President Donald Trump warned Georgia rallygoers Saturday evening that Democrats are going to “take over your farm,” prompting criticism that he’s touting false South African white supremacist narratives about Blacks being given white farms.
Trump cautioned attendees at a Valdosta, Georgia, rally Saturday that the government will begin confiscating their land and firearms if Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win the upcoming runoff elections. The president reignited criticism from 2018, when he told the U.S. State Department to investigate if white farmers were being killed and having their farms confiscated by the post-apartheid government seeking reparations. Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran an August 2018 segment in which he labeled South African President Cyril Ramaphosa a “racist” over right-wing theories which have since been debunked.
Trump painted a dire picture of “communist” confiscations under President-elect Joe Biden and the Georgia Senate candidates, also telling the predominately white attendees they will “confiscate privately owned firearms.”
“Chuck Schumer said rather infamously, ‘First we take Georgia, then we take America,’ but they don’t mean take America like in a good sense,” Trump said. “They mean bring it over to things that the people of Georgia don’t want. You’re not going to like it when they take over your farm—’Gee, we own this farm too, you know? We were here also. We own this farm.’ Here is exactly how they will change America forever.”
Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall highlighted Trump’s Saturday remarks about the government taking Georgia farms as evidence of him using a racist “dog whistle” to fearful white supporters. The president made several direct references to Black Democrats stealing the election from him and his supporters.
“Confiscations of white farms in southern Africa is a huge topic on the white supremacist right in the US. He’s dog whistling that, saying that slave reparations will mean black folks will be given your farm,” Marshall tweeted Sunday.
“I read this morning, where [former Georgia gubernatorial nominee] Stacey Abrams has 850,000 ballots accumulated,” Trump said. “Now that’s called harvesting. You’re not allowed to harvest. Stacy is allowed to harvest, but other people can’t harvest, how is that constitutional?”
Trump reiterated his belief to the raucous crowd that Democrats will turn the U.S. into a communist state in which “they” will confiscate the property of average Americans and give it away.
“Because at stake in this election is control of the U.S. Senate and that really means control of this country,” Trump told rally attendees. “The voters of Georgia will determine which party controls every committee, writes every piece of legislation, controls every single taxpayer dollar. Very simply, you will decide whether your children will grow up in a socialist country or whether they will grow up in a free country.”
“Socialist is just the beginning for these people…communistic form of government, I have no doubt about it,” Trump said. He claimed Biden and the Democratic Georgia Senate candidates will seek to “free criminal aliens and MS-13 gang members…create sanctuary cities across the country.”
Carlson’s initial August 2018 report on Fox News prompted a Trump tweet and stemmed from false claims by right-wing groups in South Africa which detail “numerous seizures of white-owned land and widespread killings of white farmers,” as The New York Times reported right after the segment aired.
“South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has just begun the process of seizing land from its own citizens, without compensation, purely due to their skin color. That’s far more racist than anything Donald Trump has ever done, of course, but elites in America barely even care,” Carlson said at the time.
Carlson also noted in the “exclusive investigation” that Ramaphosa is “one of Barack Obama‘s favorite leaders in the world.”
And just hours later the president responded on Twitter: “I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. ‘South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.’ @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews.”
“What matters now, is that we get our White Brothers and Sisters out of South Africa,” reads one top comments on the Fox News YouTube channel. “The left wants to do this in the USA.”
“That’s what they want to do right here in Georgia, they want you to be quiet, they want you to go away. But we don’t go away,” Trump said, prompting loud cheers from his supporters. “We will never, ever surrender.”
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign and Georgia GOP for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.