During the 2016 presidential campaign I approvingly pointed out how Donald Trump would contradict himself.
The author of this piece analyzes two instances of Trump talk, pointing out the contradictions, calling them “racial fig leaves.”
I’ve always thought that this was a clever strategy to use when discussing racially charged issues, as you can protect yourself from serious negative consequences if you apply this strategy successfully, as Trump has.
Excerpt from The Independent
Once upon a time, not too long ago, it was taboo for top level politicians to openly express racist sentiments. That’s why they tended to use code words, talking about “inner city crime” or “welfare dependency”. These are dogwhistle terms, which have been shown to appeal to voters’ latent racism without their full awareness. If politicians were too obvious in their racial appeals, political psychologists predicted, they would fail.
So how have we come to be where we are now, in a world where the President of the US speaks of “s***hole countries” and calls Mexicans rapists. How did this happen? Have all the prohibitions on racism evaporated? Is it now perfectly acceptable to be openly racist? It isn’t.