For Trump and Trumpists, the Law is Always WhiteBreaking News
tags: racism, Reconstruction, Texas, Donald Trump, MAGA
Over a chaotic span of days this past weekend, Texas was the main stage for an increasingly indistinguishable group of political actors, those who form what remains of the Republican “establishment,” and the many strands of the far right, a joint production that has come to dominate the conservative movement. The right-wing jubilee kicked off with a “border security” summit last Thursday, attended by 12 state attorneys general, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (who is still facing fraud charges). There were the expected Republican attacks on Joe Biden for, in their eyes, abandoning “the rule of law.” The host, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, unfurled a confusing social media panic about “the cartels in Mexico” allegedly using TikTok to “advertise” for human traffickers.
That was the “mainstream” event. Just 15 miles away was a three-day gathering focused on “border law enforcement and the direct connection to election integrity from a Biblical worldview,” as billed by organizers We Stand America. Speakers included Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and QAnon promoter Michael Flynn, as well as an Arizona secretary of state candidate, and concluded with a “border caravan” where, reportedly, attendees gathered at the wall, “some of them armed with long guns,” and sang “Amazing Grace.” At the same time, just a 20-minute drive away, the National Butterfly Center was closed for the weekend. It had already been subject to threats from far-right conspiracy theorists baselessly accusing it of involvement in sex trafficking, like those taunting allegations made in person by Republican congressional candidate from Virginia Kimberly Lowe, who also allegedly physically attacked the center’s director, Marianna Treviño-Wright, one week earlier.
And then, come Saturday night, entered Donald Trump himself. The former president’s scripted remarks played as even more extreme than others, not only for how near his rally was to the weekend’s self-appointed border “defense” activities. In his speech, Trump dangled pardons for those charged with offenses related to the January 6 insurrection should he become president in 2025, and yet again affirmed that he intended to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
This weekend was suffused with the familiar atmosphere of paranoia that had marked the Trump White House years: free-flowing xenophobia and racism; law enforcement fetishization; fever dreams of vast voter fraud; fearful warnings that children were being held captive or slaughtered by immigrants operating as human traffickers. But there was something else: an open call to exact retribution on Black elected officials, an appeal to white terror. Trump called the prosecutors currently investigating him—for various alleged financial, real estate, and election wrongdoings—“radical” and “racist.” The prosecutors, Trump said, “in reality, they’re not after me. They’re after you, and I just happen to be the person that’s in the way.” He repeated himself and continued: “If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had, in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta, and elsewhere”—effectively singling out three Black prosecutors investigating him: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg; New York Attorney General Letitia James; and Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis, who requested FBI protection following the former president’s derogatory and threatening remarks.
From the day he launched his campaign down an escalator, the Trump drone has been consistent: Criminals are out to get “us”; immigrants versus “America”; a threat to white innocence. In a directive to his supporters, Trump has now added to this litany: Black prosecutors doing “illegal” and “vicious” things to white people like him, like you. The reason for this, he added, was that this country—the one that would elect these members of law enforcement—was “corrupt.”