The Donald Trump campaign has selected its delegates for the upcoming convention, and one in particular is raising some eyebrows – this California delegate is an avowed white supremacist who once stated that he wanted to “deport anyone with an ascertainable trace of Negro blood.”
The Trump delegate, a white supremacist named William Johnson is the leader of the American Freedom Party, a white nationalist group and a fervent Trump supporter. Johnson, now a Trump delegate, spoke with MotherJones this week, confirming reports of his extreme and controversial views on race relations.
“I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views. I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody,” said Johnson, who once said that Black Lives Matter protesters deserved to be physically assaulted.
The white supremacist delegate told MotherJones that he wanted to illustrate how he can be mainstream and still hold extreme views on race relations.
“Johnson had been advocating for the deportation of all non-white immigrants and U.S. citizens, including anyone with any ‘ascertainable trace of Negro blood’ since 1985 when he wrote a book arguing for a constitutional amendment to do just that,” reported the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Johnson’s American Freedom Party has a website, and on that website are articles with titles like “Jews and their effect on Russian-American relations,” as well as numerous other titles which contain extreme and racially incendiary language. According to Johnson, he was sent a congratulatory email by the Trump campaign when the white supremacist was selected to be a delegate representing Trump.
“He got the news that he had been selected by Trump in a congratulatory email sent to him by the campaign’s California Delegate Coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino,” reports Josh Harkinson for MotherJones.
According to the New York Daily News, the white supremacist Trump delegate claims to represent the “interests and issues of European-Americans” and “the political interests of white Americans,” two political viewpoints espoused on Johnson’s website for the American Freedom Party.
Further, it’s not the first time William Johnson, an avid white supremacist, has worked for the Trump campaign. Earlier this year, Johnson helped out the Trump campaign by making robocalls in Iowa ahead of the critical state caucus.
“I am William Johnson, a farmer and a white nationalist. Support Donald Trump,” said Johnson in one of his robocalls made on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign.
To be fair, however, Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have not commented on the selection of a white supremacist delegate to represent his campaign and have not made any official statements endorsing or acknowledging Johnson’s involvement in the campaign.
"The skinheads thought I was too extreme to run the organization,” said the man Trump just made a CA delegate. https://t.co/gXfPDwKcRV— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) May 10, 2016
“The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called racist. Don’t vote for a Cuban, vote for Donald Trump,” said Johnson on another robocall.
According to the New York Daily News, it’s not the first time Donald Trump has found himself in hot water because of his supporters – former Ku Klux Klan leader and outspoken white nationalist David Duke previously endorsed Donald Trump, and Trump’s failure to immediately repudiate and disavow the support of the white supremacist caused large amount of backlash online and in the media.
Trump did, however, come out and disavow the David Duke endorsement, distancing himself from supporters who might identify as white nationalists. Still, the selection of a white supremacist as a Trump delegate is already raising some questions about the delegate selection process and the selection of William Johnson in particular.
“The American Freedom Party is arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]