PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to document the racist undertones of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign rhetoric and draw implications regarding its impact on equality, diversity, and inclusion. Most contemporary individuals reject explicitly racist beliefs and strive to present themselves as having egalitarian attitudes toward other races and ethnicities. However, commonly held implicit biases toward historically marginalized racioethnic groups drive negative effect that is often unconscious and unacknowledged. Inconsistency between the conscious and unconscious aspects of contemporary racism generates a population of individuals who are uncomfortable with their attitudes, creating an opening for politicians willing to leverage racist rhetoric and gain support by resolving this inconsistency.Design/methodology/approachThis paper applies social psychological theory and research to address the questions of what attracts otherwise non-racist individuals to racist-tinged rhetoric. The paper also provides theory-based interventions for reducing the attractiveness and impact of racist political campaigns.FindingsSupporters of racist politicians resolve the conflict between their negative feelings toward racioethnic minorities and their espoused anti-racist views by distancing themselves from racist rhetorical content in three ways: by denying that racist statements or actions occurred, denying that the statements or actions are racist, and/or by denying responsibility for racism and its effects. These techniques provide supporters with validation from an authority that they can express their negative affect toward out-groups and still consider themselves to be good people and not racists.Practical implicationsDistancing from racism has allowed contemporary American extremists to reframe themselves as victims of closed-minded progressives seeking to elevate undeserving and/or dangerous out-groups at the in-group’s expense. Effective anti-racism techniques are needed to counter implicit biases in order to limit the attractiveness of extremist views. Implicit biases can be effectively reduced through training in counter-stereotypic imaging, stereotype replacement, and structured inter-group interaction. Effectively countering denial of the facts involves affirming the audience’s belief system while building skepticism toward the sources of misinformation.Social implicationsWhile countering racist politicians requires commitment, these efforts are essential for protecting the identity of the USA as a society striving toward equality, diversity, and inclusion.Originality/valueBy articulating the social psychological principles underpinning racist-tinged populist rhetoric, this paper explains the attractiveness of racist statements by politicians, which tends to be under-estimated.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 14, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.
Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.
It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera