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On Christmas Eve, President Donald Trump did what he does often. He sent out a tweet.
“People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!” Trump wrote.
Trump’s tweet highlighted his fight against political correctness and more specifically the “war on Christmas.” Yet, according to one professor, Trump’s pro-Christmas messages “assert a soft or hard version of white nationalism.”
In a recent piece published by Newsweek, professors claimed that Trump’s insistence on saying “Merry Christmas” is connected to white nationalism.
Washington State University professor Richard King said he sees “such invocations of Christmas as a kind of cypher, what some would call a dog whistle.”
“Much like ‘Make America Great Again,’ panics over the protests by NFL players, and the defense of Confederate memory, Christmas is a way to talk about peril, to assert a soft or hard version of white nationalism,” King said.
Sociology professor Randy Blazak echoed King’s sentiment, claiming white nationalists particularly like Trump’s fight against the “war on Christmas.”
“His followers see this as gospel and a rebuking of multiculturalism and political correctness, and the growing influence of Jews, Muslims, atheists and other non-WASPs,” Blazak said.
People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2017
The Newsweek article didn’t just attempt to connect Trump’s pro-Christmas rhetoric to white nationalism. It also brought up a comparison to Nazis:
Trump isn’t the first political figure in history to co-opt Christmas. In fact, some see parallels between Trump’s speeches in front of Christmas trees and attempts by authoritarian regimes like the Nazis to manipulate popular celebrations to promote a political ideology. But by weaponizing Christmas in this way, Trump is bringing a dangerous tradition of politicizing religious holidays into the United States, experts say.
However, Georgia State University professor Joe Perry told the magazine the connection isn’t clear-cut.
“Frankly, I’m not sure how far Trump himself is willing to go to use the holiday to promote anti-Muslim or anti-minority visions of America, or if he even really understands what he is doing with his ‘Merry Christmas’ tirades,” Perry said.
Though, the professor also argued “the far right’s engagement in the ‘war on Christmas’ explicitly posits that there is one single true or correct Christmas.”
h/t The Daily Caller
IMAGE: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock