Steve Bannon has some more thoughts on how Martin Luther King Jr. would view the Trump presidency.
Bannon, who is apparently now back in Trump’s good graces after dust-ups following Bannon’s White House exit and Roy Moore’s Senate loss in December, said this in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Sunday where he also defended the administration’s very real family separation policy, because irony is dead.
“Martin Luther King, he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for black and Hispanic working class,” Bannon told Karl. “I think there are a lot of — a lot of civil rights leaders that would adamantly disagree with you on that,” Karl shot back, before pivoting to a question about Bannon’s relationship with Trump.
Earlier in the interview, Bannon shed some crocodile tears for working class people of color, scapegoating the “unskilled labor” of undocumented immigrants for “destroying the black and Hispanic working class,” rather than the neoliberal consensus which Bannon’s party has championed for the last fifty-plus years.
“We have to understand one thing, that this illegal immigration, the people that hurt the most are the Hispanic and black working class,” Bannon said. “It suppresses their wages, it destroys their healthcare, it destroys their school systems.”
This is a man who obviously has his finger on the pulse of what the socialist civil rights icon would think about Trump in 2018, as long as you ignore the fact that Republicans generally oppose publicly-funded healthcare of any kind, and fight against higher minimum wage laws and labor rights, and are on a generational mission to destroy public education, and that Trump and his father had to settle with Nixon’s Justice Department and promise not to discriminate against black tenants, and that Bannon once ran a website that had a “black crime” section, and that “voter disengagement” among black Americans was reportedly one of Bannon’s pet projects during the last election cycle, and, well, you get the point.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Bannon said pretty much this exact same thing in an interview with BBC less than a month ago.
You don’t think Martin Luther King would be proud? Look at the unemployment we had in the black community five years ago. You don’t think Martin Luther King would sit there and go ‘Yes, you’re putting young black men and women to work. There’s the lowest unemployment we’ve had in history. And wages are starting to rise among the working class. And you’ve finally stopped the illegal alien labor forces coming in and competing with them every day, and destroying the schools and destroying the healthcare.’ Absolutely.
In both cases, Bannon brought up his speculation on what MLK would or would not think about Trump as a way to divert attention away from Bannon doing his international neofascist unity routine with Marine Le Pen in France in March. There, he told a crowd of members of National Rally—France’s far-right party which shares a name with one of the collaborationist parties of Vichy France—that they should wear accusations of racism and nativism as a “badge of honor.” Because if there’s one kind of person that we absolutely know Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of, it was people who were proud to be racist.