Steve Bannon, right-hand man to President Donald Trump, has been fired from his position as White House Chief Strategist this morning. The news of Bannon, a white supremacist and peddler of alt-right memes and lingo, getting the boot comes at the end of a horrific week in American history regarding race relations.
Bannon doubled down on dubious things he’s told the press regarding race and ethnicity this week by calling up liberal political critic Robert Kuttner to giggle about how the events in Charlottesville will distract Democrafts from discussing topics Bannon believes carry weight. “The Democrats,” Bannon told The Prospect, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” As it turns out, regardless of what Democrafts decide to focus on leading up to the midterm elections, Bannon won’t be able to do a damn thing.
Of all places, The Drudge Report (a conservative blog run by conspiracist Matt Drudge) broke the news for many, though admittedly its headline simply linked to a New York Times story without crediting it. According to The Times, Trump brought up getting rid of Bannon some time ago, and he has been quietly planning his strategist’s exit with senior White House officials ever since. However, The Times also reports that Bannon submitted his own resignation earlier in August, and that the White House decided collectively to push back his ousting date when race-related violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.
Bannon, though he won’t be working with the White House any longer, is a self-made millionaire in his own right. In fact, it’s estimated by those who have studied his tax records that he’s worth somewhere between $11.8 million to $53.8 million due to his work in conservative documentaries and online media. So on one hand, a powerful white nationalist has been ousted from his influential position in American politics. On the other hand, a raging racist who responded gleefully to the rally in Charlottesville, and the murder of Heather Hayes, has been let loose in a world that has already shoveled millions into his pockets.