Racism got worse in American under President Obama but has gotten far better in America under President Trump – but the media has gone to great lengths not to credit Trump for this.
But a study by a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania found “anti-black prejudice took a sharp dive that was statistically significant,” there was “also a general fall in anti-Hispanic prejudice” and “the decline was as evident among Republican voters as it was among Democrats.”
The academics who performed the study said they “had been expecting to measure a rise in racist opinions in the Trump era, “especially among Republicans or Trump supporters” and “had been led to expect this after an extensive reading of recent literature in social sciences.”
The Washington Post simply could not accept these results.
“Racial prejudice has declined as a reaction to Trump’s presidency,” a new study suggests,” reads the headline on Isaac Stanley-Becker’s piece Friday in the Post.
“Donald Trump began his campaign for the presidency by branding Mexicans as ‘rapists,’” wrote Stanley-Becker in his lead. “He initially declined to denounce David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. One week after his 2017 inauguration, the president temporarily banned people from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States. That summer, he said there were ‘very fine people’ among torch-wielding white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville.”
Trump did denounce Duke; his ban on people from the seven Muslim countries was an extension of an Obama-era policy, and the notion Trump praised racists in Charlottesville has been thoroughly debunked.
Realizing the finding could have an impact on the 2020 presidential election, Stanley-Becker wrote: “Now, those who are seeking to deny President Trump a second term say their mission is not only replacing him in the Oval Office but also leading Americans back from their own baser instincts.
Stanley-Becker acknowledged the study results, saying “Racial prejudice has not increased among white Americans since the explosive 2016 election” and “has actually decreased by some measures … possibly as a reaction to Trump’s unexpected ascension to the White House.”
Stanley-Becker asked Daniel Hopkins, the leader of the study, if it were possible “Trump has simultaneously galvanized a small number of highly prejudiced white Americans while also pushing millions more to affirm that they are not as prejudice,” and the professor said this was “conceivable.”
Stanley-Becker then leapt in front of the evidence to declare: “In other words, Hopkins believes the study provides evidence that the racially incendiary rhetoric and policies issuing from Trump’s White House have pushed the majority of Americans in the opposite direction.”
Stanley-Becker wrote that Trump was “emboldening people who hold racist beliefs to state them outright. “There are two ways that effect might play out, the study observes. One is normalization, whereby members of the public would feel more comfortable expressing racist beliefs that they always harbored but once felt were outside the mainstream. The other is so-called opinion leadership, whereby the public would be moved to adopt racist positions advanced by political elites.
“Instead, the authors found evidence of an altogether different effect – people actually moving away from the positions embraced by those in power.”
John Nolte of Breitbart does not agree. “The only way the media have been able to smear Trump as a racist is through lies and deliberate misquotes. The Charlottesville hoax is a perfect example, as is Jake Tapper’s serial lie about Trump mocking a reporter’s disability, as is Jim Acosta’s latest lie about Trump smearing all migrants.
“But no one had to misquote Obama’s rhetoric against the police on every single racially charged issue, his relentless attacks on Republicans as racist, his role (and CNN’s) in exacerbating the racial tensions that resulted in race riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, or his supporters; relentless attacks on everyday Americans as racist.”
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Author: Brian McNicoll