October 30, 2016
“Many political commentators credit Donald Trump’s rise to white voters’ antipathy toward racial and ethnic minorities. However, we believe this focus on racial resentment obscures another important aspect of racial thinking.
In a study of white Americans’ attitudes and candidate preferences, we found that Trump’s success reflects the rise of “white identity politics”—an attempt to protect the collective interests of white voters via the ballot box. Whereas racial prejudice refers to animosity toward other racial groups, white identity reflects a sense of connection to fellow white Americans.
We’re not the first to tie Trump’s candidacy to white identity politics. But our data provide some of the clearest evidence that ongoing demographic changes in the United States are increasing white racial identity. White identity, in turn, is pushing white Americans to support Trump. …
Exactly the same patterns emerged for these questions as for Trump support: Endorsement of white identity politics was highest in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods and was strongly correlated with white racial identity. These results suggest that America’s growing ethnic diversity is creating a politicized form of white identity that has clear repercussions for future elections.
Why does it matter that whites’ politics are driven by concerns about the interests of their racial group? It suggests that racial bias increasingly reflects attention to the welfare of one’s own group rather than animus toward other groups. These collective concerns are only going to become more pronounced as the nation becomes more diverse.
Recent research in social psychology suggests that when whites engage in discrimination based on their perceived collective interests, it’s hard to convince them that such discrimination is wrong. After all, doesn’t every group have a right to prioritize its own members? We believe our results portend increasing difficulty in achieving the democratic aim of getting race out of American politics.”
Regardless of the outcome in November, the future is clear: racial polarization is increasing, taboos are cracking, liberalism is failing, and White racial consciousness is growing. If Trump loses in November, the White electorate in 2020 will just be even angrier and more racially polarized than this one.
Has no one ever looked at our prisons and projected America’s future?