Zarate had been deported five times before Steinle’s death, returning each time. He had seven felony convictions, mostly for drug possession and felony re-entry into the United States. San Francisco police had arrested him for an unrelated crime earlier, but—as is the practice of many “sanctuary cities”—officials released the undocumented Mexican immigrant instead of turning him over to immigration officials.

A jury found Zarate not guilty of manslaughter and murder on Thursday but convicted him on felony gun-possession charges. In response to the verdict, Trump immediately tweeted:

This is how you ignite the torches.

The day after the verdict, Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department issued an arrest warrant for Zarate. Republican lawmakers championed an amendment to immigration legislation that they now refer to as “Kate’s Law” that passed the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate.

Steinle’s parents resisted the urge to join the angry horde. “We were just what he needed,” Steinle’s mother, Liz Sullivan, said of Trump. ”Beautiful girl, San Francisco, illegal immigrant, arrested a million times, a violent crime and yadda, yadda, yadda,” she said. “We were the perfect storm for that man.”

But the mob mentality doesn’t care about intent or truth. Steinle’s parents have watched their daughter become a new-millennium Carolyn Bryant even though they initially said they didn’t want to sensationalize their daughter’s death or use her as a talking point. “I don’t know who coined ‘Kate’s Law.’ It certainly wasn’t us,” said her father, Jim Steinle.

But it is too late for that. The torches are lit. The pitchforks are in hand. The lynch mob has now assembled.

On Sunday, Richard Spencer held a march in protest of the Steinle verdict. He was joined by Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party, one of the largest groups of white nationalists in the country. Also present was Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, host of the seminal white supremacist podcast The Daily Shoah. (Racists aren’t particularly known for their creativity.)

The hashtag #BuildKatesWall is trending on Twitter, and Kate Steinle’s death has become a cause célèbre. Many cite it as an indication that scary illegal Mexicans are coming over here to steal jobs, peace and safety away from white America.

While the story of Steinle is tragic, it has exploded into something more. She has been transformed into a political football tossed back and forth between Trump and his conservative (pronounced “ray-cyst”) base.

Most important, Steinle’s death and the hoopla surrounding it have become the clarion call to rally the masses who believe that America belongs to them and the only way to preserve the supremacy of the great white race and its beautiful, innocent white women is to vanquish the violent brown and black threat with walls, nooses or deportation storm troopers. This case simply recycles the politics of fear and hate as the impetus to unite this nation’s oldest law-enforcement authority:

The lynch mob.