[…] America’s demographics are changing, and they’re changing quickly. By 2055, there will no longer be a single racial or ethnic majority in the United States and 14 percent of the country will be foreign born, according to the Pew Research Center. Forty-three percent of Millennials are people of color.
Let’s be clear: This is scaring white voters. White people believe that they are more often the victims of racism than black people, according to a 2011 new study from researchers at Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. The research also found that white voters perceived social progress for people of color to be much swifter than it actually is.
The authors wrote, “These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality — at their expense.”
Research has also established that as U.S. demographics shift, the pro-white and racist attitudes of white people become more apparent, according to a study from New York University and Northwestern University. The same researchers also found those who read about these demographic changes often are generally more supportive of conservative policies and more likely to identify as conservative.
Throughout history, there are many examples of how the racism of white voters has been mobilized to favor a candidate for president. We saw Barry Goldwater and President Richard Nixon employ the Southern Strategy, which took advantage of white people’s anxieties about the economic and social advancement of people of color. Writing in Slate, Jamelle Bouie describes this pattern of progress and white backlash, starting with the Reconstruction:
Like clockwork, white Americans embraced a man who promised a kind of supremacy. We haven’t left our long cycle of progress and backlash. We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.
We have also seen these fears manifest themselves overseas as European far-right political parties with anti-immigrant sentiments win historic victories.
The fear of white voters — the fear we will no longer be at the center of American politics and culture, having our needs tended to first, and the fear that we will be asked to acknowledge our role in white supremacy and to stop doing harm to people of color, whether it be violence or perpetuating racist stereotypes — has always been there. Now, we need to acknowledge that it is largely what motivated Trump voters. A majority of Trump supporters said they saw black people as “less evolved” than white people, according to a Slate survey with a sample of 2,000 non-Hispanic white people.
When we say that class is what takes a Trump voter from dangerous to misguided and confused, we are condescending to low-income people living in rural areas. By doing this, the media takes away their agency and suggests they didn’t know any better. But they know exactly what they have done. […]
Yes, they do know exactly what they’ve done, and they all have their little justifications for doing it, and it all goes back to the comfort of being on top of the people pile, being assured that yes, of course white people are superior, and you have every right in the world to stomp all over those others. My state, nDakota, had a great deal to do with Trump being elected, and I can’t even begin to express how uncomfortable I am right now, how much anxiety and fear fills me whenever I look at any white person in this state, knowing there’s a high probability they voted for that xenophobic, homophobic bigot, open racist, a rapist, a sexual predator, a con man, an open fraud, a sociopath, pathological liar, climate change denier and ignorant asspimple. Much like my country, my home [state] has disappeared, swallowed whole by intolerant assholes who think they are owed the right to stomp on other people, to oppress, to marginalize, to own, to rule. There just aren’t enough fucks in the universe for those of you to whom nothing was more important than your shallow need to control other people, to safeguard your racism. *spits*