Hillary Clinton has been receiving a lot of flak from the right over the following comment, ‘You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.”
To be fair, let’s take a good look as to who makes up a good portion of Trump’s supporters.
The people that Trump brought on stage in protest of Clinton’s remark, probably represented the good half of Trump’s supporters and are not the least bit “deplorable.” So who was Clinton talking about? Well, David Duke. The former grand wizard of the KKK, and his ilk, are the most likely ‘deplorable” and “irredeemable” people she spoke of.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, as of February, 2016, there are 930 known hate groups. Among these groups are the KKK, Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, White Supremacist, Aryan Nation, Racist Skinheads, and the radical religious right. These hate groups are anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-Jew, anti-Muslim, and anti-black. Besides these known hate groups, there are hundreds of militia groups and others motivated by conspiracy theories.
A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center stated, “A creeping rhetoric of intolerance among politicians helped to normalize hate.” And while it singled out other presidential contenders, too, “Donald Trump had electrified the radical right.”
Trump turned millions of people against President Obama with his “birther” movement and his insistence that Obama was born in Kenya. But he made fools out of all those who believed Trump’s conspiracy theories, now that his surrogates say that they, as well as Trump, admit that Obama was born on American soil.
In my opinion, Clinton should not have regretted saying “half.” She probably should have said “three-fourths.”