But the Anti-Defamation League said its database is not used to keep track of historical Nazi symbols, and only lists symbols commonly used by modern extremists and white supremacists in the United States. And the group denounced the Trump campaign for using the image.
“Whether aware of the history or meaning, for the Trump campaign to use a symbol — one which is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps — to attack his opponents is offensive and deeply troubling,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. “It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery. We implore the Trump campaign to take greater caution and familiarize themselves with the historical context before doing so.”
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum also weighed in on Twitter, noting that the red triangle was “the most common category of prisoners registered at the German Nazi #Auschwitz camp.”
Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers and the author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said that “the origin of the symbol is universally agreed to be with the Nazis and the concentration camps.” He added that the red triangle was not part of the symbolism of antifa in the United States.
The fact that the triangle has been reclaimed by some anti-fascists, Mr. Bray said, does not give the Trump campaign license to use the same symbol to attack antifa. “This is a symbol that represented the extermination of leftists,” he said. “It is a death threat against leftists. There’s no way around what that means historically.”
Mr. Trump and his campaign have often charged forward with little regard for the impact of hateful symbols, leaving critics with the impression that they are posting purposefully incendiary and racist content online.
“When you’re already perceived or painted as a racist, everything you do that is insensitive only adds to the narrative that you’re a racist,” said Randal Pinkett, who was the first African-American winner of Mr. Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/us/politics/facebook-trump-ads-antifa-red-triangle.html