Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is driving a recruitment surge for hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan as his rhetoric has sparked a rise in white nationalism, those affiliated with white supremacist group's claim.
The KKK has capitalized on Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-migrant sentiments, using his verbiage as talking points for its outreach efforts, according to POLITICO.
“Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,” Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, told POLITICO.
The site had to upgrade its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike, Black claimed, reporting additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show.
He noted the site has seen between 30 and 40 percent spikes when Trump makes news for his views on immigration or Muslims.
“He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point,” Black said.
Former Louisiana Representative David Duke, who once served as a grand wizard of the KKK and describes himself as a “racial realist,” has said Trump has given Americans the opportunity to be more open with their racial attitudes.
“He’s made it ok to talk about these incredible concerns of Europeans Americans today, because I think European Americans know they are the only group that can’t defend their own essential interests and their point of view,” Duke told the political news site. “He’s meant a lot for the human rights of European Americans.
Trump does not belong to or endorse any white supremacist group and has said in the past that he does not want the commendation of Duke, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1992. His campaign has also fired two staffers over racist posts on social media.
But analysts from the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which track violence against minority groups, say Trump has encouraged those who would take violent action against American Muslims.
“As long as he’s causing chaos and havoc with the citizens, he’s fine with me,” former KKK leader Tom Metzger told POLITICO.