That number may not mean much to us social justice warriors.
But it means a lot to white supremacists.
The letter “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Two H’s together–“HH”–are shorthand for “Heil Hitler.”
But that’s too obviously racist for most media outlets with strict policies against posting hate speech.
So to slip by censors, neo-Nazis resort to code.
Many white supremacists have it tattooed on their bodies along with other coded messages.
Ever since Donald Trump descended that escalator in Trump Tower five years ago and declared Mexicans rapists, drug dealers, and murderers, he has been conveying in subtle–and not-so-subtle–ways to white supremacists they have a home so long as he is in office.
The bullhorn has always been blaring.
Trump and surrogates have regularly been exposed for their more obvious dog whistles, but their clarion call has been getting louder since Senate Republicans failed to convict Trump on the two counts on which he was impeached back in December.
Recent examples include Trump’s planned campaign rally in Tulsa, Ok., the scene of the 1921 Tulsa race riots, on June 20, the day after Juneteenth, when the rally was originally to be held, for which Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted:
This isn't just a wink to white supremacists—he's throwing them a welcome home party. https://t.co/lUXpnUoFQU— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 11, 2020
Another example came this week after the Trump campaign placed 88 ads on Facebook.
Facebook made it clear back in November it has no qualms about serving as a repository for mendacious and inflammatory Trump campaign posts.
Yet the social media behemoth decided the Trump campaign went too far after posting an image of an inverted red triangle reminiscent of the symbol Nazi Germany used to identify Communists, Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons, and other opposition party members.
A Facebook spokesman said in a statement:
“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol.”
Jewish advocacy group Bend the Arc: Jewish Action tweeted:
WOW. Facebook just took down Trump campaign ads targeting protesters with the Nazi red triangle for breaching policies on hate.
Public outcry WORKS. But the Trump campaign must be held accountable for its bigotry — and so must Facebook for enabling it.https://t.co/FBJrgzOh0n
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) June 18, 2020
Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler added:
“Trump and his cronies have used carefully-targeted antisemitic rhetoric and imagery to go after their opponents, while inciting violence against Jewish and Muslim people, immigrants, Black people, and people of color.
“Make no mistake, the President of the United States is campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol. Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and dissidents, and now Trump and the RNC are using it to smear millions of people protesting racist police violence. Their masks are off.”
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt commented:
“Whether aware of the history or meaning, for the Trump campaign to use a symbol–one which is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps–to attack his opponents is offensive and deeply troubling.
“It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery. We implore the Trump campaign to take greater caution and familiarize themselves with the historical context before doing so. Ignorance is not an excuse for appropriating hateful symbols.”
The Trump campaign, of course, dismisses these assertions, calling the symbol an “emoji.”
The overtures Donald Trump and his supporters have extended to white supremacists and anti-Semites over the years are too numerous to list.
Much of what Trump has said–mostly tweeted–the past five years is nakedly racist and bigoted.
Lest we forget–
He demanded four female House members of color to “go back” to the “crime infested places” they came from.
He called South American countries “shitholes.”
He accused three to five million “illegals” of voter fraud.
He floated ending birthright citizenship via executive order.
He praised pro-Confederate protesters in Charlottesville, Va. and those intending to force governors to lift orders designed to stop the coronavirus spread, but called Black Lives Matters protesters “thugs.”
He called COVID-19 a “Chinese virus.”
He still thinks he’s building a wall to prevent Mexican and South American immigrant entry.
He has never once disavowed white supremacists’ support despite being presented myriad opportunities to do so.
Yet we mustn’t be blind or deaf to the racism obfuscated in policies coming out of not just the Trump administration but the entire Republican party.
Examples are the Muslim ban, confining asylum seekers in concentration camps, attempts to cancel Obama-era protections for DACA recipients, promulgating voter suppression, ordering mostly black and Hispanic meat packing plant workers to return to their factories during the pandemic, rolling back Obama-era sexual assault protections on college campuses and protections against transgender student discrimination.
We could go on.
Trump doesn’t have to use the “N-word” to be a racist.
His supporters know what’s up.
As former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke said:
“We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
This is only Trump’s first term.
Imagine what this country will be like if he gets another.
Image credit: citizentruth.org