Woman Starring in PBS Doc on Trump Supporters Displays Prominent White Power Tats
Here, watch this PBS NewsHour video about a family in North Carolina that has no history of being politically active but has been so motivated by Donald Trump that they have been volunteering and phone banking together:
Speaking of touching things, did you see that woman, Grace Tilly? Did you see her hands? The hands that touch things and also happen to bear white power symbols permanently marked in a painful ritual involving needles and ink? Observe how the hand emblazoned with the Celtic cross types on the laptop upon which is affixed a Trump bumper sticker. See how the hand with the “88” cradles a cell phone as she calls to ask her peers if they have considered voting for Trump.
There are a few factors that add to the shocking nature of the tattoos, which Tilly made no effort to hide and almost didn’t seem to realize were even of any importance. This video was shot in North Carolina, where a man with a similar “88” tattoo shot his boss in a possible hate crime just last year. It is not the first possible hate crime committed in the state.
Moreover, Trump — for whom the subjects of the short film pray, claiming he will advance God’s kingdom here on earth — has been known to retweet white supremacists frequently, fail to disavow the KKK, and brush off violence against people of color. Beyond praying for Trump, one of the men in the clip went on a lengthy tear about immigration, the English language, and being too kind to foreign-born Americans that began with, “If you don’t wanna be here, go home!”
Racism exists, of course, but it is always unsettling to see such blatant displays of white supremacist beliefs, especially from people who are volunteering to get someone elected to the highest office in the nation.
UPDATE — 1:45 p.m. EST:
PBS added an editor’s note to their original story.
Editor’s Note: At several times during this campaign the NewsHour has featured video packages of voices of voters, profiling different families and their views on the candidates and how they have arrived at them. These reports have been presented without reporters’ narration. It is true that this storytelling style requires the audience to draw its own conclusions about what they see and hear, but we believe the audience is able to do so.
In this case, a debate about Grace Tilly’s tattoos has started online. As you can see in the comments section posted with this story, Ms. Tilly argues that these tattoos are not representative of neo-Nazi positions but are connected to her family’s Celtic religious beliefs. That is what she told our producers as well. Others among our online commenters vehemently disagree.
The headline on this transcript has been updated to more accurately represent the video segment.
[image via screengrab]
For more from Lindsey, follow her on Twitter.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.