15 Aug 2017

US fascist rhetoric 'didn't start with Trump' - politics researcher

From Morning Report, 8:24 am on 15 August 2017

Donald Trump has denounced white supremacists including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan after the Charlottesville violence.

Political science researcher at the University of Toronto professor Seva Gunitsky tells us such far right activity didn't start with Mr Trump's election.

"The US has experienced its share of fascist and Nazi sympathisers - probably the high point of that until now was in the 1930s," he says.

Mr Trump's denouncement came belatedly and reluctantly Mr Gunitsky says. "It came after his own staff had been pressing him to say something, and the condemnation I think just got so strong from both sides - the republicans and the democrats... It certainly doesn't bode well for the political discourse in the country."

"The kind of rhetoric that we saw in Charlottesville has been around for a while. Trump's own father was arrested at a KKK rally, reportedly wearing a klan outfit. So this is not the history of marginal radicals."