An Expert On Fascism Speaks Out Against ‘Send Her Back’ Chants At Trump Rally, Calls It ‘The Face Of Evil’
An expert in fascism and a Yale philosophy professor spoke out on Wednesday evening, decrying President Donald Trump and his supporters at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, after they broke out in a chant he described as ‘evil.’
Jason Stanley, who wrote a book called “How Fascism Works,” sent a tweet on Wednesday night explaining his dismay with what he saw happening.
“I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency,” Stanley wrote. “Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this. This is the face of evil.”
I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency. Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this. This is the face of evil. https://t.co/XD0OAHvZao
— Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator) July 18, 2019
Stanley’s tweet quoted another from journalist Shaun King, who included video of the incident which he described as “ugly.” King had his own words to say about the rally.
“This is one of the single most racist moments in modern American political history,” King said. “As Trump began attacking my friend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the crowd began chanting “SEND HER BACK, SEND HER BACK.” It’s utterly despicable and dangerous. We are here. We are in THAT time.”
Trump didn’t seem to do much to discourage the chants at his rally, and at times it seemed as though he was encouraging of it.
The crowd was chanting in response to tweets Trump made earlier in the week, attacking four Democratic congresswomen and telling them to “go back” to their countries of origin. Three of the four women — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — were born in the United States. Rep. Ilhan Omar emigrated from Somalia when she was 12, and became an American citizens in 2000, when she turned 17.
According to reporting from Newsweek, Trump called the four lawmakers “hate-filled extremists.”
In an interview last December with Vox, Stanley described what fascism is, noting that it’s decidedly right-wing, though that doesn’t mean that conservatism itself is part fascist — rather, fascism is an extremist element within the political spectrum, which just happens to fall on the far-right reaches of it.
“[F]ascism as a method of politics,” Stanley added in that interview. “It’s a rhetoric, a way of running for power. Of course, that’s connected to fascist ideology, because fascist ideology centers on power. But I really see fascism as a technique to gain power.”
He warned at the time that people should be on the guard for fascist techniques used by the current president.
“Again, I wouldn’t claim — not yet, at least — that Trump is presiding over a fascist government,” Stanley said at that time, “but he is very clearly using fascist techniques to excite his base and erode liberal democratic institutions, and that’s very troubling.”