Trump promised, The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end, citing the presidents hometown of Chicago. He warned that 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens, and said that Clinton was calling for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming. A bleak vision, but one that any regular Fox News viewer would recognize. The white-supremacist journal American Renaissance applauded Trumps message. Each political party proposes an implicit racial vision, wrote one contributor. A trump Administration is a return to the America that won the west, landed on the moon, and built an economy and military that stunned the world.
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I have people that have been studying Obama's birth certificate and they cannot believe what they're finding, he said in 2011. If he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility. Then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics. Trump began his candidacy with a speech announcing that undocumented immigrants from Mexico were bringing drugs. And some, he said, ireland were good people. To keep them out, he proposed building a wall and humiliating Mexico for its citizens transgressions by forcing their government to pay for. He vowed to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Amid heightened attention to fatal police shootings of unarmed black people and a subsequent cry for accountability, trump decried a war on police while telling black Americans they lived in war zones, in communities that were in the worst shape theyve ever been in—a remarkable. He promised to institute a national stop and frisk policy, a police tactic that turns black and Latino Americans into criminal suspects in their own neighborhoods, and which had recently been struck down in his native new York as unconstitutional. Trump expanded on this vision in his 2016 Republican National Convention speech, which gestured save toward the suffering of nonwhites and painted a dark portrait of an America under assault by people of color through crime, immigration, and competition for jobs.
Their support was enough to win the White house, and has solidified a return to a politics of white identity that has been one of the most destructive forces in American history. This all occurred before the eyes of a disbelieving press and political class, who plunged into fierce denial about how and why this had happened. That is the story of the 2016 election. One of the first mentions of Trump in The new York times was in 1973, as a result of a federal discrimination lawsuit against his buildings over his companys refusal to rent to black tenants. In 1989, he took out a full-page newspaper ad suggesting that the central Park five, black and Latino youths accused of the assault and rape of a white jogger, should be put to death. They were donation later exonerated. His rise to prominence in Republican politics was first fueled by his embrace of the conspiracy theory that the first black president of the United States was not an American citizen.
Nearly a year into his presidency, trump has reneged or faltered on many of his biggest campaign promises—on renegotiating nafta, punishing China, and replacing the Affordable care Act with something that preserves all its popular provisions but with none of its drawbacks. But his commitment to endorsing state violence to remake the country into something resembling an idealized past has not wavered. He made a farce of his populist campaign by putting bankers in charge of the economy and industry insiders at the head of the federal agencies established to regulate their businesses. But other campaign promises have been more faithfully enacted: his ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries; red the unleashing of immigration-enforcement agencies against anyone in the country illegally regardless of whether he poses a danger; an attempt to cut legal immigration in half; and an abdication. In his own stumbling manner, Trump has pursued the race-based agenda promoted during his campaign. As the president continues to pursue a program that places the social and political hegemony of white Christians at its core, his supporters have shown few signs of abandoning him. One hundred thirty-nine years since reconstruction, and half a century since the tail end of the civil-rights movement, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who explicitly pledged to use the power of the state against people of color and religious minorities, and stood.
Rather, they saw themselves as antiracist, as people who held no hostility toward religious and ethnic minorities whatsoever—a sentiment they projected onto their candidate. I dont feel like hes racist. I dont personally feel like anybody would have been able to do what hes been able to do with his personal business if he were a horrible person, michelle, a stay-at-home mom in Virginia, told. Far more numerous and powerful than the extremists in Berkeley and Charlottesville who have drawn headlines since Trumps election, these Americans, who would never think of themselves as possessing racial animus, voted for a candidate whose ideal vision of America excludes millions of fellow citizens. The specific dissonance of Trumpism—advocacy for discriminatory, even cruel, policies combined with vehement denials that such policies are racially motivated—provides the emotional core of its appeal. It is the most recent manifestation of a contradiction as old as the United States, a society founded by slaveholders on the principle that all men are created equal. While other factors also led to Trumps victory—the last-minute letter from former fbi director James Comey, the sexism that rationalized supporting Trump despite his confession of sexual assault, hillary Clintons neglect of the midwest—had racism been toxic to the American electorate, trumps candidacy would not.
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If so, how could Americans, the vast majority of whom say they oppose racism, back a racist candidate? During the final few weeks of the campaign, i asked dozens of Trump supporters about their candidates remarks regarding Muslims and people of color. I wanted to understand how these average republicans—those who would never read the neo-nazi website The daily Stormer or go to a klan rally at a confederate statue—had nevertheless embraced someone who demonized religious and ethnic minorities. What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked. It was not just Trumps supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-washington anger, economic anxiety—to the. The frequent postelection media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trumps most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are page a direct outgrowth of this mistake.
These supporters will not change their minds, because this is letter what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed. I believe that everybody has a right to be in the United States no matter what your color, no matter what your race, your religion, what sex you prefer to be with, so Im not against that at all, but I think that some. However, she also defended Trumps remarks on race and religion explicitly when i asked about them. I think the other party likes to blow it out of proportion and kind of twist his words, but what he says is what he means, and its what a lot of us are thinking. Most Trump supporters I spoke with were not people who thought of themselves as racist.
Trump later predicted that duke, if he ran for president, would siphon most of his votes away from the incumbent, george. Bush—in the process revealing his own understanding of the effectiveness of white-nationalist appeals to the gop base. Whether that be good or bad, david duke is going to get a lot of votes. Pat Buchanan—who really has many of the same theories, except it's in a better package—pat Buchanan is going to take a lot of votes away from george bush, Trump said. So if you have these two guys running, or even one of them running, i think george bush could be in big trouble. Little more than a year later, buchanan embarrassed Bush by drawing 37 percent of the vote in New Hampshires Republican primary.
In February 2016, Trump was asked by a different cnn host about the former Klan leaders endorsement of his Republican presidential bid. Well, just so you understand, i dont know anything about david duke. I dont know anything about what youre even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So i dont know. Less than three weeks before the 2016 presidential election, donald Trump declared himself the least racist person you have ever met. Even before he won, the United States was consumed by a debate over the nature of his appeal. Was racism the driving force behind Trumps candidacy?
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Dont make the mistake of thinking david duke is a unique phenomenon confined to louisiana rednecks and yahoos. Hes not, percy water said. Hes not just appealing to the old Klan constituency, hes appealing to the white middle class. And dont think that he or somebody like him wont appeal to the white middle class of Chicago or queens. A few days after dukes strong showing, the queens-born businessman Donald Trump appeared on cnns. I mean, thats an anger vote. People are angry about whats happened. People are angry about the jobs. If you look at louisiana, theyre resume really in deep trouble, trump told King.
Many of dukes voters steadfastly denied that the former Klan leader was a racist. Petersburg Times reported in 1990 that duke supporters are likely to blame the media for making him look like a racist. The paper"d. Miller, a 59-year-old oil-and-gas lease buyer, who said, The way i understood the Klan, its not anti-this or anti-that. Dukes rejoinder to the ads framing him as a racist resonated with his supporters. Remember, he told them at rallies, when they smear me, they are really smearing you. The economic explanation carried the day: duke was a freak creature of the bayou who had managed to tap into the frustrations of a struggling sector of the louisiana electorate with an abnormally training high tolerance for racist messaging. While the rest of the country gawked at louisiana and the duke fiasco, walker Percy, a louisiana author, gave a prophetic warning. The new York times.
had one of the least-educated electorates in the nation; and a large working class that has suffered through a long recession, The post stated. By accepting the economic theory of dukes success, the media were buying into the candidates own vision of himself as a savior of the working class. He had appealed to voters in economic terms: he tore into welfare and foreign aid, affirmative action and outsourcing, and attacked political-action committees for subverting the interests of the common man. He even tried to appeal to black voters, buying a 30-minute ad in which he declared, Im not your enemy. Dukes candidacy had initially seemed like a joke. He was a former Klan leader who had showed up to public events in a nazi uniform and lied about having served in the vietnam War, a cartoonishly vain supervillain whose belief in his own status as a genetic Übermensch was belied by his plastic. The joke soon soured, as many white louisiana voters made clear that dukes past didnt bother them.
Was it anti-washington rage? A loyola University pollster argued, There were the voters who liked duke, those who hated. Bennett Johnston, and those who just wanted to send a message to washington. What message would those voters have been trying to send by putting a klansman into office? Theres definitely a message bigger than louisiana here, susan Howell, then the director of the survey research Center at the University of New Orleans, told the. There is a tremendous amount of anger and frustration among working-class whites, particularly where there is an economic downturn. These people feel left out; they feel government thesis is not responsive to them. Dukes strong showing, however, wasnt powered merely by poor or working-class whites—and the poorest demographic in the state, black voters, backed Johnston. Duke clobbered Johnston in white working-class districts, ran even with him in predominantly white middle-class suburbs, and lost only because black louisianans, representing one-quarter of the electorate, voted against him in overwhelming numbers, The washington Post reported in 1990.
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Thirty years ago, nearly half of louisiana voted for a klansman, and the media struggled to explain why. It was 1990 and david duke, the former grand wizard of the ku klux Klan, astonished political observers when he came within striking distance of defeating incumbent Democratic. Bennett Johnston, earning 43 percent of the vote. If Johnstons Republican rival hadnt dropped out of the race and endorsed him at the last global minute, the outcome might have been different. Was it economic anxiety? The washington Pos t reported that the state had a large working class that has suffered through a long recession. Was it a blow against the states hated political establishment? An editorial from United Press International explained, louisianans showed the nation by voting for duke that they were mad as hell and not going to take it any more.