Steve Bannon is out at the White House, NAACP applauds exit
By Frederick H. Lowe
Trice Edney News Wire
Stephen K. Bannon, who some Black leaders called a White supremacist while lobbying against his appointment to the White House staff, has lost his job as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist.
President Trump told senior aides that he planned to remove Bannon two days after telling reporters during a news conference at Trump Tower in New York that “Bannon was his friend, and he is not a racist.”
President Trump made the comment about Bannon not being a racist after White supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. It led to violent confrontations between White supremacists and counter protesters. A woman was killed and 19 were injured.
The president said the Nazis and their opponents were both to blame for the violence that took place in Charlottesville. His statement caused an uproar and many blamed Trump’s response on Bannon’s influence.
Bannon, who earned an MBA from Harvard, was the executive chair of Breitbart News. He described Breitbart as the platform for the Alt-Right, which included White supremacists, Nazis and members of the Klu Klux Klan.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, said the Alt-Right is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that ‘White identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine White people and ‘their’ civilization. … Alt-righters eschew ‘establishment’ conservatism, skew young and embrace White ethnonationalism as a fundamental value.”
Bannon, the Southern Poverty Law Center said, sees himself as a leader of the Alt-Right movement.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in February that caucus members wanted to meet with President Trump as long as he didn’t include Bannon.
Jeffries said on MSNBC last February that Bannon was a stone-cold racist and a White supremacist sympathizer.
The White House said Bannon submitted his resignation August 7 but it was to be announced August 19.
The NAACP quickly applauded Bannon’s exit, but also called on the president to denounce the residue of the Charlottesville hate march and to also dismiss other members of this staff who are connected with philosophies of hate:
“The NAACP is glad to see Steve Bannon out of the White House,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP in a statement. “Ousting one key staffer, however, can’t erase the words used by President Trump this week in defense of domestic terrorists, neo-Nazis and White supremacists. President Trump provided permission for these hate groups to exist. Following the travesty in Charlottesville, Virginia, numerous other rallies and White supremacist groups are being mobilized across the country. These groups are not rallying for peace, or for the preservation of Confederate memorabilia. They exist purely to foment hatred and violence. And they march with the president’s blessing.”
Johnson continued, “President Trump must denounce in words and in deeds these White supremacists and urge them to stop their senseless rallies and killings and unlawful demonstrations. We further call upon the President to remove the people who share Steve Bannon’s poisonous beliefs from the White House, including Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka. President Trump needs to send a clear message to our great country: That his administration disavows bigotry in all of its forms, and that racist ideologies simply will not be tolerated.”