NPR Gives Platform to Former Neo-Nazi to Call Trump a ‘Megaphone’ for White Supremacy

In this Jan. 9, 2017, photo, Christian Picciolini, founder of the group Life After Hate, poses for a photograph in his Chicago home. Picciolini, a former skinhead, is an activist combatting what many see as a surge in white nationalism across the United States. He's doing it by helping members …
AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed a former neo-Nazi to make the case that President Donald Trump has a pattern of using his Twitter account to send messages of support to white supremacists.

On Sunday, Trump posted a video of his supporters at The Villages retirement community in Florida, which included one man who allegedly yelled, “White power. ” The president deleted the tweet, and his staff has said he did not hear that in the video, but the left-wing media are using it to further the narrative that Trump is supportive of white supremacists.

NPR reported that the term“white power” is meant to instill fear.

“It was also a proclamation that distilled what we believed in into two words,” Christian Picciolini told NPR’s Morning Edition.

Picciolini, who know runs an anti-extremist group, said it also differs from black power.

“Not in a sense that black power is used as a cry for equity and a cry against white supremacy,” Picciolini said. “White power has always been used as kind of a bludgeon and not as anything other than that.”

“When President Trump on Sunday retweeted a video in which an alleged supporter yelled ‘white power,’ Picciolini didn’t want to speculate what the president was thinking,” NPR said in the interview. “But what struck him, he says, ‘is that this has been a pattern.’”

“This hasn’t been the first time that the president has tweeted something that has come from a white supremacist or that has had a white supremacist message, whether it’s talking about a conspiracy theory that’s connected to white genocide or whether it’s using pejorative language to describe other people,” Picciolini said. “What is intentional, I believe, is the goal to instill fear. We’re seeing a lot more language that is racist, especially with the use of social media, and he is emboldening that kind of language through his tweets”:

NPR repeated the debunked idea that Trump supported the neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and said Confederate statues were “beautiful” when, in fact, he praised the beauty of U.S. historic monuments.

“I think what President Trump is, is a megaphone,” Picciolini said. “It’s as if Trump kicked over a bucket of gasoline on all of those small fires that have existed for 400 years and created one large forest fire.”

Rather than criticizing some of the violent protests that have broken out following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month while in police custody, and the continued agitation by the leftist Black Lives Matter political organization, Picciolini said white supremacists are the ones who hope for a race war in America.

“This is almost a perfect storm for this type of civil unrest that they’ve been talking about for decades that it seems to them that it’s almost a reality,” Picciolini said.

According to the Department of Justice, white supremacists have been routinely prosecuted for their criminal activities during the Trump administration, including in 2019 when 54 gang members were indicted on “multiple acts of violence.”

Major cases also were adjudicated in 2018 and 2020.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.