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Trump's campaign accidentally picked a delegate who wants to deport people with "Negro blood"

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Louisville Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

One of the would-be primary delegates Donald Trump's listed on official paperwork in California is an actual, outspoken, self-identified white nationalist, Mother Jones's Josh Harkinson reports.

William Johnson, the leader of the white supremacist American Freedom Party, is on a list of 169 delegates the Trump campaign has sent to the California secretary of state. Johnson told Harkinson that he "got the news that he had been selected by Trump in a congratulatory email sent to him by the campaign's California Delegate Coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino":

"I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views," Johnson tells Mother Jones. "I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody."

After news of Johnson's selection broke, the Trump campaign clarified that his inclusion was an accident and disclaimed responsibility:

Johnson is a white nationalist true believer who calls explicitly for a forced population transfer of all nonwhites off US soil. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports, "Johnson had been advocating for the deportation of all non-white immigrants and U.S. citizens, including anyone with any 'ascertainable trace of Negro blood,' since 1985, when he wrote a book arguing for a constitutional amendment to do just that."

The platform of Johnson's group, the American Freedom Party, describes it as "a nationalist party that shares the customs and heritage of the European American people," declaring, "White Americans should push back!" Its homepage is littered with headlines like, "Jews and Their Effect on Russian-American Relations." It was formerly called the "American Third Position Party," "third position" being far-right slang for a trend of racial separatist parties that also reject modern capitalism.

It's unclear if Johnson was vetted by Trump's campaign at all. He told Harkinson he didn't identify himself as a "white nationalist" in his application to be a delegate, but "disclosed multiple details about his background and activism." But regardless of the campaign's own culpability, Johnson's attraction to the Trump movement confirms that white nationalist groups see the Republican presidential nominee as their best opportunity in years to break through to the mainstream. They're intent on seizing it, and stunts like this are just the start.

Be sure to go read Harkinson's full post, which is excellent.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the Trump campaign's disavowal of Johnson.

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