In the days since the election, president-elect Donald Trump (it hurts to type that) has begun assembling his staff. And along with the unsurprising choice of RNC chairman Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff, Trump chose someone who might be even worse for the United States than Donald Trump himself: Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News and the former CEO of the Trump campaign.
Bannon is now Trump's senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist.
Breitbart, as you might know, is an alt-right “news” site that encourages hatred against women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, Muslim and Jewish people, and basically everyone who is not a straight, wealthy, cis, Christian, Republican man. Here are a few of its worst headlines:
“Planned Parenthood’s Body Count Under Cecile Richards Is Up To Half A Holocaust”
“World Health Organization Report: Tr*nnies 49xs Higher HIV Rate” (they did not use the *, obviously.)
“The Solution To Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off”
“Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy”
“Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Over Religious Beliefs”
“Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”
And, my “favorite”:
“Would You Rather Your Child Have Feminism Than Cancer?”
Sound familiar? Hillary Clinton spoke out against the alt-right and Breitbart while campaigning for president, in a speech that involved her just literally reading off some of the headlines. Democrats also released a video showing some of the worst headlines:
Other things you should know about Bannon:
• He was charged with domestic violence and battery against his ex-wife in 1996.
• In 2007, the same ex-wife said that Bannon made anti-Semitic comments about the private school to which she wanted to send their daughters. According to her, Bannon said he wouldn’t send his daughters to the school because “he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
• In a 2010 film praising Republican women including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, Bannon said that Republican women who seek leadership positions are hot and not “a bunch of dykes that came from the 7 Sisters schools," like Democratic women in leadership positions.
Even some Republicans, including John Weaver — chief strategist for John Kasich — are condemning Bannon’s appointment. Weaver tweeted, “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant America.”
The transition team said in a statement that Priebus and Bannon would work “as equal partners to transform the federal government.” This is not good.
For everyone hoping that the Trump administration would be a run-of-the-mill moderate Republican administration, well, it’s time to give up that hope. Bannon has made his racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic views very, very clear — and President-Elect Donald Trump is listening to him very, very closely.
There's now a growing movement to #StopBannon, with a petition you can sign. You can also call your representatives and say, "Hello, I'm calling to stop the appointment of Steve Bannon as his top aide. This appointment signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House. Hate has no place in the White House." You're also encouraged to call Paul Ryan at his office (202) 225-3031 and Majority Leader McConnell at (202) 224-2541; to call out the media when they don't report on Bannon's white supremacist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic views; to join protests; and to encourage religious and business groups and other people of influence to oppose Bannon.
Top photo via Twitter/Hillary Clinton
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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.