The question: did Trump make America more racist or did America’s racism make Trump? Well, the answer may be both...Trump as president may be due to America’s racism, but Trump’s words and actions as president are making racism acceptable.
According to an investigation conducted by Reveal, there were 150 incidents of verbal or physical harassment over the past 18 months were Donald Trump was mentioned by the perpetrator. “Nearly every metric of intolerance in the U.S. has surged,” states Will Carless, a member of the investigative group, “from reported anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to violent hate crimes based on skin color, nationality or sexual orientation.”
This rise in hatred is being called the “Trump Effect.” Another study, conducted at UMass, found a correlation between Trump’s hateful and racist rhetoric and the willingness of white people to express a bigoted view. Brian Schaffner, the researcher behind the study, found that:
“Trump’s language [about Mexicans] doesn’t just embolden people to say more negative and more offensive things about the group he’s talking about, but it actually leads them to say more offensive things about all groups.”
Trump’s nasty, racist comments and Tweets are giving people permission to be bigots. According to Schaffner, people tend to take cues from others on what is socially acceptable, and now, they are taking their cues from Trump.
The studies seem to show that those Americans were already bigots, but Trump’s nastiness has given the racists of the country permission to say things they previously would have kept quiet about.