The other day I saw people sharing an article with the headline: Southern Poverty Law Center Lists Donald Trump and his Campaign, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. as a Hate Group. I didn’t open it right away and believed it was real for almost a day, eventually discovering the source was a parody site.

Honestly, I was disappointed to find that out. There is no reason why the Trump Campaign shouldn’t be classified as a hate group, because, well, they are.

Donald Trump himself, I still believe, is nothing more than an opportunist. A billionaire without a conscience who will say absolutely anything to become President. When he said that he would deny all Muslims entry into the US, he did so because he knew that everyone in the media would be talking about it.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at his South Carolina campaign kickoff rally in Bluffton, S.C., Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at his South Carolina campaign kickoff rally in Bluffton, S.C., Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

His plan worked. He was on all the morning shows the next day. Defending the indefensible and even using the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was responsible for Japanese internment camps and is still celebrated as justification.

FDR is still celebrated in spite of the internment camps, not because of it. They are probably the second biggest domestic policy blight in the history of the United States, following, of course, treatment of natives.

While that may not be lost on Trump the person, who is, by all accounts intelligent, it is lost on Trump the candidate. Bringing up a dark chapter in American history and using it to justify an unthinkably racist and at the same time pointless position is just par for the course for this candidate.

Hate-Filled Followers

What was once a joke candidacy stopped being funny a while ago. While I feel that Trump personally does not believe more than half of what he says, the truly frightening thing is that quite a few people do.

Racists and other ignorant people had been restricted to trolling and operating in secret for decades. Now, thanks to Trump, they are able to take part in a national political debate. They’re not afraid to say the crazy shit out loud anymore, either.

Prohibiting all people who practice the world’s second largest religion from entering a country because a few adherents committed violent acts in said country is the sort of nonsensical idea you would expect to hear from some loner with no concept of how the world works and a serious axe to grind. Now we’re getting it from a front-runner in a major political party.

As a result, all the racists, Islamophobes and other assorted bigots feel free to express their prejudice openly and sometimes violently. It’s hard to forget that just a few weeks ago, Trump supporters physically attacked a Black Lives Matter protester during a rally.

Republicans Distancing Themselves

Amidst all the petitions to remove Trump branding from buildings and bar the billionaire from entering cities and countries (like the UK and Canada, we’re seeing something new. Several prominent Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump.

People like Paul Ryan and even Dick Cheney are publicly speaking out against The Donald. Yes, the same people who built careers partially on the support of bigots are now turning on bigotry.

It’s clear why they’re doing it, too. Using divisive issues to mobilize voters is one thing. Actually speaking the language of racists from the top to do it is very different.

The Trump Campaign doesn’t use coded language for the base while sounding moderate to moderates. Instead, the hood is off. They are a hate group and if Trump gets the nomination, the Republican Party will be one, too.

A Hate Group by Definition

The Trump Campaign isn’t a hate group because of satirical comparisons to The Emperor in Star Wars. Though accurate, they are pretty common with far-right politicians:

It isn’t because of comparisons to Hitler, either. While also pretty common and usually a reach, taking a look at their respective campaign tactics side by side, the comparison seems to ring true this time:


But that’s still not why.

No, the Trump Campaign is a hate group by definition:

“A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society.”

Let’s see: Organized group? Check. Advocates hostility? Barring entry to a country based exclusively on religion is definitely hostile, so check. Advocating violence? Well, supporters physically attacked Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump defended the attackers, so check as well.

These are but a few reasons why the Trump Campaign is a hate group by definition. There are more.

This is frightening. We shouldn’t treat the Donald Trump Campaign as a joke, or a legit political force. We should treat it as a hate group because that’s exactly what it is.