With his poll numbers cratering across the board, Donald Trump has seemingly concluded that the only way he can win re-election this fall is by ginning up his base into enough of a frenzy that they come out en mass on November 3rd. As park of that strategy, Trump is no longer pretending to hide his racist ways: He’s prioritized protecting Confederate-era statues over Black human lives, and he’s responded to the Black Lives Matter protests by labeling their participants as “thugs,” even threatening to open fire on them with live ammunition. All the while, his campaign is running race-baiting ads that literally use imagery straight out of Nazi Germany.
As The Washington Post reports, Facebook has pulled a series of Trump posts and ads for violating the company’s policy against “organized hate.” The material in question featured a red inverted triangle similar to the one used by Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps. The accompanying text read, “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting — it’s absolute madness. It’s important that EVERY American comes together at a time like this to send a united message that we will not stand for their radical actions any longer.”
A Facebook spokesperson told The Washington Post that the ads were pulled because “our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol.”
A Trump campaign spokesman said the red triangle was simply a reference to Antifa, the loose collection of anti-fascist activists that Republicans have linked to strings of violence amid the Black Lives Matter protests. But federal arrests records show little to no evidence of Antifa agitators, according to The New York Times. On the other hand, several far-right extremists have ben arrested for inciting violence.
For its part, the Anti-Defamation League condemned the imagery as “offensive and deeply troubling” in a statement to The Washington Post. “It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery,” ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt said. “We implore the Trump campaign to take greater caution and familiarize themselves with the historical context before doing so. Ignorance is not an excuse for appropriating hateful symbols.”
And to think, we still have four-plus months to go until November.
The President of the United States is campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol.
Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and people who rescued Jews.
Trump & the RNC are using it to smear millions of protestors.
Their masks are off. pic.twitter.com/UzmzDaRBup
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) June 18, 2020