08.26.2016 05:51 AM

It is a sin to despise anyone

I didn’t say that. God did, in Proverbs 14:21. 

Hillary Clinton’s meticulous, pedantic speech about the sin of Donald Trump’s racism  yesterday – about which many of you sent me emails and text messages, thank you – was a major speech. It was big. Not because of the subject matter – all of us have known for some time that Trump has built his campaign on a foundation of hate. It was extraordinary that, in this day and age, it was a speech that would need to be given in the first place. 

To wit:

1. A major candidate for the office of President of the United States is a proud racist, and he doesn’t hide it. 2. He regularly spews hate. 3. A third of Americans (at least) like what he says. 

Think about that. 

Hillary did, clearly, and she came up with a speech that read like an papal indictment of a blasphemer. It was sermon – thus my invocation of God, at the outset – and it was delivered with barely-controlled clerical fury. No music, no hoopla, just step up to the podium and lay waste to Trump, point by footnoted point. She eviscerated him. 

You can read it all here. You should.
As most of you know, I have been documenting and writing about racism and anti-Semitism and organized hate for more than three decades. I’ve written two books about the subject, Unholy Alliances and Web of Hate. Yesterday, in reaction to Hillary’s speech, most people referenced the latter. But it’s the (lesser-known) former book that is actually more relevant. In that book, I describe how white supremacists and neo-Nazis always devote considerable resources to coming up with a kinder, gentler names for themselves – and how the media are too often suckered into going along. (Back then, they called themselves “the third position.”)

Regrettably, Hillary went on, at some length, about the “alt right” yesterday. You can lose a lot of time trying to define it, which is what it’s adherents want you to do. They are big on semantics. Along with alt right, they variously refer to themselves as nativists, nationalists, populists, and sometimes even white nationalists. 

But they’re just racists. Racists. 

They hate immigration (because it brings in non-whites). They hate the financial system (because it is run by Jews). They hate cultural change (because it has given power to gays and lesbians and others). They hate everyone who isn’t like them, basically. 

Ipso facto, they’re just garden-variety bigots. And, therefore, it’s a mistake to do what Hillary did yesterday – call them “alt right,” when they’re simply “racists.” It’s a mistake to assist them in masking their true purpose. It’s a mistake to assist them in their lie. 

That criticism aside, her speech was one that will be remembered by history. It made me proud of her that she wanted to deliver that anti-racist sermon when she is so far ahead. 

And it made me sad that she needed to. 


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    Tired of it All says:

    A fine, tough speech. In its way, it was the book-end to Obama’s race speech. It also put moderate republicans, still clinging to the party, in a very awkward spot. His rebuttal, “I’m not fat, YOU are” only sealed the lid tighter. And yet, he has at least 33% of the vote, all in states where minority voter suppression laws and redistricting has been going on for decades. This race is far from over.

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      Etienne says:

      re: this race is far from over

      I fully agree. And it’s disconcerting how often the media line about Trump is how his campaign is terrible, he’s self-destructing, it’s all imploding… RealClearPolitics gives Clinton a 6 point lead. That’s margin of error territory. Imagine if he stopped shooting himself in the foot for a couple weeks? Not to mention the polls are having a rough time getting a good pulse lately, and the fact that Trump appears to be drawing out of the woodwork folks that felt disenfranchised. Do pollsters have a good handle on getting their views?

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        The Doctor says:

        In the context of recent US Presidential elections, 6 points is a big lead.

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    lyn says:

    Trump is not racist! Why would you want Hillary who is a Liar and she really doesn’t care about anyone else but herself and her foundation. She has sold her sole to the devil….Warren! The people want TRUMP!

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      James Smith says:

      Respectfully: Are you being sarcastic?

      If not, some ripe examples of the the person’s behaviour:

      – 1973, when his family’s real-estate company, Trump Management Corporation, was sued by the Justice Department for alleged racial discrimination (he was the president ) 3 years later, the Justice Department charged Trump Management with continuing to discriminate against blacks through such tactics as telling them that apartments were not available
      -1989 He took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the African-American teenage suspects — who were all later exonerated
      -1991 John R. O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino wrote these gems from Mr Trump: “laziness is a trait in blacks….Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day
      -The “Birther” Movement
      – The Wall to keep out Mexicans
      – Banning Muslims
      et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

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      Tim Sullivan says:

      Are we comparing truth-telling here? Are we comparing “cares for someone else” and “cares only for oneself” here?

      I don’t think Trump would score on either measure.

      You start. Go with the medical letter first and ease into the NFL letter. Head on to Cruz’s father’s role in the JFK assassination and mention Clinton’s heath. If you can spend a bit of time on Trump University with a comment on Trump no knowing who David Duke is, that’d be great.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      She sold her sole to the devil? How much per pound? I wonder if he cooks it meuniere style or just puts a little salt & pepper on it…

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    Jeff says:

    Clinton is a hard one to like. It’s all fine and good to hit back at Trump and go after him when you can but she needs to start focusing on why she is the best choice for President, not why Trump is the worst choice. I really think she is going to keep losing ground until she finds a better way to sell herself.

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      The Doctor says:

      If I were a Yank, I would hold my nose and vote Hilary, but I absolutely agree with you that her campaign has been distressingly light on actual policy and platform.

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        The Doctor says:

        Following up on that, I loathe Trump and his platform, but to his credit (compared to HRC) at least he has one and I know what it is.

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          Tim Sullivan says:

          HRC enunciated in some detail her platform in her DNC speech.

          Maybe you missed it. It was kind of a big thing for people interested in US politics or understanding what Trump was tweeting about.

          But go with Trump’s racist platform. HRC’s platform is unknowable only to those who cannot read and refuse to see.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Despise both main contenders. Hoping Clinton and Trump bash each other into oblivion so one of two alternatives make it to 15% (so they will be on national debates).

    Anyways, timing is interesting. Diversion away from Clinton Foundation for sure. The Trump twitter account has changed significantly. Definitely not Trump. Professionals running the show it appears. Trump’s companies losing millions as a result of his run (i.e. golf courses being boycotted). Really, this race is getting wilder each day. 15% for a third candidate would make this an election for the ages.

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    Tiger says:

    I consider myself a conservative Republican.

    I wanted to support Ted Cruz in the primary, but I looked at the polls and voted for Marco Rubio in my voting state (I live in Canada now) in February.

    With the call for a Muslim ban, I knew I couldn’t vote for Trump, period.

    With the threats to NATO, I knew I couldn’t vote third party.

    So, I’ll lend Hillary my vote for this cycle, to make sure that Trump loses. (And if he somehow does not, I can’t blame myself.)

    I’m hopeful I’ll be able to vote for Rubio next time. (Ted lost me over his bathroom obsession, later on.)

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    Etienne says:

    Great speech. I share many of the concerns she expressed. I’ve discussed this with some friends: if Trump loses and goes back to his business affairs, what happens to all his supporters? It doesn’t end on election night for them. They wont stop believing what they believe because of the vote. They’ve just had their cause legitimized. They’re invigorated. What do we do with that?

    Also, I’ve read that one of the Dems strategies is to try and draw some disenfranchised Republicans into the fold. She’s praising lots of republican nominees and past presidents in that speech… Sure cloud serve that purpose.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Strong third party candidates cut both ways: Perot sunk incumbent George H. W. Bush. Nader doomed the aspiring Al Gore.

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    Jay Currie says:

    Looks like the internals are suggesting black voters are going to stay home. Time to invoke the KKK, racism and Russia.

    I hope Hilly is smart enough to replace Mook with you Warren… Then she might actually be ahead by the end of the Labour Day weekend. And you could prep her for the debates because you’d actually ask the tough questions Trump will. Glad you joined the Dems, now take out Mook and get cracking. She’s melting Warren, and her flying monkeys too.

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