PBS Explains Why It Didn’t Acknowledge Trump Supporter’s Alleged White Supremacist Tattoos

By Sameer Rao Mar 17, 2016

PBS recently addressed a controversial news report about Donald Trump supporters after several outlets and viewers identified what appear to be White supremacist tattoos on one supporter. 

Tuesday’s (March 15) edition of PBS NewsHour included a segment about a White family in Fayetteville, North Carolina, who campaigns for Trump. The story was posted online, and several people and media outlets—including Gawker and Talking Points Memo—noticed that one of the family members sported two tattoos commonly associated with White supremacist hate groups. On her left hand, Grace Tilly has the number "88," which the Anti-Defamation League identifies as "numerical code for ‘Heil Hitler.’" On the right, she has a Celtic or Odin’s Cross, which is frequently worn by neo-Nazis, skinheads and KKK members.

The segment did not identify Tilly’s tattoos as White supremacist in nature, but the site posted an editor’s note acknowledging the controversy: 

In this case, a debate about Grace Tilly’s tattoos has started online. As you can see in the comments section posted with this story, Ms. Tilly argues that these tattoos are not representative of neo-Nazi positions, but are connected to her family’s Celtic religious beliefs. That is what she told our producers as well. Others among our online commenters vehemently disagree.

The controversy is the latest to focus on how Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric resonates with White supremacists. 

(H/t PBS NewsHour, Gawker, Talking Points Memo