President Donald Trump’s already infamous “shithole” comment is among several remarks the commander-in-chief has made that have energized white supremacists, rights groups fear.
Trump made the comment Thursday in the context of asking why America should accept more immigrants from Haiti and Africa—instead of places like Norway—while discussing a bipartisan immigration deal with lawmakers. The remark reinvigorated accusations that Trump is a racist, and it was embraced online by white supremacists David Duke and Richard Spencer.
The director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, Oren Segal, told Newsweek that such Trump remarks are “the engine that fuels white supremacy” in America.
“You have white supremacists like Andrew Anglin calling Trump’s words ‘encouraging and refreshing,’” Segal said, referring to the editor of Daily Stormer, a fringe, anti-Semitic conspiracy website that serves as a homepage for young, disaffected white men. Segal said that when Trump makes racially charged remarks, it gives a signal to isolated and hateful people that their views are normal and are “gaining a foothold in this country,” even if that might not be the case.