Mitchell Makes Blanket Attempt to Tie Trump Supporters to Celebrating Win at Neo-Nazi Event

On the heels of CBS and NBC spending over five minutes providing a platform for a neo-Nazi conference, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell continued the media’s normalization of bigotry (unlike what they try to do with religious freedom supporters) by sloppily insinuating that “supporters of Donald Trump’s election” congregated with “the alt-right” at the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference.

“Supporters of Donald Trump’s election and the alt-right gathered in Washington this weekend at the Reagan Building, a government facility, to celebrate with white supremacist speech and echoes of signature language from Nazi Germany,” Mitchell declared at the onset of a six-minute segment about it.

After video of NPI leader Richard Spencer touting white supremacy was shown for MSNBC viewers, Mitchell noted how many audience members rose to chant “heil Trump” and make a Nazi salute. 

She then welcomed on Anti-Defamation League president Jonathan Greenblatt and sighed as she admitted that “we’ve never seen anything like this in an election cycle” even though there’s “been plenty of white supremacist stuff out there.”

Mitchell continued perpetuating the minuscule 200-person gathering as something far bigger, influential, and “pretty noteworthy” that while it’s “not part of Donald Trump’s transition” but filled with language akin to Hitler’s Mein Kampf

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“Look, you know, 50 years ago, the KKK hid behind white hoods. Today, they may hide behind their business suits and their smartphones, but it’s the same racist, anti-Semitic, violent ideology, which has characterized extremists for generations...We’ve never seen anything like this,” Greenblatt responded.

Later on, Mitchell disclosed that the restaurant that hosted the neo-Nazis at one point this past weekend did so somewhat inadvertently because she recalled that she’s been there for bar mitzvah celebrations in the past.

The conversation took a strange turn before the end of the segment when she anecdotally revealed that she spoke with a wealthy African-American family in Harlem recently with a four-year-old daughter who’s scared she’ll be shot dead under Donald Trump:

I have spoken to friends and associates and only yesterday, speaking to a family — grandparents of African-American children four years old and six years old. They live in Harlem. Their parents are academics at prestigious universities and so, they were totally secure economically and the little girl said she wants to be white. This little African-American child, four years old and why? She said I feel that black people are going to be shot under — she said under Trump. Now, obviously, this is the way a child is interpreting it, but there’s an effect on children in minority, in communities of color.

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on November 22 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
November 22, 2016
12:42 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: Supporters of Donald Trump’s election and the alt-right gathered in Washington this weekend at the Reagan Building, a government facility, to celebrate with white supremacist speech and echoes of signature language from Nazi Germany. 

 

MITCHELL: As uncovered by The Atlantic magazine, some members of the audience then jumped to their feet. You can see this with arms extended. An Atlantic reporter present said he heard some shouting “heil” in German, not hail, the translation in English. NBC News was not present to independently confirm what happened.

(....)

MITCHELL: Jonathan, we’ve never seen anything like this in an election cycle. There has been plenty of white supremacist stuff out there. You track it all the time but this is pretty noteworthy. It’s not part of Donald Trump’s transition or administration or creation. It’s an independent support group, but let's just translate for people. When he says as Europeans, when he talks about my struggle, that's Mein Kampf. 

JONATHAN GREENBLATT: Absolutely right. Look, you know, 50 years ago, the KKK hid behind white hoods. Today, they may hide behind their business suits and their smartphones, but it’s the same racist, anti-Semitic, violent ideology, which has characterized extremists for generations. The ADL has been around for over 100 years monitoring and tracking extremism and fighting hate. We’ve never seen anything like this. Literally, just a few feet away from the White House.

MITCHELL: And in fact, inside the White House, you have Stephen Bannon, who is not been open to the mainstream press for interviews but he was criticized as antisemitic. What is your take on Stephen Bannon?

GREENBLATT: Look, I don’t know what his intent is. All I know is the outcome and under his leadership, Breitbart emerged, in his words, as the platform for the alt-right, the term that these guys like to use to describe their movement which, in a way, kind of couches it or clothes it in modern language. Again, it's white supremacy. It’s rampant hate.

MITCHELL: And Richard Spencer, the speaker there, talked to Hallie Jackson and said that this was meant to be cheeky, exuberant, ironic. Your take on that.
        
GREENBLATT: There’s nothing cheeky about hate and we can't keep our eye off the ball on bigotry. It's important what we said before. This wasn’t the Trump rally. These were independent people, but we think it’s critical for the President-elect and all elected officials to speak out quickly and consistently in the face of hate like this. 

MITCHELL: And there was also a pre-rally or pre-meeting dinner at a local restaurant that you and I both know from the neighborhoods. You used to be in Washington and this is an Italian restaurant. They thought that they were booking a group. I’ve been to bar mitzvah celebrations there, as a matter of act and then when they saw what had happened, there were protesters against the group there and I think we have a picture that was put up of some of the people who were there that night with their arms out-stretched in the Nazi salutes.

GREENBLATT: This wasn't a bar mitzvah party, so this was what it looks like. These are neo-Nazi or Nazi sympathizers, raising their arms in a salute, which just reminds us. We live with privilege in the United States but you can't take your eye off the ball when it comes to bigotry. 

MITCHELL: I have spoken to friends and associates and only yesterday, speaking to a family — grandparents of African-American children four years old and six years old. They live in Harlem. Their parents are academics at prestigious universities and so, they were totally secure economically and the little girl said she wants to be white. This little African-American child, four years old and why? She said I feel that black people are going to be shot under — she said under Trump. Now, obviously, this is the way a child is interpreting it, but there’s an effect on children in minority, in communities of color. 

GREENBLATT: We have seen this. So, we have 26 offices across the country and since the election, we have seen a surge in bias incidents and hate crimes. Acts of vandalism — 

MITCHELL: Cyber-bullying.

GREENBLATT: — cyber-bullying as we talked about. Even physical assault and directed against Jews, African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, the LGBTQ community. It just shows us that we’re seeing a normalizing of hate and anti-Semitism that is really unacceptable. That’s why I think good people need to step up and speak out. The only thing I would say here, the silver lining is at the same time, we have seen the surge of hate crimes, Andrea, we have seen a surge of hope. Donations are up 50 times at our website ADL.org. We have been inundated by people who want to volunteer, so I feel heartened by the fact that good people of good conscience are stepping forward and I hope that others will do the same.


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