I recently attended a neo-Nazi rally in Germany for a story. They were handing out red baseball caps. Organizers said they wanted it to look like a Trump event.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 5, 2019
Hats read MGHA = Make Germany Hate Again pic.twitter.com/DSCPZTi8tP
Recently, Tucker Carlson made the fairly stupid (as Conor Friedersdorf argues) claim that the dangers of white supremacy in America is a hoax, which was followed by going on vacation (or is it "on vacation"?) and losing a handful of sponsors. Carlson's comments were transparently stupid, but they weren't stupid because he was having a failure of logic. I tend to believe he knows full well white supremacy is real and dangerous--he just doesn't want to see it as "a problem".
Fox News as a network has been playing with fire regarding race, but Carlson's long-time embrace of white supremacist tropes is well-established.
Tucker Carlson and President Trump, also now pretty well-established as demonstrating white supremacism, have a pocketful of defenses: the people who call them racists are the "real racists", they are just being slammed for saying things that people don't want to hear, they are "just joking" some of the time (the Schrodinger's Douchebag defense) and pointing out that racism exists is, itself, divisive. And all of those defenses are trash, and I will simply dismiss them instead of fucking with them, because they are not worth fucking with. I'm just going to point out that white supremacy isn't a hoax, it's killing people, and having a functionally white supremacist-supporting president of the United States is not good for the US, or for the world.
White supremacist terror is on the rise, has adherents with characteristics similar to groups such as ISIS, and the attacks are growing more deadly, but despite growing evidence of these phenomena, the Trump DOJ tried to suppress information regarding white supremacist involvement in such activity.
This seems like a triumph of ideology over good sense, possibly a way to avoid the row that occurred over the 2009 DHS report on the increase in right wing extremism. But what benefit is there in denying a problem exists when it so manifestly does? (Well, politics.)
It's certainly a problem when a State Department (now, fortunately, ex) official was a part of the hate movement, and members of such movements are found in our military and in our police forces. It is a problem when our immigrations system is headed by people sympathetic to these hate groups. It is a problem when it has been demonstrated in multiple attacks and the manifestos and Facebook posts of the authors of those attacks that they are motivated by "invasion" or "great replacement" rhetoric, and the president continues to make use of that same rhetoric in his campaign ads.
It is a problem when the would-be terrorists in Boulder, Las Vegas, Toledo, and Winter Park, all only just get caught before their intent to do harm is carried out. (There's more where those came from.) Language used by people like Carlson and Trump may inspire these people, or at least persuade them that their grievances are legitimate enough to commit atrocities for. People who defend those who use the rhetoric maintain the legitimizing structure.
It is a real problem. Calling it a hoax is itself dangerous and vile.