Yes, Trump, Some Americans also murder: Some are Your White Supremacists

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

In an interview with Bill O’Reilly airing Sunday afternoon, O’Reilly observes of Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

TRUMP: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

As The Guardian points out, this exchange is reminiscent of one in summer of 2015 between Joe Scarborough and Trump about Putin:

“MSNBC host Joe Scarborough: “He kills journalists that don’t agree with him.”

TRUMP: “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.”

At other times, Trump has said there is no proof that Putin killed anyone.

I don’t have any way of knowing if Mr. Putin has ordered anyone to be rubbed out. It is pretty obvious that he has bullied Russia’s journalists into sullen submission or had them fired, and that some 26 have been killed since he came to power. The Russian Federation does not have a free press, and Putin played a role in derailing any movement in that more liberal direction.

However, I would like to point out that we do know who murders in the United States.

There is for instance, Dylann Roof , who murdered 9 Americans, including a sitting state senator. Roof was a big fan of of white supremacist and far right web sites of the sort promoted by Trump’s Rasputin, the alt-Neo-Nazi Steve Bannon, former CEO of Breitbart.

When then South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was shamed by Roof’s massacre into finally removing the confederate flag from the state capitol, a flag that stood for resistance to the abolition of slavery, Bannon wrote the headline, “”Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage.”

Or there is William Sims, a talented young African-American musician in the Bay Area, snuffed out at the age of 28 just last November by . . . you guessed it, white supremacists.

As for journalists, we should never forget Alan Berg, the liberal radio commentator in Denver shot down in his driveway by The Order, “a splinter group of the Aryan Nation white nationalist movement that financed its anti-government goals with bank robberies in the Pacific Northwest.” Cute.

Guess who today’s white supremacists supported for president?

Let us also not forget Paul Guihard, a French reporter for AFP shot in the back at close range during a segregationist riot against the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi on September 30, 1962.

And if we reach back to the nineteenth century, there was Elijah Parish Lovejoy, an an abolitionist editor in Alton, IL, who was killed in 1837 by a white supremacist mob that favored introducing slavery in the north.

So yes, Mr. Trump, we’ve got a lot of killers and our country’s not so innocent.

You’re not so innocent, either, since you went out of your way to cultivate the groups out of which those killers emerged as one of your electoral constituencies. And you’ve got a man who tried to make them respectable there with you in the White House.

Related video:

“White Supremacists Invigorated By Donald Trump’s Win” | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

24 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, dealing with Trump seems to be essentially the same thing as trying to argue logically with, say, a gambler. No matter what arguments are raised about why gambling is a problem, there is always an answer. That answer may — and almost always is — be untethered from logic and reality but it is, technically, an answer and so serves the purpose and is expected to end the discussion. If you do not end the discussion a tantrum ensues.

    Trump, while likely not insane, has severe mental problems which, among other things, have prevented him from confronting reality. Ascribing logic to his actions so as to deal with them is fruitless. His response to O’Reilly is just “an answer.” Taking it seriously and dissecting it is, unfortunately, itself a descent into insanity. It makes as much sense as arguing quantum field theory with the resident perma-drunk in the bar.

    So what are we to do? I have no idea. When a sitting president tweets about a federal judge in the manner he has and the response is only mild surprise it shows how far through the looking glass we have come, in only two weeks. Hitler benefitted from such rapid normalization as you, Prof. Cole, have pointed out. I watched Trump give a speech in Dec. 2015 and my blood ran cold at how Hitleresque was his oratory and sensed he would win. We may be screwed. Analogies with Hitler are not exact but neither are they overblown.

  2. As far as killers go, it isn’t necessary to go to the vicious, crackpot fringe to find them in the U.S. Because former U.S. presidents have authorized illegal wars and targeted assassinations that include U.S. citizens, Putin has august company and Trump appears to know it.

  3. I tried listening to him, but that was two minutes of idiocy.

    At least he wasn’t skilled at oration.

  4. Mr. President It is now becoming clear that tweeting before all facts are known is dangerous. After the recent attack at the Louvre you tweeted a defense of your entry-to-the-USA bans. “You must now understand why that was necessary”.
    Now it turns out that the assailant was a citizen of Egypt, a country excepted from your ban. Dangerous!

  5. Professor Cole – A bit surprised to read nary a word regarding impudent white law enforcement who have been committing murder under the shade of the law since the Civil War.

    Institutional White Terrorism in plain sight.

  6. Is it a healthy society, who while sitting on top of the world passes down judgement, as if it’s instigating self were free of sin? Can a country accuse other nations to be the aggressors, while that same prosecuting country racks up countless coups, and self righteously invades other people’s lands like none the world has ever seen before since the end of WWII?

    I happen to like the idea that Trump wishes to have a relationship of détente with Putin. I would like to point to exhibit A of America for having a relationship with questionable characters whereas exhibit A being Netanyahu, and his country’s consistent brutality being used against the evicted Palestintian for over these last seventy years. My point being, although one may argue how wrong Vladimir Putin maybe, then one should argue how some of our now current allies are not much better, and could be without a doubt arguably considered to be worst.

    America should quite with our almighty judgment of others, and start putting our own house in order, and then lead by humble example. There again, America just put a man in the White House who while campaigning not to long ago, stood behind the podium encouraging his supporters to punch his rally crashing protesters lights out, and to throw these disruptive unwanted bums off the rally’s premises. If this kind of leadership is what sells in America, then I ask you once again…who are we too judge other leaders and nations when we ourselves are guilty of such equal sins, or possibly worst crimes against humanity?

    Lastly, for a country who constantly proclaims itself to be a Christian nation, who by it’s own Constitution honors freedom for all religions, could we some day look Jesus in the face and say ‘we have lived by your word’ o Son of God, and now Your most blessed One You may now judge us’?

    I’m not even all that religious, but I will tell you this, actions speak louder than words, and hypocrites only father deceit, which always leads to a false reality for the masses to live within.

    • “What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

      This is the one honest thing he’s said!
      Joe, I get your points, and you’ve stated them well.
      And I happen to agree that a good relationship with Russia isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially given the nuclear stakes.

      Let’s recall how when Nixon sought detente with the CCCP (wow, there’s an old skool acronym), there was fairly universal bi-partisan support, even though Soviet repression & expansionism was a well known fact at the time.

      I think the difference today is the context of the Russian interference & covert support of Trump, plus the questions about his business relationships in Russia. If we had found out that Nixon had similar relationships with a Brezhnev or a Kosygin, or that the Soviets had somehow tried to influence the ’72 election in Nixon’s favor, I think we’d question Nixon’s motives just as we are doing today.

      Under different circumstances, yes, “detente” with Russia today would be a good thing, but just not by this President.

      PS Juan, I wish you wouldn’t capitalize terms like neo-fascist or neo-nazi. I just think it gives more import to the terms, and even if it’s just the small act of using lower case letters, even the smallest, symbolic bit of marginalization of these elements matters…


      • Eli, now don’t attack me, for I am no Trump supporter, but to be fair about American business interest in Russia, for one of our business elite doing business with Russia is nothing new. Although, I don’t have a clue to Trump’s motives for wanting to cuddle up closely to the Russians, we must remember that when it comes to making money our American capitalist have no allegiance to anything but to reward themselves with profit.

        Under David Rockefeller’s term, in 1973, Chase established the first branch of an American bank in Moscow near the Kremlin, in the then Soviet Union. That year Rockefeller traveled to China, resulting in his bank becoming the National Bank of China’s first correspondent bank in the United States.

        I was tickled pink with joy back in 1972 when Nixon by traveling to China (ping pong diplomacy) and then as he went on to Russia, and by doing so Nixon turned back the minute hand on the doomsday clock by a well appreciated substantial margin. Smart move on Nixon’s part at that moment in history, due to his putting the U.S. squarely in the middle of these two EuroAsian foes, and thusly placing the U.S. in a neutral position between these two threatening nations of ours then, like now, where anything other than a true peace, would bring about a devastation to the world like none ever before it has ever had.

        We can only hope that whatever it is that Trump is up to, is that his version of diplomacy will peacefully benefit all of the people who inhabit this planet, and not just the wealthy few.

        In the meantime give Trump hell, do what you must, and be yourself. Hopefully everything will work out fine, and our Egotist and Chief will not wreck the world too much, while serving his first term in the Oval Office.

        • Joe, no attack intended on you, and I apologize if it came across as that. This is a good, healthy debate, which is what I love about Juan’s blog, how he allows us to do so in more detail and in a thoughtful, respectful way.

          I think you make some great points!
          Give cred where cred is due, even if it is Richard Nixon or Donald Trump! lol

          When Trump makes a statement like he did, it really makes me wonder if maybe there’s just a little hint of anti-imperialism beneath that thick skull of his. Of course that would be a good thing. But then he dashes any hope when we see his real imperial self as it manifests itself in his rhetoric on Iran, Mexico or North Korea, etc.

          And that’s always been the worry for me, not that he’ll start something with a China, or a Russia, but with another weaker nation, like Iran.

          But even if we do give Trump the benefit of the doubt in certain instances, we must never forget that it’s within the context of his neo-fascist tendencies, that’s all I’m trying to say, otherwise, we’ll find ourselves normalizing him and his regime, both of which we need to continue to #resist.
          I think we’re on the same page in that regard…


  7. O’Reilly and Scarborough appearing oblivious to the sins of the United States while berating others for lesser sins is an all-too common practice these days.

    Would anyone care to estimate how many people have been killed by Americans in illegal actions just in this century? You might find it easier to estimate the number of beans in a barrel. If you can handle it emotionally, how many children have been killed by Americans in just this century? How many children have been killed by close allies and justified by Americans?

    Hypocrisy was in full display when slave owners signed the Declaration of Independence that said all men have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while they had no intention of releasing their slaves from bondage. Hypocrisy in the United States has been rampant ever since and shows no sign of declining.

    • Yes but I’d wager few or no American journalists have been rubbed out on American soil by the orders of a sitting president. I cannot be so confident that a similar assertion would be true of Russia.

      • Are the lives of the woman, children and non-combatants who are rubbed out by American bombs and drones of less value than your journalists?

        • I take issue with those readers who themselves take issue with Cole’s comment about Russian journalists. Why should Cole bring up women, children, journalists, whoever who have been killed by American Bombs in this comment? He was making an entirely different point. Russian journalists are subject to being wiped out if the criticize the Kremlin too much. You guys are brining up a false equivalency which makes your comments seem like apologizing for Russia. Stick to the point.

      • Professor Cole, what Bill Bodden stated I don’t think should be replied to with a tit for tat reply. No one is necessarily defending Vladimir Putin, nor are we sticking up for Russia. What Bill Bodden is stating is the exceptional hypocrisy our nation shows when speaking with the self righteous tone of our accusations, which we do when that nation isn’t playing in our opinion by our rules. Let’s leave Russia be Russia, and worry about our own sins which we continue to deny. Also when was the last time you can recall where the U.S. wasn’t willing to team up with another nations dictator when it suited our nation’s financial or military interest?

        • I would just add that to agree with Joe’s point IS NOT to be a Trump defender. It’s not our problem that an egomaniacal narcissistic neo fascist racist might have one belief – if it is an actual belief – that might be consistent with the progressives!

          We all want better jobs!
          Hitler loved his dog!

          Is it a bad thing I love dogs too???


        • I should have put it this way:

          “We all love our dogs. Hitler loved his dog. Is it now wrong to love our dogs?”

      • As for journalists, we should never forget Alan Berg, the liberal radio commentator in Denver shot down in his driveway by The Order, “a splinter group of the Aryan Nation white nationalist movement that financed its anti-government goals with bank robberies in the Pacific Northwest.” Cute.

        and Let us also not forget Paul Guihard, a French reporter for AFP shot in the back at close range during a segregationist riot against the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi on September 30, 1962.
        link to

        Not by orders of a sitting president, but the next could be encouraged by a sitting president or his close advisor who says journalists should shut up.

      • Let’s not forget the journalists who were killed in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by rounds from a U.S. Army tank and the Reuters’ staffers in the Collateral Murder video. Killed by soldiers working for President Bush and Darth Cheney.

  8. It is hard to comprehend why Trump sticks up for Putin and has this almost sick obsession for this tyrant that previous Presidents distanced themselves from. To excuse him of murder and justify it, is disgusting.

  9. Putin is a mafioso thug who would have made Capone proud….”I have built my organization upon fear.” Al Capone

    Trump in his own small hands way attempts to intimidate the press and his opponents so they will fear him.

  10. NATO attacked the Belgrade TV bldg. as a “military” target and Manning released video showing the killing of Reuters journalists by US forces, just for starters. There are numerous other examples.

  11. At times PTrump nails it and the MSM talking heads do not like it. During Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly when O’Reilly called Putin a “killer” which is the truth. Trump replied that the U.S. also has “killers” That the U.S. is “not innocent.” This fact has turned the MSM into a frenzy again. Trump was spot on. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and all of those who went along with known WMD lies leading up to the invasion of Iraq and a complicit mainstream media who were very much part of the “group think” that went on in the media before the invasion are responsible for the deaths and injuries of millions in Iraq. Obama/Clinton and all of those who went along with supporting the unnecessary military intervention in Libya and arming unknown rebels in Syria which absolutely fueled the death and destruction in Syria are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries and millions of refugees.

    Trump spoke the truth about this critical issue.

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