A top advisor to President Trump has been exposed as a white supremacist. Yet Stephen Miller, the brains behind Trump’s cruel anti-immigration policies, remains on the job.
An initial blip of outrage among some Democrats and liberal media outlets has turned into a deafening silence. Not confronting Vladimir Putin over Ukraine is to them more newsworthy than a president making immigration policy according to Miller’s far-right playbook.
Miller’s been outed, but not ousted. Even if he is, white supremacy will not have been defeated. Finally ending it requires a mass movement.
Trail of dirty deeds. Prior to joining Trump’s staff, Miller worked for the anti-immigrant Senator Jeff Sessions. During this stint, he corresponded with editors at Steve Bannon’s right-wing news outlet Breitbart. Miller’s political kin, Bannon has remarked that being called a racist is “a badge of honor.”
Miller sent hundreds of emails to Breitbart, many with articles from racist websites. His aim was to sharpen Breitbart’s bigoted spin on race relations and immigration.
But Breitbart editor Katie McHugh had a change of heart about right-wing extremism. She decided to retrieve Miller’s emails and give them to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC then publicly exposed Miller’s white supremacist history.
The SPLC report names websites whose articles Miller sent to Breitbart. One was VDARE, which promotes the notion that non-whites around the globe are systematically attempting to exterminate whites. Miller also urged Breitbart to publicize Camp of the Saints by French novelist Jean Raspail, a favorite among neo-Nazis.
SPLC described Miller’s cozy relationship with Richard Spencer, a former fellow student at Duke and organizer of the 2017 “alt-right” demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was a march replete with fascist salutes and chants of “Jews will not replace us.”
Summarizing its review, SPLC stated that it was “unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.”
The fake defense. Trump’s deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley responded to the revelations with the laughable statement that Miller “hates bigotry in all forms.” Noting that Miller is Jewish, Gidley asked why “so many on the left consistently attack Jewish members of this administration.” Miller likewise complained that his critics were anti-Semitic.
The sham charge that denouncing Miller is “anti-Semitic” completely deflects righteous criticism away from his irrefutable bigotry. Zionists similarly try to discredit opposition to Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians. President Trump’s recent executive order to withhold funds from universities allowing anti-Israel speakers was also framed as “fighting anti-Semitism.”
Miller victimizes non-whites. Israel oppresses non-Jews. Resisting this bigotry is not anti-Semitic!
Are they fascists? Given heightened white supremacist websites and racist policies towards migrants, are Trump and Miller fascists?
Marxists understand fascism as capitalism’s dire effort to save itself from its own instability. To do this, it must destroy working people’s capacity to fight back, since their increased exploitation is the key to capitalist profits. Operating outside the legislative system, fascism relies on a mass movement of thugs and racist gangs.
The Trump regime, while encouraging fascists, is not fascist. It is “Bonapartist,” a transitional capitalist state operating between legislative democracy and fascism. Under Bonapartism, increasingly authoritarian rule tries to free itself from judicial norms, media critique, and popular liberties. Its aim is to fortify presidential power to resuscitate capitalism from an acute economic crisis, such as exists today.
The U.S. is not yet fascist — the rights to protest and organize still exist. But they are under severe attack. Combating the Trumps and Millers requires uncompromising defense of these civil liberties — hard-earned weapons the working class needs to defend itself.
United front crucial. Following Charlottesville, SEIU International president Mary Kay Henry stated that her union “supports the calls for President Trump to remove white supremacists from the White House,” meaning Bannon and others. With Miller still there, Henry’s call remains the right one for all unionists.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Asian Pacific American Caucus have denounced Miller. Jews Against White Nationalism, a coalition of eight prominent Jewish organizations, charged Miller with orchestrating Trump’s “cruel and endless attacks on immigrants.” The Council on American Islamic Relations joined dozens of civil rights groups in condemning him.
Miller’s political history includes opposing equal pay legislation for women and complaining about gay rights clubs. These groups belong together on the front lines of resistance.
Clearly, the foundation for a united front to fight Miller and Trump exists here and now.