More than one group of white supremacists recruited new members at Trump’s recent campaign rally in New Jersey. As usual, they tried to hide their real identity as white supremacists but there are some rather obvious telltale signs, like using phrases like “Zionist-occupied Government” (ZOG), a familiar bit of rhetoric from this crowd.
The red, white, and blue paper squared flyers advertised Patriot Front, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as an “image-obsessed” white nationalist hate group with chapters across the United States, and decried “foreign wars.” Vox senior politics reporter Jane Coaston pointed out that other members of Patriot Front have attended progressive anti-war rallies and passed out materials, attempting to cloak their anti-Semitic beliefs that the U.S. government is a “Zionist occupied government” in vague rhetoric to avoid immediately alarming attendees. On Tuesday afternoon, one member of Patriot Front handed this reporter such a flyer.Patriot Front was founded by Thomas Rousseau, a former member of the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America. Vanguard America was an organization James Fields, who murdered anti-racist protester Heather Heyer at the 2017 Unite the Right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, marched with, according to the SPLC. Like Vanguard America, Patriot Front calls for the formation of a white ethnostate, leveraging the powers of the government to enforce a white super-majority in America…
Daryle Lamont Jenkins of the anti-racist organization One People’s Project identified a man outside the rally believed to be Dan D’Ambly of the New Jersey European Heritage Association, which the Anti-Defamation League considers a white supremacist group. D’Ambly also attended the 2017 Unite the Right gathering, according to One People’s Project.
Even as some white supremacists have soured on Trump through his time in office, it seems that they still consider his devoted fan base to be fertile ground for recruitment and garnering sympathy for their causes. Not much seems to have changed since 2016, when former KKK leader David Duke encouraged his followers to volunteer for the Trump primary campaign as a way to meet like-minded people.
Where else would you go to recruit? The ties between Trump and white supremacists and neo-Nazis are many and varied. His bigotry and anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim platform fit perfectly with their own agenda. Fertile ground, to say the least.