Figuring out what to do with Trump's base means admitting they are racist

Education all around is the only answer. It won’t save the current generation (30+) but the subsequent ones will have the tools to deal with change (and racist grand parents and parents),


Now lets not confuse being Racist with being a Bigot. Now most people are not racist, but everyone is a Bigot.

Racist-a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Bigot-a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.


Racist isn’t a binary state. I don’t mind admitting to being racist myself, I try not to be racist, but to one degree or another we are all products of our environment. Different people will have different levels of distaste for what Trump says based on their experience with anti-racism. For some people that distaste just is not enough to overcome their other reasons for voting for him or his party.

For example, many among the evangelical right are so motivated by abortion that everything else is drowned out and they just haven’t thought all that deeply about anti-racism to begin with. For some, as long as Trump doesn’t use any timeworn racial slurs they simply won’t pick up that anything is going on.


Quoting @Modusoperandi from a Billy Corgan thread:

He’s right. Political Correctness has reached the point where racists can’t use racist slurs without being accused of racism.


Not to derail, but looking at those “racial thermometer” charts: the fuck happened in 05 and 06? Did people see Hurricane Katrina and that started some slide where people just stopped liking minorities so much?


@chenille, that is what I was referencing. It seemed to me that Mr. Matthews was hand-waving away the demographics by cherry-picking data - recategorizing to support his view. But I do agree with you that these sweeping judgements are, as you say, “somewhere between incomplete and wrong.” I would just extend that sentiment to Jason’s headline as well.

@LearnedCoward, @Daedalus,

He, like many Americans, thinks the candidate from the other party is an inhuman monster, literally as bad as Hitler, who will cause the country to be literally, physically destroyed. My associate feels that he has to do whatever is necessary in order to prevent this, even though the choices are both clearly suboptimal. He thinks the alternative to electing a race-baiting charlatan is thermonuclear war. I haven’t had any success changing his mind.

It would be far more interesting to know the standard deviation than the average.


The problem I had at the beginning of this election, when Trump was nominated, was that I felt I had been unfairly hyperbolic in characterizing the people who voted, for example, for GW Bush. It took me a while to admit that it was completely fair and accurate to describe Trump supporters as stupid, racist, ignorant assholes. To be fair, they aren’t all stupid, or racist or ignorant or assholes, but they’re all at least two, maybe three out of four.

Because he’s a stupid, ignorant asshole?

That actually really accurately describes the position that many Trump supporters take. They don’t quite describe it like that - they talk about it as those “others” (not-white-Christian-straight-males) as “cutting in line,” but that’s exactly what they mean.


Some opinions are so blatantly vile/unscientific/stupid as to be unworthy of being tolerant of. For example:

vile: torturing animals
unscientific: “Intelligent Design”
stupid: ancient astronauts

Though lack of tolerance can be shown in different ways, some more acceptable than others. Myself, I merely grumble to like-minded folks.


A racist is someone who fantasises that there are multiple human races and that some are in some ways superior to others. It’s perfectly possible for a German married to a Colombian to be racist by holding that belief. Germans, after all, within living memory were able to persuade themselves that there were other Germans who were “racially inferior” - while regarding the Turks as being fellow Aryans.

Many Indians, for instance, have racist views and think that people of African descent are “racially inferior”; the whole “Aryan” nonsense originates in India and is embodied in the caste system, where skin colour is quite closely associated with caste, and the Aryans are believed to be the descendants of horse-using conquerors.


Now see that kind of thinking can be applied from both sides of the fence. People who believe such things likely think your a fool for disagreeing, or thinking something different.

The best solution is to ensure we live in a society where we don’t have to care what others believe. Alas we’re going the other direction, creating a system of government and social media that ensures that if you think different, you are both denigrated and demonized.


Welcome to my world. That’s what I’ve been told time and time again, but about voting Clinton over Trump. I’m not buying it. Clinton will win without my vote, and anyone on her side doesn’t give a fuck about my side or our votes, so I’m past caring.

I wouldn’t nearly go that far. Brainwashed by the media, perhaps.

  1. That was an exceptional article (as was the Vox article in the original post). Thanks for pointing us to it. I spent my entire childhood in the rural south and there’s a lot of truth in that Cracked article. Many (most?) of my family members are Trump supporters. It makes me happy I’m not on Facebook. My small town had a good economy and decent jobs when I was in high school 20 years ago. Now it’s a sad,desperate, dying place. The rural/urban divide is real.

  2. It’s not the only factor. Race plays a big role as well. Race and a general sense that the country is no longer custom tailored just for people like them. I’ve met a lot of Trump supporters in suburban Atlanta who have six figure incomes and $500K houses. They have college degrees, 401Ks, and boats on the lake. Like a lot of phenomena, this one is multifaceted. In fact, I think that explains Trump’s success so far. He’s managed to embody and give voice to a cross-section of White America.


Torturing animals for shits and giggles? I don’t even pretend to know how I’d respond to that.

This category, the unscientific and uninformed, makes me throw a Brown Flag on the play. I just tell whoever is talking to me to cut the bullshit and come correct.

If it’s merely stupid and doesn’t hurt anyone, I just smile and nod. I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers by challenging people’s beliefs, especially when the burden of proof is on them.


I get your point, but as I said, he’s not a racist.

You’ve run into the whole Asian Indian racism thing, too? I was quite surprised by that a few years back, because the first guy I really got to know personally as a friend, who had been raised in India, is one of the most congenial and non-racist people I’ve ever met. We generally used to hang out with people of Carribean and Chinese ethnic background. I foolishly supposed he was fairly representative of some common Indian attitude towards race, and boy was I wrong!


I do not agree, see my post above. A racist is someone who fantasises that there is more than one human race, which can be demonstrated by modern genetic analysis to be factually incorrect. In other words, racism is not a matter of opinion (trying to analyse someone’s behaviour to see if they treat people of different races differently) but a matter of fact (believing that there are multiple human races.)
Homo sapiens sapiens appears to have out-competed or exterminated other human races which were at one time coexistent (Neanderthal Man, Denisovans) leaving just one; we don’t describe black or brown labradors or spaniels as belonging to different dog races, so we can’t even argue our behaviour is consistent with the treatment of other species.


I wouldn’t extend that judgement to all people planning to vote Trump, though they have all persuaded themselves to overlook egregious racism. But Matthews makes very plain he is rather talking about his core support from the primary, reflected in the headline here about “Trump’s base”, rather than people like your coworker.

All the data I have ever seen on the subject seems to agree that racial concerns have been a driving factor for them, and most of the objections seem to simply amount to not wanting to admit it. Right up to now, where Matthews argued it’s more charitable to listen to what people are saying than dismiss them as “dupes voting for the wrong candidate because they’re too dumb to Google his tax plan”, and you characterized that as him fishing to apply a “load of scornful contempt”.

I agree with his main point that realizing what things are is an important part of dealing with them. It seems like it’s much more important to many people to find reasons racist concerns can’t possibly be that widespread, polls and other evidence notwithstanding. But then, we already had that argument back in March.


You don’t have to go very far away in my own family tree to find it. I’ve also run into it in India, though, as one of the pale people myself, in an inverse kind of way.
But what’s with “Asian Indians?” I don’t find “Asian” a useful descriptive term myself. It isn’t an ethnicity and it’s not that helpful as a geographical locator. Why the qualification?

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Sorry, I see how that looks a bit weird! I have American Indian friends as well. They prefer being called Indian to being called Native American, and I try to call people what they want. So I have gotten into the habit of putting a qualifier on “Indian” without really even being aware of it.

And “he’s an Asian Indian” sounds better than “he’s an Indian, you know, Indian Indian, not native American” which seems to be what most people around here say.


I’d say those are good replies. Though educators and related jobs probably should be called out for the stupid ones.

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I took it as a clarification of, “I don’t mean Native Americans.”. Or, apropos of the discussion currently happening in Toronto, “Not as in ‘Cleveland.’”