Edited by Andreas Musolff
[Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 5:2] 2017
► pp. 323–346
Donald Trump supporters and the denial of racism
An analysis of online discourse in a pro-Trump community
Donald Trump’s campaign to become president of the United States was shocking for many people. His negative representations of racialized immigrant groups were one of the most controversial aspects of the campaign, leading to frequent accusations of racism. This study explores how his supporters responded to such accusations. Discussions of racism within a pro-Trump reddit community, called “The_Donald”, were analyzed. The_Donald users adamantly denied that Trump’s statements or proposed policies were racist. Their dismissal of these accusations drew on and extended the logic of color-blind racism. They argued that such accusations were merely cynical political tactics and advocated that Trump supporters respond to them as such. Their favored response strategies superficially resembled genuine debate but were apparently intended to incite emotional responses from accusers and to compel them to disengage from conversations. The article discusses these strategies in light of the ongoing polarization of political debate around immigration.
- 2.Color blind racism and the discourse of immigration
- 3.Political debate online
- 5.1Weaponizing accusations of racism
- 5.2Strategies for responding to accusations of racism
- 6.1Summary of findings
- 6.2A new or resurrected form of racial discourse?
Cited by 7 other publications
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