Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 


Why Racists Flock to Trump's Rhetoric

Expert Who Has Studied White Supremacy for Almost 50 Years Explains Why Racists Flock to Trump's Rhetoric

The president-elect knows exactly what he's saying, and to whom. An author explains.

By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet

December 27, 2016

White supremacists have never made a secret of their affection for Donald Trump. But since his election, they've grown ever more emboldened, holding rallies in Washington, D.C. and even planning their own "Deploraball" to ring in the new year.

This development comes as no surprise to Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist and academic specializing in right-wing movements who recently revealed to ProPublica why Trump's rhetoric resonates so profoundly with these hate groups.

"The thing about coded language is that it’s heard differently by different audiences. So if you’re an angry farmer in Nebraska and someone talks about 'international banks', you think Wall Street maybe. But if you’re in a white supremacist movement or wrapped up in conspiracy theories about money manipulation you think Jews."

Bertlet, who co-authored “Right-Wing Populism: Too Close for Comfort," hopes to put Trump's crazed theories in historical context.

"The use of conspiratorial rhetoric and bigoted rhetoric targeting and demonizing ‘others’ is nothing new in American politics. It comes and goes in cycles that are not regular. So it’s not a pendulum. There’s no time frame."

In Trumpland, psychology trumps reality, which helps explain how a candidate proposing one of the largest transfers of weatlh from the bottom to the top could effectively brand himself as a populist hero.

"People’s perceptions of their status are just as important as their actual status," he argues. "If people have been pushed down the economic, social or political ladder, well, that’s real. If people feel they’ll be pushed down the ladder, that’s real, too."

America's nightmare is likely only just beginning. Bertlet expects the violence of the campaign season to continue apace, even if he believes white supremacists only consitute a few thousand Americans.

"If you scapegoat a group from a high public place for long enough, it’s inevitable that some people will act out on that belief and say, 'If they’re so evil and they’re out to destroy America, why don’t we get them before they get us."

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On War Crimes And The Afghan Insurgency

Mapp’s attempted defence of the SAS on RNZ this morning unintentionally indicated that collective punishment was baked into the planning exercise for the raid, and also into how the raid proceeded on the ground. More>>

ALSO:

New Community Reward: Scoop Offering 2 Million “Ads For Good” This Election Year

We are launching an exciting new community incentive as part of Scoop’s ‘Opening the Election’ crowdfunding campaign by offering 2 million free ads on Scoop to worthy causes. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Unpresidented?

Casanova on Cagliostro - "This is a man whose partisans think him wise because when he speaks he seems ignorant. This is a man who is persuasive because he masters no language. This is a man whom people understand because he never explains himself … " More>>

HiveMind Public Engagement Report: NZers Want Stronger Action On Sugar

Over December 2016 and January 2017, Scoop hosted a trial community engagement exercise on the issue of Sugar and Public Health on our new HiveMind platform... Most promising was the fact that there was much agreement from across a wide range of participants from different backgrounds and perspectives on potential solutions to some of the accepted public health challenges we face around sugar. More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: Land Of The Long White Egalitarian Myth

New Zealand has earned its reputation. Its quality of life is consistently ranked among the highest in the world... New Zealanders themselves report extreme satisfaction with their lives. All of these accolades cover up another truth, however: New Zealand hasn’t been a social-democratic paradise for a long time now. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news