Never go full racist. A Tennessee congressional candidate learned that lesson this week after his campaign took out a billboard ad exhorting voters to “Make America white again.” From local ABC affiliate WTVC:
Rick Tyler told WTVC he owns Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, but in the coming months will transition to campaigning to represent Tennessee’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Tyler says his “Make America White Again” sign, which plays off of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, was taken down on Tuesday evening.
The decision to take the billboard down came after Tyler’s business became the target of a boycott.
On his campaign website, Tyler claims that the billboard was intened to “cut to the very core and marrow of what plagues us as a nation.” Tyler identifies that plague as “the cunning globalist/Marxist social engineers [who] have succeeded in destroying that great bulwark against statist tyranny[,] the white American super majority.”
Tyler’s racialized rhetoric is indicative of the so-called alt-right, the rebranded white nationalist movement which has enjoyed fresh invigoration from the candidacy of Donald Trump. Tyler cites Trump by name as an inspiration for his campaign.
“Of great significance, as well, is the reality of the Trump phenomenon and the manner in which he has loosened up the overall spectrum of political discourse.” In other words, Tyler feels as though he can be openly racist now. And why shouldn’t he? A guy spouting similar rhetoric is now a major party’s nominee for president. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Check out Tyler’s interview with a local newscaster. What proves most chilling about it is Tyler’s apparent normalcy. He isn’t a slack-jawed yokel. He is a well-spoken, well-read, even mild-mannered monster. This is the truth of the alt-right. They are more than the fringe racists who have always lurked among us. They are intellectuals engaged in a concerted effort to mainstream racism.