More than 400,000 people (updated Wednesday, November 16, 2016) have signed the SPLC’s petition calling on President-elect Donald Trump to drop his appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor. The petition was launched yesterday.
Before joining the Trump campaign, Bannon oversaw the rise of the Breitbart News Network, which Bannon himself has called “the platform for the alt-right.”
The term alt-right is simply a rebranding of traditional white nationalism for the digital age. During Bannon’s tenure, the website enabled the spread of the alt-right’s extremist ideology from fringe internet culture to the presidential campaign trail.
“Mr. Trump’s selection of Mr. Bannon makes a mockery of his first commitment to the American people as president-elect: ‘to bind the wounds of division,’” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “In Mr. Bannon, he’s tapped a man who has fanned the flames of division by providing a platform for racism, xenophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism. It’s shocking.”
As Breitbart’s leader, Bannon:
- Aggressively pushed stories that demonized immigrants and linked minorities to terrorism and crime;
- Regularly published columns by leaders of known hate groups; and
- Published a call to “hoist [the Confederate flag] high and fly it with pride” only two weeks after the Charleston massacre.
When news of Bannon’s appointment hit white supremacist websites, racist forums like Stormfront erupted in celebration.
“Mr. Trump has talked about draining the swamp. But, he has chosen someone as his chief strategist who created a ‘cesspool for white supremacists,’ in the words of one of his former associates at Breitbart,” Cohen said.
Have you asked Trump to drop Bannon? Sign the petition today.