U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, along with daughter and son-in-law — both White House advisors — were met with massive protests at the Tree of Life Temple in Pittsburgh Tuesday, during their visit to pay their respects after 11 Jewish worshippers were shot dead by a white-supremacist over the weekend.
At the protests, there were approximately 2,000 demonstrators, according to Reuters, displaying signs with messages condemning the administration. “President Hate, leave our state,” “We build bridges, not walls” and “Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now” were among the prominently projected slogans.
More than 70,000 protesters signed a letter penned by Jewish leaders who declared Trump unwelcome in the city, unless he fully denounced “white nationalism,” according to a BBC report.
Law enforcement reported hearing from 46-year-old assailant Robert Bowers that the killings were a form of retaliation to what he believed were actions of the Jewish community that allegedly “were committing genocide to his people.”
While white nationalism is not a new phenomenon in the United States, the onset of the Trump Administration narrative and campaign slogan to put “America First," has emboldened the movement.
In 2017, there were 954 hate groups in the United States, that number shows a four percent increase over the previous year, and among the 600 white supremacist groups, neo-nazis rose from 121 to 99, from 2016 to 2017.
These groups hold extreme views on migration, specifically to halt the process.
The Trump Administration has reimagined the campaign-era anti-immigration stance as one of his predilect strategies for the upcoming midterm elections.