Donald Trump has surpassed his most pernicious self by retweeting nasty videos sent out by Britain First, a posse of white neo-Nazi right-wingers. The three videos showed dreadful acts being committed by perpetrators who were supposedly followers of Allah. One film, claims Britain First, shows a 'Muslim beating up a Dutch boy with crutches'. A Dutch news website has investigated the claim and found it to be untrue. The most powerful man in the world deliberately distributes fraudulent material designed to incite hatred against people of my faith.
Even Piers Morgan, one of the President's most faithful British admirers, tweeted "What the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist, far right extremists?" Thank you Mr Morgan for that intervention.
The rest of us have other pressing questions: First, how the hell does he even have time to do this while carrying out his heavy duties? Secondly, why does he feel this overpowering urge to demonise Muslims, Hispanics, African Americans and immigrants? Is he suffering from political Tourette syndrome, saying or doing things involuntarily? If only. He is both the producer and product of a culture that is increasingly and shamelessly xenophobic and malevolent . This President is a barbarian who stirs discord and disruption and seeks to make many real and imagined enemies.
His many opponents are confounded by the fake-tanned billionaire elected to the White House. They still believe (hope?) that Trump is a maverick, a loony or a spooky clown who has no filters. Sorry guys, I no longer laugh at the foibles of Mr President.
Time for us all to get serious and know the enemy. When he generates and disseminates messages of hate he becomes the ambassador and idol of global racist movements and parties. He relishes this leadership role because it brings much kudos. Jayda Fransen – a woman with a very Dutch-sounding name for a deputy leader of Britain First – adores the big guy: "Thank God for Trump. He is setting the way for the world." And so he is.
Britain's neo-Nazi fanatics are part of a virtual network that include nationalists from theUS, , Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Myanmar and India. They're not that dissimilar to Muslims from various lands who hooked up online to create a guerrilla army. Western intelligence and security services are vigilant when it comes to the latter, and relatively lackadaisical about the former. The number of white children being referred to government anti-radicalisation projects is rising dramatically. I would not be surprised if the repulsive utterings of Katie Hopkins are read by Fransen's fellow travellers Stateside.
More worryingly, ideologies that were banished to the fringes after the Second World War are now moving to the centre, in the USA, Britain and across Europe. Racism and xenophobia have been mainstreamed. When Nigel Farage stood provocatively in front of a huge anti-immigration poster filled with Syrian refugees, he made it respectable to think and say that incomers, even refugees, were the enemy of his nation. And how well he was rewarded. He has a radio show, is forever on telly, courted by those who should know better, including the obsequious BBC.
Instead of opposing this infusion of poison into civilised public spaces, apologists ask us to 'understand' why white Britons can't stand immigrants, black or Asian people, most of all Muslims. You fight bigotry. You do not ever try to excuse or understand it.
Dig deeper and there is a sinister web which connects the 'acceptable' faces of white radicalism with websites and rich US and UK right-wing libertarians. Farage, Aaron Banks, Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer are alt-right ideological brothers with a lot of money that they are using to defeat liberal values and social cohesion. They backed Trump and Brexit, used some pretty suspect strategies to achieve what they wanted. The American journalist Jane Mayer and British journalist Carole Cadwalladr have carried on deep investigations into these circles within circles. So no not be surprised when Britain First is prompted by Trump, or when Farage pushes against multi-racialism. It all connects. If the aim is to make minorities feel anxious and unsettled, it is working.
Millions of us are no longer sure what the future holds for us. A few weeks back I had to call the police after tweets were posted by a proscribed hard right group. Someone who had to seek protection alerted me to what was happening. I have not previously gone public on this. Then came an avalanche of nasty emails and phone calls. My crime was to be a 'fucking Muslim immigrant' who imperils 'Real British people'. The anti-terrorism police who turned up were efficient and reassuring. But they can't make us safe, not when so many rich and powerful people are sponsoring racist terrorism. I am afraid, very afraid. You should be too.