reassure with his coven of Hitler Youth children all arrayed behind him…. good cover for their dirty work.

  35. Lynne
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jean! I hope the numbers turn out to be big enough that they can’t ignore us. At the very least, it will probably just feel really good to be in such a large group of powerful women and feminist men.

  36. M
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    “Bannon has a clear tie to white nationalists. Clear tie.” – Glenn Beck

    If Glenn Beck and I can agree on this, it seems like we might be able to build a successful movement against this appointment.

  37. John Galt
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Not everyone is upset about Bannon being appointed as chief White House council. Members of the KKK and the American Nazi Party are both thrilled.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Pete– I found a job for you. I think you are probably more qualified than Ben Carson or Steve Bannon. You have an actual degree in the sciences, which puts you way ahead of Myron Ebell.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By The Ann Arbor safety pin litmus test on November 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    […] I should reiterate that this story that I heard about university employees being asked to remove their pins, for fear that they might offend conservatives, could well be an isolated thing. I haven’t heard of a university-wide edict on safety pins. It could just be a single department somewhere. Regardless, though, it just bothers me that, while some people are facing very real threats in post-Trump America, we’re spending even a single minute worrying about the feelings of those who don’t want to be made to feel bad about their choice to put this man in White House, where, by the way, he’s already announced that his chief strategist will be a white nationalist. […]

  2. […] this week, as we discussed a few days ago, Presidetn-elect Donald Trump announced that he would be appointing Steve Bannon, the race-baiting […]

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