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Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump's Choice Steven Bannon -- What He Represents

 

Welcome to the world of politics, President-elect Donald Trump. Perhaps you are just beginning to realize the scrutiny of your decisions as well as the intense pressure of the position. In the very near future, you may gain a new respect for your self-announced foe, President Barack Obama. It seems you have already made one very questionable presidential decision.

Heads up, America. Stephen K. Bannon, American business man and executive chairman of Breitbart News, will be chief strategist and senior counselor the the upcoming Trump Adminstration.Bannon's association with the alt-right movement has contributed to accusations of white nationalism from the Southern Poverty Law Center, other advocacy groups, commentators, and Senator Harry Reid. 

(Hunter Walker and Dylan Stableford. “President-elect Trump names Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus to his senior White House leadership team. Yahoo News. November 13, 2016.)

Of course, nearly everyone acknowledges Bannon’s Breitbart doesn't have scruples. It was happy to pick up on the birther movement and notions of black criminality. 

His second wife, Mary Louise Piccard, claimed Bannon had made antisemitic remarks and accused him of domestic violence. The New York Daily Times reported that Piccard said in a 2007 court statement that Bannon didn’t want their twin daughters attending a school because too many Jews attended. “The biggest problem he had with Archer [School for Girls in Los Angeles] is the number of Jews that attend,” Piccard said in her statement, the newspaper reported. 

“He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” Piccard wrote, according to the Daily News

Bannon denied the claims, and the charges were later dropped when his now ex-wife did not show up to court.

(Megan Twohey, Steve Eder, and Noah Smither. “Donald Trump's campaign chief, Stephen Bannon, faced domestic violence charges in 1996.” The New York Times. August 25, 2016.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a statement saying Bannon has no business working in the White House. The group called Breitbart's work a massive platform for the alt-right and white supremacy. They added if Trump truly wants to adhere to his pledge to be a president for all Americans, Bannon must go.

"Under Bannon, Breitbart published a call to 'hoist [the Confederate flag] high and fly it with pride' only two weeks after the Charleston massacre when the country was still reeling from the horrors of the murders," the group wrote. "Under Bannon, Breitbart published an extremist anti-Muslim tract where the author wrote that 'rape culture' is 'integral' to Islam. Worse perhaps, Bannon personally insinuated that African Americans are 'naturally aggressive and violent.'"

(Kyle Feldscher. “Civil rights group: Trump must reject Bannon.” The Washington Examiner. November 14, 2016.)
In a separate report the Southern Poverty Law Center responded to Bannon's approval with this:
It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top aide. Bannon was ‘the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.'”
Another group, the Anti-Defamation League, denounced Bannon's appointment. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO, stated …

"It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premiere website of the 'alt right' – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the 'people's house. We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country's people and who exemplify the values of pluralism and tolerance that make our country great."

(Steph Solis. “Stephen Bannon's appointment met with criticism.
USA TODAY. November 14, 2016.)

In addition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Bannon's appointment in a statement, calling him an "anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and White nationalist alt-right extremist." The council pointed to the alt-right news website he used to run as proof of his views on Muslims and other minorities.

The council's executive director, Nihad Awad, said …

“The appointment of Stephen Bannon as a top Trump administration strategist sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and White nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House... We urge President-elect Trump to reconsider the ill-advised appointment of white nationalist Stephen Bannon if he seeks to unite Americans.”

(Jose A. DelReal. “Trump draws sharp rebuke, concerns over newly appointed chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon.” The Washington Post. November 13, 2016.)
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-New.) doesn't mince words about Bannon. 
“President-elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House,” said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid.
(Kevin Drum. “Is Steve Bannon Racist? Let's Find Out!” Mother Jones. November 14, 2016.)
Bannon once gave an interview, while promoting his 2010 film, Fire From the Heartland: the Awakening of the Conservative Woman, in which he argued that Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter pose an existential threat to the left. To some, he appears guilty of misogyny.

“These women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative,” he explained. “That's one of the unintended consequences of the women's liberation movement––that, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be feminine, they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn't be a bunch of dykes that came from the 7 Sisters schools.”

(Conor Friedersdorf. “The Radical Anti-Conservatism of Stephen Bannon.” 
The Atlantic. August 25, 2016.)

The Seven Sisters is a loose association of seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. They are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College.

Recent records also show that Stephen K. Bannon changed his voter registration address in Florida this week as reporters were preparing a story about how he was registered at an address where he did not live. A spokeswoman provided a statement from someone who said Bannon had lived there but did not respond to a question about why he changed his registration to the new address. The new address under which Bannon is registered is a property owned by Andrew and Melissa Badolato. Andrew Badolato is a writer for Breitbart.

Bannon’s registration information was changed from an address in Miami-Dade County to Sarasota County, according to Carolina Lopez, the deputy supervisor of elections in Miami-Dade. The Guardian newspaper reported that Bannon had been registered to vote at an address in Miami-Dade where he did not reside, putting him at odds with state election laws.

(Sean Sullivan and Alice Crites. “New Trump campaign chief faces scrutiny over voter registration, anti-Semitism. The Washington Post. August 26, 2016.)

And, just for good measure, renowned American civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson told CNN Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist is nothing less than a “real threat to global security.”

"The appointment of someone who gives voice to so much hate," Stevenson told Christiane Amanpour, threatens "the kind of moral influence that this nation claims to want to have, in a world that's increasingly violent and at risk."

"I really think the moral integrity of this nation is now at risk," he added.

(Mick Krever. “Steve Bannon a 'threat to global security,' says civil rights attorney.” CNN. November 14, 2016.)

Shocking Content Stirred By Breitbart 
 
Ken Stern, in an article about Bannon in Vanity Fair, said, “A trip into virtually any Breitbart comment board needs to be accompanied by a dose of Dramamine and a willingness to endure the racial heat that currently drives so much of the debate in this country.”
Before his first meeting with Bannon, he selected “one top aricle of the day” and read this choice comments to Bannon:

From “ResistandRebel”: It is hilarious how butthurt the feral negro’s are about a few dead mongrels! It is even more hilarious how butthurt they are all the time, even with affirmative action, all the free shlt, and their own separate everything! LOL! I guess I would be too if my family tree was made up of a bunch of mongrel, spear chucking monkey losers!!! 
 
Reply from “DefiantDeity”: Exactly who are the but hurt ones here? They act like the mental midgets they are as soon as one of their own mentally challenged members gets gunned down for being an idiot. I celebrated with some alcohol when Zimmerman was found not guilty and I celebrate every time one of these mongoloids are shot by cops. There are a lot more of us Americans than there are people in BLM. Designate them a terror group and wipe them off the planet over night.

Comment from “Paul Kersey”: They know that White people are superior. They wine about it all the time and want to kill us because of it. They know they come from jungle savages and will never be equal to us so they destroy everything we create.

Stern said when he read Bannon those comments, his response was slightly pained, and he tried to wave the issue away, saying that it is all “the Wild West,” the “top of the first inning”—the logical consequence of Breitbart’s absolute commitment to unregulated and unfettered speech.

Yet Stern said it was also clearly a topic of concern, and Bannon returned to it later in the conversation, asking me for advice on how to reduce these types of comments on Breitbart, and whether a ban on anonymity would change the tone. Stern said, “It was unclear to me whether he was bothered by the overt racism, or just its business implications – there simply aren’t enough white working-class people to fuel a winning nationalist movement in this country.

(Ken Stern. “Exclusive: Stephen Bannon, Trump’s New C.E.O., Hints at His Master Plan.” Vanity Fair. August 17, 2016.)

What seems apparent is that America must be on alert when a chief presidential strategist like Steve Bannon is making critical decisions. Pray now. Pray often. Minorities and women should spend extra time asking God to bless our country.

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