Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for President Trump’s 2016 campaign and senior adviser for his 2020 campaign, compared Democratic women wearing all-white to the State of the Union (SOTU) address to honor suffragists to wearing Ku Klux Klan robes on Twitter.
Democratic women elected to wear white to “stand together wearing white in solidarity with the women of the suffrage movement who refused to take no for an answer.”
“The only thing that the Democrats uniform was missing tonight is the matching hood,” Pierson tweeted early Wednesday morning.
The only thing that the Democrats uniform was missing tonight is the matching hood.
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) February 6, 2019
Pierson wasn’t the only critic of Democrats who sought to draw a comparison between the attire and the KKK.
“The Democrat women all dressed in white—to show solidarity with the Ku Klux Klan? As a tribute to Good Humor salesmen? To look like insane asylum attendants? They like dressing like Charlie Chan?” radio host Mark Simone tweeted.
The Democrat women all dressed in white – to show solidarity with the Ku Klux Klan? As a tribute to Good Humor salesmen? To look like insane asylum attendants? They like dressing like Charlie Chan? #StateOfTheUnion2019
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) February 6, 2019
The Rev. Darrell Scott, a former member of the presidential transition team, tweeted that Democrats had on their “Klan colors.”
Sean Davis, co-founder of conservative website The Federalist, also alluded to the KKK reference on Twitter, describing the group of mostly female Democrats as “a bunch of ghouls.”
“Tonight is not the first time a bunch of ghouls dressed in white denied the humanity of an entire class of people in order to continue perpetuating horrific violence against them,” Davis wrote.
President Trump’s 25-year-old daughter Tiffany Trump also wore white to the SOTU.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 6, 2019
This is not the first time Conservatives have attempted to link the KKK’s origins to the Democratic Party.
In 2013, Stephen Martin, who was then serving as a state senator in Virginia, claimed that the Democratic Party created the KKK. Martin subsequently withdrew the statement, and Politifact rated the claim false.
The Washington Post fact-checked the claim last year, writing:
“The original Ku Klux Klan was founded after the Civil War to terrorize the formerly enslaved and push back against efforts to create a multiracial America. What historians call the Second Ku Klux Klan launched in 1915 and reached the apex of its power in the mid-1920s, when it exerted deep cultural and political influence around the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that tracks hate groups, estimates that the Klan had up to 4 million active members in the United States at its apex, about 5 percent of the adult population.
“Klansmen were influential inside both major parties, pushing racism, nativism, Prohibition and especially anti-Catholicism. In the South, Jim Crow-supporting Democrats made a natural fit for the KKK. But in Midwestern industrial towns full of immigrant Catholics and Jews who voted Democratic, the Klan took root largely among Republicans. The Klan was Democratic in Oregon and Republican in Indiana—two of its biggest strongholds. By the end of the decade, the organization, whose membership remained semi-secret, claimed 11 governors, 16 senators and as many as 75 congressmen—roughly split between Republicans and Democrats.”