Thursday, November 14, 2019

With more than 900 emails to analyze, story of white supremacy involving Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions is likely to get worse in future reports from SPLC

Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller

How riddled with corruption is Alabama's Republican Party? Consider this mind-blowing set of facts: At roughly the same time the state's House speaker (Mike Hubbard), governor (Robert Bentley), and Supreme Court chief justice (Roy Moore) were forced from office due to allegations of misconduct, one of the state's U.S. senators (Jeff Sessions) had a staffer (Stephen Miller) who, using taxpayer-funded resources, was promoting white supremacist literature and talking points to the right-wing Web site Breitbart News.

That is five Republicans -- who engaged in or allowed -- alleged activities that were criminal, dishonest, unlawful, despicable, or some combination of all those. We can put all of these acts under the broad category of "corruption," and they were committed by individuals who were elected or appointed to represent the State of Alabama.

With Hubbard, Moore, and Bentley having already hit the exits, we are left with this question: Should Miller be fired or forced to resign from his current position as a policy adviser to President Donald Trump -- and should Sessions be pressured to back out of the 2020 GOP race for his old U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Democrat Doug Jones?

The worst might be yet to come for Miller and Sessions. Wednesday's report about Miller's emails being leaked to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is just the first of an expected series of revelations based on roughly 900 emails. Upcoming installments might include much more damaging revelations than we've seen already, and they could answer this question: Did Miller act on his own or did he trade in white nationalist talking points with Sessions' knowledge and support? This is from an article at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The report is the first installment in a series that draws on more than 900 leaked emails that Miller sent to a Breitbart writer over a 15-month period between 2015 and 2016. The report describes Miller's emails as overwhelmingly focused on race and immigration and characterizes him as obsessed with ideas like "white genocide" (a conspiracy theory associated with white supremacists) and sharply curbing immigration by nonwhites. 
Among the more damming email exchanges highlighted in the SPLC report is one that shows Miller directing a Breitbart reporter (Katie McHugh) to aggregate stories from the white supremacist journal American Renaissance, or "AmRen," for stories that emphasize crimes committed by immigrants and nonwhites. In another, Miller is apparently upset that Amazon removed Confederate flag merchandise from its marketplace in the wake of the 2015 Charleston church massacre. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) Others reportedly show him promoting The Camp of Saints, a racist French novel popular among white nationalists.

Are even more damning revelations likely coming in future installments from the SPLC? Our guess is yes; we doubt the organization fired its strongest shots in the first article. While the public now probably associates Miller with Donald Trump, most of these actions happened on Jeff Sessions' watch, as driven home in this report from New York magazine:

Nobody would mistake Stephen Miller for a humanitarian. The White House speechwriter is widely known to be the force shaping President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies. Remember Trump’s Oval Office address in January, with its hyperbolic references to rapes, murders, and even dismemberment? That was all Miller, as McKay Coppins reported for The Atlantic at the time. Or the speech the president gave in Poland back in 2017? “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Trump told a crowd in Warsaw. “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” If that sounds too eloquent for Trump, you’re right. The words belonged to Miller. So, too, did many of Trump’s most outrageous immigration policies, like family separation, and his ongoing quest to end temporary protected status for thousands of refugees.

None of this suggests that Trump is fully Miller’s puppet. Trump was a racist long before he became president and he campaigned on nationalist sentiments that Miller appears to share. But it is true that Miller has used the Trump White House to amplify his own, more developed notions about immigrants and race. A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center clarifies the source of Miller’s views. He isn’t just an immigration skeptic. He’s immersed in the white-nationalist movement, and has been at least since he worked for Jeff Sessions. . . .

Miller’s white-nationalist sympathies aren’t limited to immigration. After Dylann Roof murdered black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, Miller was troubled by the prospect that Confederate monuments might disappear. In one message to McHugh, he wrote, “What do the [Confederate monument] vandals say to the people fighting and dying overseas in uniform right now who are carrying on a seventh or eighth generation of military service in their families, stretching back to our founding?” (The military might have its own white-nationalist problem, but as a matter of fact, it is not an all-white institution.) In a subsequent email, Miller wondered if the Spanish should thus be asked to stop displaying the country’s flag since it is, after all, a symbol of colonialism.

On their own, the emails are incontrovertible proof that Miller is not only racist, but is conversant in and influenced by white-nationalist thought.

Does the same hold true for Miller's boss at the time, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)? Future reporting from SPLC likely will make that clear.


Anonymous said...

This might help rebuild the SPLC's reputation after the Morris Dees disaster.

Anonymous said...

Reagan made racism "respectable" for white folks, borrowing on Calvin Coolidge's ideas.

GOP has been playing the race card ever since Reagan, with Nixon playing it to some extent, via "Southern Strategy."

Watergate and Nixon's creepiness made him an unattractive salesman for racism. But Reagan was the happy bigot, and he made it work.

legalschnauzer said...

Gotta love this response from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham re: Miller --

"We have not seen the report. The SPLC, however, is an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization that has recently been forced — to its great humiliation — to issue a major retraction for other wholly-fabricated accusations. They libel, slander, and defame conservatives for a living. They are beneath public discussion."

Great job of addressing the issues at hand, isn't it?

legalschnauzer said...

Spokesperson for Breitbart also had a classy response:

What they're saying: Elizabeth Moore, a spokesperson for Breitbart, responded to Hatewatch with the following statement.

"The SPLC claims to have three- to four-year-old emails, many previously reported on, involving an individual whom we fired years ago for a multitude of reasons, and you now have an even better idea why we fired her. Having said that, it is not exactly a newsflash that political staffers pitch stories to journalists — sometimes those pitches are successful, sometimes not.

"It is no surprise to us that the SPLC opposes news coverage of illegal-immigrant crime and believes such coverage is disproportionate, especially when compared to the rest of the media, which often refuse to cover such crimes.

"No one in our senior management has read the book, 'Camp of the Saints,' but we take The New York Times at their word that it is a 'cautionary tale,' and the National Review at theirs that 'the central issue of the novel is not race but culture and political principles.'"

Anonymous said...

Funny how racists don't like being revealed as racists.

Anonymous said...

Miller is a dumb ass for ever putting stuff like this in writing.

Anonymous said...

Memo to Stephen Miller: If you are going to be a racist, at least be an original racist. Don't just borrow from nut jobs that go back 50 to 100 years.

legalschnauzer said...

Insights from Rolling Stone about Miller emails and DACA:

Elections have consequences, and when white nationalists get elected, those consequences can be catastrophic.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program that shielded some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation, as well as allowed them to work. DACA, as the program is known, is rooted in a sense of compassion, as well as by the idea that it’s unjust to deport people from the only country they’ve ever called home because — more than a decade ago — their parents didn’t have documents to cross the border into a nation of immigrants.

Trump, from whom compassion is anathema, has worked to end the program, but he ha

Anonymous said...

Right wingers are attacking Doug Jones for fund-raising in California. Well, guess where Stephen Miller comes from. California, of course. Jeff Sessions had to import a racist from California because we didn't have enough in Alabama? Pit-ee-ful.

Anonymous said...

LS: Every Alabamian needs to read your first paragraph because it is shameful.

Hubbard . . . Bentley . . . Moore . . . Miller . . . Sessions.

All "public servants," all Republicans, all crooked as a python.

Does the state have no shame?

legalschnauzer said...

@2:22 --

Don't forget the Alabama Supreme Court. They are all Republican and they clearly have been stalling in order to create a scam that will let Mike Hubbard off the hook.

Anonymous said...

So, Miller is a Jewish racist? Makes a lot of sense.

legalschnauzer said...

An insightful, and amusing, take on Miller from Wonkette:

So here's the shocking surprise: Stephen Miller writes like a racist dickhead, and a number of issues that animated his emails have translated into Trump administration policy. The vile stuff Miller said in those emails is already being dismissed by those on the Right, because while it's soaked in white nationalist themes, he never actually uses the n-word, and also he can't be a white nationalist because he's Jewish, didn't you know that?

litlgrey said...

Absolutely disgraceful.

litlgrey said...

Sickening. Neo-Nazis now rule White House policy.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is another installment from SPLC in the Stephen Miller series. Looks like they will be rolling them out pretty quickly:

e.a.f. said...

none of this will be news to many. Many won't care. The e-mails if released may be of use during the 2020 elections.

dtrump in my opinion is a racist and has racists working for him, the chief of them, miller. Americans voted into office a nasty piece of business. They might want to remember that line about, first they came for the Jews.........when they came for me, there was no one to protest.

All of what has been going on in the U.S.A. regarding immigrants and minorities is simply some one taking Hitler's play book out and applying it in the U.S.A.

Trump started with his accusations regarding Mexicans.
Then came his attempts to ban Muslims.
Then he started separating children from their parents.
Then he placed children in concentration camps.
Children died in these concentration camps.

All of this took some planning and dtrump isn't much of a planner. Miller is.

There has always been a southern strategy going back to the days of slavery and indentured servants. the financial elite, plantation owners, knew how to rely on poor whites to support them. Not much has changed since those days.

The U.S.A. was never a democracy. People for a few decades were just under the illusion it was. It has always been about racism so as to keep working people divided. Works every time. In this century we have seen voter suppression of people of colour and rigging of electoral districts so white voters would be able to elect other whites who didn't have the interests of people of colour at heart.

from the first day dtrump opened his mouth and declared he was going to "make America great again, some of us in Canada knew it really meant, "make American white again'.