The Racial and Cultural Divide


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Yet Trump voters rate minorities relatively warmly. Racial ideology rather than race accounts for their differences with white Democrats: White Republicans reject affirmative action, the notion of white privilege and the idea that racial discrimination continues to hold minorities back.

Racial Attitudes and Political Correctness in the Presidential Election - Niskanen

Minorities again rank in between on many of these measures. A mix of races are found in each racial ideology, preventing tribe and creed from pushing in the same direction, which might lead to civil conflict. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor.

Here are some tips. Their own race. Other race. Black Clinton voters. White Trump voters. Black Trump voters. White Clinton voters. White liberal. White Democrat. Minority Democrat. Black Democrat. White Republican. White Clinton voter. Asian all voters. Black all voters. Hispanic all voters. White Trump voter.

American Racial and Ethnic Politics in the 21st Century: A cautious look ahead

But these findings may still be explained by cultural views. Shocks from Chinese imports, for instance, drive negative attitudes towards minorities more than attitudes toward free trade. Geographically, high Latino-growth areas were more likely to move toward Trump.

Voters were especially sensitive and emotionally responsive to claims of an impending American white minority. Asking about statements that might be offensive to particular groups increased support for Trump. His supporters were more fearful about restrictive communication norms. Beliefs that political norms around offensive speech silence important discussions and prevent people from sharing their views are widespread, particularly among conservatives. Many conservatives say they cannot discuss topics like gay rights, race, gender, or foreign policy for fear of being called racist or sexist.

Opposition to political correctness thus incorporates aversion to norms toward discrimination claims. Questions tied to political correctness could tap the same underlying views as those explicitly about racial and gender discrimination. My own work finds that racial attitudes are related to broader sentiments about celebrations of diversity and the undermining of traditional American values. Associations between all of these views and Trump support should not be taken as unidirectional and causal. It is instead increasing ly associated with most other political attitudes, increasing among Republicans and decreasing among Democrats.

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Politically-aware partisans are most likely to sort into their majority party viewpoint on racial attitudes. Panel studies show reciprocal causation, with prior partisanship driving racial views more than the reverse. Vote choice predictions used for other elections were still substantially improved by adding racial attitude measures.

But there have now been more changes in racial attitudes among Democrats than Republicans, suggesting that reactions to Democratic elite messages and the campaign context were also driving views. He later attacked a federal judge of Mexican heritage as inherently biased, the textbook definition of racism. According to the common view, he made the subtext of prior campaigns the text and turned dog whistles into blowhorns. Running after the first racial minority president and against the first female nominee made his statements particularly salient.

His negative statements about minority groups were recognized by voters—but not positively. And a surprisingly high proportion of Trump voters said they did not like him personally, often citing his language. That made their ad campaign a vast historical outlier compared to prior elections; Clinton talked a lot less about policy issues and a lot less positively overall. Clinton raised the salience of norms about off-limits race and gender discourse, believing it would help her win votes but may have also activated views of political correctness. As a result, class attitudes had no effect in , even though they had been dominant in Far more often than his explicit racial statements, Trump incorporated rhetoric combining conservative sentiments with symbols that invoke racial attitudes.

Opinions of police use of force were related to Trump and Clinton support early in the campaign and law enforcement became an important Trump constituency, boosting Republicans. Trump took advantage of a moment of rising racial conflict. As he began to campaign in , there had been a large upsurge in attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, protests of police violence, and campus protests of discrimination.


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The Baltimore Freddie Gray protests and riots before his announcement, and the Ferguson anniversary protests after it, stimulated widespread media attention and public interest. Later in , a campus hunger strike at the University of Missouri stimulated similar racial protests at other universities. Conservative media covered the escalating series of events continuously and sensationally, connecting them with a crisis atmosphere and rising minority group demands. Conservatives linked their views of universities and cities as coddling protesters and criminals, in their minds both stifling viewpoints and promoting disorder.

Trump took advantage of the backlash against perceived new demands for cultural reorganization to redress discrimination. Trump voters thus perceived rising crime alongside demands to limit police actions that hurt minorities, rising terrorism alongside norms against singling out Muslims, and declining opportunities for men alongside expectations to avoid mistreating women. Clinton voters saw rising diversity and increasing openness to people of all types being threatened by a backward-looking and shame-worthy candidate.

Both perceptions were responses to the central messages of the candidates and the context of the campaign. A lot of energy has been invested in understanding Trump support, even though he got fewer votes than Clinton nationally and won mostly the same voters as prior Republican candidates. But history rides on such contingencies as the decisions of a small share of voters in the upper Midwest. The popular interpretation of elections is also critical for future politics. That makes the expanding academic field of Trump studies important to get right.

The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide
The Racial and Cultural Divide

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