Donald Trump has dabbled in retweets and endorsements from white supremacists before, but this might be the first time his campaign has actively used the right-wing hate ideology as a source of marketing materials.
Recently, Trump tweeted out (and then replaced) a highly offensive image of Hillary Clinton that included a Star of David calling the Democratic candidate “corrupt” edited over a pile of money.
After people began pointing out how monumentally offensive this was, Trump’s team pulled the image and replaced the Star of David with a circle. It was such a rush job that people noticed you could still see the points of the star underneath the new shape.
He just put the circle on top of the Star of David. You can still see its points. pic.twitter.com/PjNSp38T3X
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 2, 2016
Trump’s campaign, of course, denied intending any offense – a claim undermined considerably by a couple of things:
- Many of Trump’s fans rushed to applaud the campaign for speaking the “truth” about Jewish people.
- And they lifted the offensive image from a white supremacist website.
In what comes as a sadly unsurprising development, when Mic went digging for the origins of the image, they found it started on an “alt-right” (read: right-wing racist) message board.
Mic discovered that Donald Trump’s Twitter wasn’t the first place the meme appeared. The image was first featured on /pol/ — an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Donald Trump’s rhetoric — as early as June 22, 2016, over a week before Donald Trump’s team tweeted it.
The image does not appear to have been in widespread use elsewhere, meaning it is likely whoever decided it would be put to use in Trump’s campaign got it directly from the source.
Its origins prove what many already said: The image is specifically designed to be disparaging towards the Jewish community. The Star of David wasn’t an “oversight” it was there by design. Whether or not Trump or his campaign leaders knew any of this when the decision was made to run the meme is unclear, but what is clear is that the people working for him, supporting him, and identifying with him are toxic in ways most Americans wouldn’t have thought possible from a major political party.
In politics, it’s often the company you keep – and this is a truly reprehensible group of people Trump has found himself allied with.
Featured image via Twitter