Trump’s white identity politics

The team discuss the fallout from those tweets.


What did Trump’s racist tweets reveal about the state of US politics? Should students be suspended for making disgusting jokes in private? Should we all stop having kids to save the planet? Tom Slater, Ella Whelan and Fraser Myers discuss all this and more, on this week’s spiked podcast.

Picture by: Getty.

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Amelia Cantor

5th August 2019 at 10:31 am

The “fall-out” from those tweets now includes two mounds of corpses. Trump has blood on his hands. So do Spiked.

Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech is hate, the opposite of freedom. Hate speech led to the Holocaust and will lead to a new Holocaust unless it is stamped out with extreme prejudice by all means necessary. I stand with the Hispanic community, and the Jewish community, and the Black community, and the Muslim community, and the LGBTQIA+ community, and all other vulnerable communities. END HATE NOW!

Boris Miljkovic

30th July 2019 at 8:12 am

Spiked went down the toilet with “It is known”(tweets are racist) narrative.

Steph Tohill

25th July 2019 at 4:11 pm


You do not need to mention somebody’s race explicitly to make a racist comment.

Steph Tohill

25th July 2019 at 4:10 pm

It’s telling to see that the only way people can defend his tweets is to misrepresent what they said.

Firstly yes, of course they were racist. It’s a standard racist trope of telling non whites to “go back to where they came from”.

And that is what Trump did. He did not merely tell them to leave, he told them to “return” to those countries they are from despite 3/4 being born/ bred Americans.

This is also not an argument ever used with white American politicians critical of Trump. He has chosen to associate Americanness with whiteness and that is, racist.

And of course that is not all that was wrong with his comments. It’s a rather immature political standpoint to insist all those who disagree with a government policy should leave the country. Why should they? Trump didn’t when he declared he wanted to make America great again.

Hana Jinks

26th July 2019 at 8:50 am

It wasn’t racist what he said in any way.

jessica christon

22nd July 2019 at 12:01 am

I’ve watched the comments in context and I don’t think they’re racist. He simply tells them, and particularly Omar that if they don’t like America they can leave. There are many things wrong with that argument but racism isn’t one of them because it can just as well be said to anyone of any race who constantly rails against the country they live in while having nothing but praise for somewhere else abroad. So if it happens to be a non White person then tough – because equality means being treated the same. Here are the comments in some more context:

Peter Baldwin

22nd July 2019 at 3:38 am

Quite right. I was a child in a white British family that migrated to Australia in the late 1950s and recall my father and his circle of friends sitting around whinging about how terrible life in Oz was, with unfavourable comparisons with Old Blighty. Even then I thought to myself: if it is so terrible, why did we come here, and why do we remain? You used to hear numerous references to ‘whinging Poms’, often well justified, but hardly racist.

Steph Tohill

25th July 2019 at 4:13 pm

How did you watch the comments?

They were tweets.

Mark Williams

21st July 2019 at 12:03 am

Disappointing. This publication lost a lot of respect from me based on incorrectly labelling Trump’s tweets as “racist”.

How an entire political spectrum came to be “the boy who cried wolf” is both quite amusing and scary.

Your article earlier in the week was nothing more than ideological leftwing, politically correct nonsense.

I come here to hear what the reasonable left has to say, not read what the radical left is saying everywhere else.

Philip Humphrey

20th July 2019 at 3:47 pm

The tweets were unpleasant but not racist. Which is more than can be said for “the squad” of four who are obsessed with race and between them have made a number of very racist and anti-Semitic remarks.

In Negative

20th July 2019 at 11:06 am

The conflation of words with physical acts runs deeper than just feminist theory. For some time “The Sign” has been developing a force akin to the physical ( and I would argue that this was in part due to our becoming more ‘virtual,’ i.e. more of our time is spent in informational and symbolic systems than in physical systems.

Words, signs and modelled reality are everywhere now and we are indeed more conscious of the ways in which we are shaped by them and more sensitive to the effects of their expression. I wonder even if it will be possible for us to experience at some time, at some distance, symbolic violence at a level akin to physical violence. If you are ‘throwing up all night’ because your read an unpalatable tweet then I’d say some people are already there.

Amelia Cantor

20th July 2019 at 10:13 am

Some sad little denizen of the comments-section was asking me for “evidence” that Trump was racist not-so-long ago. There’s a mountain of it out there, of course, but even the sad little denizen won’t have been able to miss the latest “example”.

Then again, human stupidity knows no bounds, so perhaps the Orange Narcissist will have to burn a giant cross on the White (ha!) House lawn before certain folk begin to have a vague sense of unease that they might be wrong about the Racist-in-Chief.

Neil McCaughan

20th July 2019 at 10:31 am

You still haven’t provided any evidence. Just more of your rather pathetic slurs.

Amelia Cantor

20th July 2019 at 10:55 am

As I said: human stupidity knows no bounds…

Jerry Owen

20th July 2019 at 5:31 pm

Don’t waste your time . I’ve given up , she has never answered a single question.

Amelia Cantor

22nd July 2019 at 9:35 am

“Don’t waste your time . I’ve given up , she has never answered a single question.”

I have answered questions. Your male entitlement may blind you to reality, but that’s your problem, not mine.

In this case, I was asked to supply evidence that an obvious racist is a racist. Why bother? All I need to do was wait and let the Orange Racist once again prove that he is a racist. And he did so in spectacular fashion, as even lhalfwits and iars will have to admit to themselves.

In Negative

20th July 2019 at 11:13 am

I still don’t think Trump is a racist. His comment was racist, there’s no doubt about that, but I don’t think he is. I think he’s doing what he has always done – given greater emphasis to the *effect* of signs than their actual *content* in order to achieve political goals.

On this occasion though, I reckon he’s playing with some pretty dark magic and I think if he’s not very careful he may well start unleashing forces he has no control over. He may already have done so – my feeling is that even he never saw himself standing at a rally of folks shouting “Send them back” to US citizens.

Amelia Cantor

22nd July 2019 at 9:38 am

Ah. The Orange Narcissist and Rapist-in-Chief is not a racist. He just makes racist comments.

Similarly, the Orange Narcissist is neither orange nor a narcissist. He simply has orange skin and behaves in a narcissistic way. Not the same thing at all.

And the Rapist-in-Chief is not a rapist either. Only his penis and hands are.

Neil McCaughan

20th July 2019 at 2:29 pm

So you actually can’t supply any evidence?
Unsurprising. On the other hand there some nice photographs of Mrs Clinton hobnobbing with the KKK out there –

John Welsh

20th July 2019 at 9:21 pm

Could you provide a link to this mountain of evidence??

Neil McCaughan

20th July 2019 at 8:59 am

Since those tweets weren’t in any way racist, one can only conclude that Spiked! has come down with a nasty bout of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

In Negative

20th July 2019 at 3:24 pm

Maybe you can help me out with this because I’m a bit bewildered.

How is it that a tweet stating that US-born women should go home and fix countries they have no meaningful political, civil or social attachment to can be seen as not a bit racist? I mean, it literally says that you can’t be a full citizen of the US if your ancestors originated someplace else, which is a bit of a nightmare for everyone in the US.

Whatever you might think about the man, that tweet was racist.

Jim Lawrie

20th July 2019 at 9:31 pm

It does not literally say that.

Their allegiance is not to The USA. They make much political capital of their racial provenance, and so put it in the public arena. It is not off limits therefore, to say that if they so despise The USA and crow so much about their glorious motherlands, then that is where, by their own logic, they belong.

It is that carping on, combined with their sense of entitlement, that is causing more people all over The West to shout “send them back”. Calling these people racists is not going to challenge their views. Challenging ingrates like those four would be a start. Otherwise where do you think this is headed?

Donald Trump was born to a foreign mother who embraced The USA.

In Negative

21st July 2019 at 10:33 am

@Jim Lawrie
“Their allegiance is not to The USA. They make much political capital of their racial provenance, and so put it in the public arena. It is not off limits therefore, to say that if they so despise The USA and crow so much about their glorious motherlands, then that is where, by their own logic, they belong.”

Sticking with the tweet and none of the follow up swirl of games and dances, he pretty much said: “if you don’t like it here, go back to where you came from”. He did not say: “If you don’t like it here, leave,” which would lend some weight to what you are trying to argue. Nor did he say “if you like it so much there, then go live there.”

Nowhere did his tweet say or even imply that they were apologists for the countries of their ancestors. It said in plain English that they were from such countries and ought to go back to them if they don’t like the US.

I personally don’t think Trump himself is a racist, but I reckon that tweet was.

Neil McCaughan

21st July 2019 at 12:31 pm

No, it wasn’t in the least racist. The Representatives concerned are extremely anti-american, and keen to emphasise their alien identity. Rather like Diane Abbott saying she doesn’t feel British. In those circumstances, they can hardly complain if someone agrees with them.

In Negative

21st July 2019 at 2:24 pm

If I, as a white fella, were to big up Somalia and say “I don’t feel Brittish,” would you tell me to go back to where I came from? Of course you wouldn’t. It would make no intellectual sense.

So why does it make sense to say it to Diane Abbot or AOC?

Trump did not say “In attacking America and emphasizing your racial difference, you are making yourselves a cultural enemy of your homeland”. He told them to go back to where they came from.

There are 3 options here:
1) The president is a bit racist;
2) The president is an idiot and accidentally sent a racist tweet;
3) The president loves to speak along the blurred lines of ideas in order to mire everyone eternally in stupid conversations like this one so as he can quietly get stuff done.

My money is on 3.

Ian McKenna

19th July 2019 at 8:20 pm

Spiked’s ‘Trump’s white identity politics’ is a disgraceful piece of left wing prejudice by no mark hacks who attacked Trump by concentrating on what seemed like a racial remark but suppressed what he actually said. Blatant out-of-context manipulation of the truth worthy of Dr Goebbels at his best.

I mentioned Goebbels deliberately because no mention whatsoever was made of the foul antisemitism of the four Democrat ‘Squad’ that provoke Trump’s reaction. With muslims it is to be expected of course since the koran commands them to kill all Jews ‘wherever you find them.’ What on earth makes a Christian (as I assume AOC was brought up as) a Jew hater is beyond me, particularly since Pope Paul VI’s declaration during the Second Vatican Council.

That neither of your ‘journalists’ mentioned the women’s antisemitism speaks words for the bias of your own staff.

In Negative

20th July 2019 at 3:30 pm

Pretty sure they did mention the apparent anti-semitism of “the squad’. Pretty sure it’s not remotely relevant to evaluating the intent of Trump’s tweet either. That tweet was racist – you can bitch an whine about the Muslims all day, but it won’t make it any less racist.

John Welsh

20th July 2019 at 9:22 pm

How was it racist? Point to where he refers to anyone’s race?

In Negative

21st July 2019 at 2:07 pm

To tell US citizens of colour to go back to where they came from because it needs them more than America does doesn’t have to explicitly mention race.

If I were to say “I don’t feel British,” I wouldn’t expect the person I said it to to tell me to go back to where I came from. Mostly because I’m British and I come from Britain. He wouldn’t have said it to me though as I’m white. He’d have said, “If you don’t like it here, then leave.”

If I, as a white person went on all day about how great Somalia was and how shit the UK was, it might happen to me that someone says “well fuck off to Somalia then.. We don’t need you.” They would not say “go back to where you came from then, we don’t need you”. Mainly, because I don’t come from Somalia and it would make no intellectual sense.

So why does it make sense when you say it to Americans of colour? What is it about Americans of colour gives them a place to go back to?

Steph Tohill

25th July 2019 at 4:12 pm

Where did you get that they were anti-semites?

Only Omar has been accused of anti-semitism and that is due to her stance on Israel.

Hana Jinks

26th July 2019 at 8:49 am

Talib is a muslim.

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