A shocking series of racist murders and provocations serve as a reminder that the bile pumped out by Donald Trump’s White House has consequences in US society.
Trump is giving confidence to a minority of racists and fascists in US society.
Two men, Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, were murdered and a third injured on a train in Portland, Oregon, last week. They had stepped in to defend two Muslim women from knifeman Jeremy Joseph Christian.
Christian, who had posted white supremacist material online, was yelling racist abuse.
At the University of Maryland, white student Christopher Ubanski told black student Richard Collins III to “step left, step left if you know what’s best for you”.
When Collins refused, Ubanski stabbed him to death.
The murders come against the backdrop of provocations by racist and far right groups.
The media attention this “alt-right” receives is disproportionate to its size.
But whenever they crawl out of the gutter they are met with resistance.
A noose was found at the port of Oakland California last week. Unionised dockers walked out on strike in protest.
International Longshore and Warehouse Union branch treasurer Derrick Muhammad said this was a response to “the history behind the noose and what it means for black people in the US”.
Nazi leader Richard Spencer led a torchlit march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in May. At a previous rally after Trump’s election his supporters did Nazi salutes.
The march in Virginia was immediately followed by a counter-protest.
And protesters gathered outside Spencer’s Virginia offices on Sunday night. “We need to teach our kids to stand up,” said one protester.
Over 1,000 hate crimes were directed against ethnic minorities in the two months after Trump came to office, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
Trump has created the conditions for the spike in racist attacks.
His attempts to enact a Muslim ban, smear Mexicans as “rapists” and differentiate between “civilised” and “uncivilised” countries have whipped up a climate of fear.
But the racists’ confidence only goes so far. They operate mainly online, often distributing their racist filth under cover of night.
People in Alexandria, Virginia, woke up on Sunday to find leaflets saying, “You’re losing your country, white man” all over town.
The racist message being pushed from the top is getting an audience. But so is the resistance, and there are moves to the left.
A Bernie Sanders-supporting Democrat won a special election in New York state last week—in a constituency where Trump had won in the presidential election.
Another state senate seat went to Sanders supporter Edith DesMarais in New Hampshire.
This underlines the potential to build resistance to Trump’s agenda.