Last week, presidential candidate Donald Trump caused a minor stir by retweeting someone with the Twitter handle @whitegenocideTM, which some saw as making explicit the connection between Trump and American white supremacists. But that’s just one data point, right? A one-off thing that could have been an intern’s mistake? Unfortunately, no: the data shows that 62 percent of the accounts Trump has retweeted recently have white-supremacist connections.
Marshall Kirkpatrick, of social-media analytics company Little Bird, took a look at the 21 people the Donald has blessed with his fantastic, luxurious retweets this week, and discovered that six of them follow major white-nationalist accounts, and 13 of them follow multiple accounts that have used the #whitegenocide hashtag.
Conclusion? “It turns out that Donald Trump mostly retweets white supremacists saying nice things about him.”
It’s hard to separate cause from effect here. Is Trump riling up the white nationalists by lending them his 5-million-follower megaphone whenever they praise him? Or are racists, who love Trump for his anti-immigration polemics, just more likely than others to send our future hairpiece-in-chief the kind of praise he likes to retweet?
Either way, Trump and white nationalism seem to be caught in a positive-feedback loop, each emboldening the other.
Although being associated with @whitegenocideTM would likely hurt any other candidate, it seems Trump’s national polling numbers are bulletproof. Is that in spite of, or because of, the things the white pride crowd loves about him?
Something to think about.