[Marxism] Stephen Miller’s Sinister Syllabus

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 15 16:08:37 MST 2019

NY Times Op-Ed, Nov. 15, 2019
Stephen Miller’s Sinister Syllabus
By Jamelle Bouie

Somewhat lost in the frenzy over impeachment this week was a report from 
the Southern Poverty Law Center on Stephen Miller, a White House 
speechwriter and close adviser to the president.

An analysis of more than 900 emails from Miller to editors at Breitbart 
News, the report shows Miller’s single-minded focus on nonwhite 
immigration and his immersion in an online ecosystem of virulent, 
unapologetic racism. The Miller of these emails isn’t just an 
immigration restrictionist, he’s an ideological white nationalist.

It’s tempting to dismiss this as old news. Miller is, after all, the 
architect behind the Trump administration’s most draconian border and 
immigration policies, as well as some of its harshest anti-immigrant 

The first travel ban, rolled out within days of President Trump’s 
inauguration? That was Miller. Family separation at the border? That was 
Miller too. The relentless effort to limit asylum, deport protected 
migrants and block refugees from entering the country? Also Miller. The 
president’s January address from the Oval Office, in which he spun 
gruesome tales of immigrant crime and violence (“In California, an Air 
Force veteran was raped, murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by 
an illegal alien with a long criminal history”)? Stephen Miller.

But suspecting Miller’s ideological allegiances is quite different than 
knowing them. In the absence of proof, there was room for plausible 
deniability. That’s how a conservative magazine editor could praise 
Miller as a “wunderkind” for his command of the “details” of immigration 
policy while dismissing evidence that Miller was once close to Richard 
Spencer, a prominent neo-Nazi.

With the emails — supplied by Katie McHugh, a former editor at Breitbart 
— we now know what Miller was reading and thinking about in the year 
before he joined the Trump campaign. And there’s no denying the nature 
of the material.

In October 2015, while still an aide to Senator Jeff Sessions of 
Alabama, Miller sent McHugh a story from VDARE, a white nationalist 
website named for Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North 
America. VDARE is preoccupied with “white genocide” — the myth that 
nonwhites are working to destroy white people through immigration and 
intermarriage — and Miller cited the website in response to McHugh’s 
concern that the government would grant temporary protected status to 
Mexican survivors of Hurricane Patricia.

“This being the worst hurricane ever recorded, what are the chances it 
wreaks destruction on Mexico and drives a mass migration to the U.S. 
border?” wrote McHugh, who identified as a white nationalist at the 
time. Miller replied: “100 percent. And they will all get TPS. And all 
the ones here will get TPS too. That needs to be the weekend’s BIG 
story. TPS is everything.” He then sent her a link from VDARE that 
focused on the prospect of protected status for victims of the hurricane.

McHugh says Miller also directed her to stories from the website 
American Renaissance, another white nationalist publication, this one 
focused on eugenics and anti-black racism. Its founder, Jared Taylor, 
has argued that “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, 
Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” In 2013, 
he argued for a white ethno-state. “We want a homeland where we are a 
majority,” he said.

There’s more. In June 2015, after Dylann Roof murdered nine black 
churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., Miller emailed McHugh with an outraged 
message about retailers pulling Confederate flags from their stores, 
pointing her toward statistics on Confederate deaths in the Civil War. 
He then wrote to her about efforts to remove Confederate memorials:

What do the vandals say to the people fighting and dying overseas in 
uniform right now who are carrying on a seventh or eighth generation of 
military service in their families, stretching back to our founding?

In a September 2015 email, Miller encouraged McHugh to show “the 
parallels” between Pope Francis’s pro-refugee statements and “The Camp 
of the Saints,” a 1973 novel by the French author Jean Raspail. In the 
book, an influx of Indian refugees — described as subhuman and led by a 
feces-eating demagogue — storm France, killing, stealing and rampaging 
until they’ve completely occupied the country. Other migrants follow and 
eventually overrun western Europe, turning white Europeans into a 
subject class. The book is popular with white nationalists and is 
mentioned frequently on VDARE and the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. 
It is also a favorite of Steve Bannon’s, the other of Trump’s “two Steves.”

The White House has pushed back against the report. “This is clearly a 
form of anti-Semitism to levy these attacks against a Jewish staffer,” 
an unnamed official told Axios. But there’s no way to spin these emails 
into something innocuous. The evidence is overwhelming: Miller was 
immersed in white power ideology. He was fluent in the language of white 
nationalism, attuned to its ideas. He was an obvious sympathizer who 
brought that sympathy to the federal government, where he has a direct 
hand in making immigration policy and choosing personnel.

For three years, Miller has used his perch to inflict fear and anxiety 
on refugees, asylum-seekers and unauthorized immigrants. Maybe, if you 
were charitable to Miller and sympathetic to restricting immigration, 
you could frame this as a misguided but good faith attempt to pull back 
from a more liberal status quo. No longer. These emails show that 
Miller’s views flow from his commitment to racist exclusion and the 
protection of a white demographic majority.

Breitbart fired Katie McHugh in 2017 for anti-Muslim remarks on Twitter. 
Since then, she says, she has left the “alt-right” and renounced her 
white nationalist views.

Miller, on the other hand, is still writing speeches and making policy. 
And while Democrats have called for his removal in the wake of this 
report (“Stephen Miller must resign. Now,” Representative Alexandria 
Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter), Republicans have been silent. Perhaps 
they’re occupied with impeachment, struggling to defend the president’s 
behavior against clear evidence of his guilt. Perhaps they don’t want to 
confront the fact that white nationalist ideas have a privileged place 
in this administration. Or perhaps they just don’t care enough to be 

If that sounds unfair, consider this: Republicans stuck with President 
Trump in 2017 when he defended the “Unite the Right” protesters in 
Charlottesville, Va., and they stuck with him in 2018 when he denounced 
“shithole” countries. They stuck with him through family separation, and 
they’re sticking with him as he keeps thousands of children in 
detention. Now we have proof that one of the president’s key advisers is 
awash in white nationalism. But to a Republican Party that has stuck 
with that president, what difference would this actually make?

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