Donald Trump Jr. Emerges as ‘Alt-Right’ Hero Even as Dad Tones Down Rhetoric

Donald Trump has seemingly tried to tone down his more outrageous comments — the kind that have made him a darling of the neo-white supremacists who call themselves the “alt-right”

But at the same time, Donald Trump Jr. has stepped up to the plate, directly appealing to the fringe right online and in interviews.

One of the most striking comments came Monday night — and caused a furor online:

The image, which actually drew on older memes, struck many as offensive — both by comparing Syrians to Skittles, and suggesting that opening the door to refugees could be deadly for a country.

The company that owns Skittles said it “wasn’t an appropriate analogy” to compare people to candy. It turns out the photographer who took the stock image was once a refugee.

Analyzing Trump Jr.’s shift in the Atlantic, the writer David A. Graham said it’s not clear if he is reflecting his own beliefs — or simply seeking to fill a political void.

“The outstanding question now is whether Trump Jr. is a true believer in white genocide or is simply playing one for cynical political purposes, letting the internet’s committed racists know that even if Trump moderates his rhetoric, he still wants their votes.”

But the Skittles tweet isn’t the only time Trump Jr. has signaled to the far right — in the past 24 hours. He also recently shared an article from Breitbart, a right-wing website with the headline, “Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Alter Of Mass Migration.”

The Brietbart story declares that the “Western world is dominated by leaders who despise its history” who “wish to extinguish Western culture, and opening the borders is a hell of a good start.”

The language of the article and the tone of Trump Jr.’s meme echo earlier statements from his father.

The older Trump has suggested that President Barack Obama supports terrorists and has also retweeted writers who claim America is experiencing a “white genocide” — the white nationalist belief that intermarriage and immigration are leading to the “genocide” of white people.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Author

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

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Donald Trump Jr. Emerges as ‘Alt-Right’ Hero Even as Dad Tones Down Rhetoric

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