Following his divisive campaign, President-elect Donald Trump said this week that it’s time “to bind the wounds of division.”
“We have to get together,” Trump said after his victory. “To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Now, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen said the advocacy organization will work to hold the nation’s 45th president-elect to his most recent declaration.
“Tomorrow, and every day in the future, we’ll fight for the rights of the most vulnerable people in America — those victimized by bigotry and discrimination,” Cohen said Wednesday in a statement. “We hope Mr. Trump truly means what he says about reaching out to all Americans.”
A representative for Trump could not immediately be reached for comment.
Trump’s campaign is remembered, at least partly, for polarizing political rallies and messages perceived by some as insensitive and blatantly racist.
“There is one group we hope he disappoints — the extremists who flocked to his candidacy and found in him a voice for their bigotry,” Cohen said. “During his campaign, Mr. Trump named far-right extremists as advisers, re-circulated racist and anti-Semitic tweets, gave press credentials to a white supremacist radio host, and refused for months to disavow David Duke after the neo-Nazi endorsed him.
“Now, white nationalists and the alt-right are celebrating his victory.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center posted several statements from reported white nationalists and the alt-right who have been celebrating Trump’s win.
Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute in Washington, posted a message on Twitter, referencing a highly criticized comment Michelle Obama made during the 2008 Democratic primary.
Brad Griffin, who runs the website Occidental Dissent, apparently posted a scene from “American History X,” in which a neo-Nazi sings, “the white man marches on.”
“White Pride Worldwide!” the post read. “White Nationalists all over the world are celebrating like this on the way to work this morning!”
“White Pride Worldwide” is the motto of Stormfront, the internet’s first hate site. Its founder, Don Black, joined the chorus on his Stormfront Radio show and declared a new “independence day.” While Black called it an “amazing night,” he warned that white nationalists need to forge ahead because “Trump has just given us breathing room.”
Black’s former partner in crime, David Duke, took credit in part for Trump’s win tweeting “make no mistake about it, our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump!”
Cohen said it is now time for Trump to “make absolutely clear to them that neither their ideas nor anyone affiliated with them will have any influence or voice in his administration.”
“That is the first thing he must do to begin binding the wounds of division that his campaign has caused,” Cohen said.