There’s a History of White Supremacists Interpreting Government Leaders’ Words as Encouragement

By: | May 19, 2020

There’s a history of white supremacists interpreting government leaders’ words as encouragement

A leader of the Three Percenters militia movement, Matt Marshall, speaks at an anti-lockdown protest, April 19, 2020 in Olympia, Washington.
Getty/Karen Ducey

Shannon M. Smith, College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University

White supremacist and militia organizations are exploiting the government’s chaotic response to the coronavirus for recruitment efforts.

Whatever his intention, these groups interpret President Donald Trump’s tweets to “LIBERATE” states and calling armed protesters “very good people” as support for their cause.

Recent research by the Tech Transparency Project into social media accounts of white supremacists, a nonprofit that researches “the influence of the major technology platforms” on politics, policy and people’s lives, found that “some members of private