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Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric D. Trump to immigrants: "Go back to where you came from." Trump's racist tweets have long rhetorical roots

It is no exaggeration to say that President Donald J. Trump is one of the few leaders in modern America who has allowed himself xenophobic and openly racist rhetoric. There is strong evidence that Trump has encouraged racism and profited politically from it. First, Donald Trump's support in the 2016 campaign was clearly driven by racism, sexism, and xenophobia. While some observers attribute Trump's success to economic anxiety, the evidence shows that anti-immigrant, racist, and sexist sentiments were much more strongly associated with his support.

Second, there is a clear correlation between Trump's campaign events and incidents of biased violence. FBI data show that after his election, an anomalous spike in hate crimes was concentrated in counties where Trump won by a wide margin. It was the second largest spike in hate crimes in the 25 years for which data are available, second only to the post-9/11 2001 spike. While hate crimes tend to be most frequent in the summer, in 2016 they peaked in the fourth quarter. (October-December). This new, higher rate of hate crimes continued throughout 2017.

Third, the link between Trump and hate crimes is not limited to the election itself. Another study, based on data collected by the Anti-Defamation League, shows that counties that hosted a Trump campaign rally in 2016 saw more than double the rate of hate crimes compared to similar counties that did not host a rally.

The data analysis discussed above focused on correlations; they suggest a link between Trump and racist attitudes and behavior, but do not actually demonstrate that one leads to the other. There are, however, causal links to be pointed out. In experiments, exposure to Trump's rhetoric actually reinforces the expression of prejudice. In a 2017 survey, researchers randomly showed some respondents the president's racist comments, such as: "When Mexico sends their people, they don't send the best people. They send people who have a lot of problems... They bring drugs. They bring crime. They're rapists. And some, I guess, are good people."

Other respondents learned of Hillary Clinton's statement condemning biased Trump supporters. Later in the study, respondents were asked what they thought of various groups, including Mexicans, blacks and young people. Those who read Trump's words were more likely to write derogatory things not just about Mexicans, but about other groups as well. In contrast, those who heard Clinton's words were less likely to express offensive views toward Muslims. Words matter, and the data prove it.

After stepping down as president in 2020. D. Trump has not stopped his racist outbursts, which is especially troubling given his possible ambitions for the 2024 presidential campaign. In March 2021, for example, the former president called COVID-19 the Chinese virus. And he was not the only member of the administration to use racist language when referring to the virus. Repeatedly, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to the disease as "the Wuhan virus." In June, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway insisted that the president's use of such terms was not only acceptable, but necessary, saying, "The president has made clear that he wants everyone to understand ... that the virus originated in China." Then press secretary Kaylee Mackinany similarly told reporters that Trump had simply "put the blame on China" and "linked [the virus] to its place of origin." Meanwhile, in April, the administration hired Michael Caputo as a Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, even though he tweeted in March 2020 that "millions of Chinese are sucking blood from rabid bats as snacks and eating ass from anteaters." ; asking one user, "Don't you have a bat to eat?"

In January 2022, Trump said about health care in New York, "Now the left is rationing vital therapies based on race, discriminating and demeaning, just demeaning white people to determine who lives and who dies." - Trump said. "You get that based on race. In fact, in New York State, if you're white, you have to go to the back of the line to get health care. If you're white, you go right to the back of the line."

In January 2022, during a rally in Texas, he said the black prosecutors investigating him were "racists" and called for mass protests if they did anything he deemed "wrong or illegal." He also said he intends to return to "the house. which turned out to be white," and one of his actions as president could be to pardon those convicted of their actions during last year's U.S. Capitol Rebellion, when more than 750 people were charged with crimes. "If I run and win, we will treat fairly those people who happened on Jan. 6," Trump said. "We will treat them fairly. And if it calls for a pardon, we will give them a pardon because they are being treated so unfairly."

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