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Dear Editor,

When I first saw the image accompanying the opinion article, "You can be a Nationalist and not be a White Nationalist," I legitimately believed it was a parody image.

It's extremely disingenuous to separate Richard Spencer from Donald Trump on the topic of nationalism, considering that Spencer openly endorsed Trump by wailing, "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" following the election, complete with a Nazi salute. Not to mention, there's Trump's plethora of racist comments and actions extending decades — from violating the Fair Housing Act to the travel ban to separating families.

This also brings into question the source of the piece's definition of nationalism, which conveniently shifts dictionary sources to distance nationalism from white nationalism, using Dictionary.com for the former and Oxford Dictionary for the latter.

If we use the Oxford dictionary, then nationalism is "identification with one's own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations." The phrase, "especially to the exclusion or detriment of others," is in both the Oxford definition for nationalism and white nationalism near verbatim.

If we still use Dictionary.com's definition, we would also have to consider that the recommended synonyms for "nationalism" include "chauvinism," "narrowness," and "ethnocentricity."

I recognize that it's just an opinion piece, but from what I read, this was insidious in concept and vile in execution. I expect better.

- Cristobal Spielmann

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