As most people know, to whitewash is a metaphor meaning to skim over or cover up crimes or scandals or to vindicate by making a token investigation or biased (if not deceitful) presentation of data. It’s happening right before our eyes and ears, if we care to watch and listen. The Trump administration, for example, has tried to cover up its involvement in dealings with Russia, an adversary, and its attempts to influence U.S. elections.
A more recent whitewash involves the findings of Special Counsel Robert E. Mueller’s investigation (now completed); Attorney General William Barr has deliberately submitted his own conclusions about Mueller’s report with statements that obviously favor Donald Trump. Perhaps some truths will appear when the report with all its redactions appears tomorrow, April 18. But I doubt we’ll learn much.
Along with whitewashing, white nationalism is a Trump priority. “The Trump administration has manufactured and exacerbated an immigration ‘crisis’ to further the president’s most consistent goal: to Make America White Again,” wrote Eugene Robinson, a Washington Post columnist, on April 15, 2019. “On almost any issue you can think of, Trump is all over the map. But there is one position on which he has never wavered: antipathy toward nonwhite immigration. From his campaign charge that Mexican immigrants are ‘rapists,’ to his fruitless quest to get funding for a border wall, to his gratuitously cruel policy of family separations, to his declaration of a national emergency, Trump has left not an iota of doubt about how he feels.”
During his presidential campaign in 2016 Trump was endorsed by numerous white nationalist and white supremacist individuals and organizations including former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke and the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. At first he refused to condemn these white supremacists or renounce their endorsement. Eventually, Trump called the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists “repugnant” and “evil.”
However Trump has appointed several white nationalists to various positions in his administration. Stephen Miller is the most prominent example. While in high school and college, Miller routinely disparaged multiculturalism and immigration in articles and call-in radio appearances. One high school classmate said Miller had “an intense hatred toward people of color, especially toward Latinos.” Miller was an associate of white nationalist Richard Spencer. They both attended Duke University and worked with each other to organize an event with the founder of the white nationalist publication VDARE. The publication promotes the work of white supremacists, anti-Semites and others on the radical right. Today, Miller is Senior Advisor to the President. He is an avid supporter and mouthpiece for Trump’s nationalist, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant America First agenda.
For more details about white nationalists (former and current) in the Trump administration, check out https://elephrame.com/textbook/White-Supremacy-Trump-Admin/graphic. The site includes lists of numerous articles from multiple print and electronic sources to back up the assertions made.