Ahh, bigotry. Part of me does understand this fear of the other, this fear of losing racial privilege, this sensitivity to slights or resentments. I’m sure many/some men may feel similar twinges when trying to discard their learned gender privileges. We’ve been carefully taught to cling to our privileges and step on the faces of those below us on the rungs of oppression.
But we MUST overcome that. We can build a better society. We can lift each other up. We can seek to heal the wounds others are suffering from injustices. We cannot really espouse bigotry and then be offended when we are called bigots.
In June a Reuters/Ipsos poll found: “Nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African-Americans as more ‘violent’ than whites. The same proportion described African-Americans as more ‘criminal’ than whites, while 40 percent described them as more ‘lazy’ than whites.”
A Pew poll released in February found that 65 percent of Republicans believe the next president should “speak bluntly even if critical of Islam as a whole” when talking about Islamic extremists.
Another Reuters/Ipsos online poll in July found that 58 percent of Trump supporters have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of Islam and 78 percent believe Islam was more likely to encourage acts of terrorism.
A February Public Policy Polling survey found “Trump’s support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades.” What the poll found about those South Carolina supporters’ beliefs was truly shocking:
• Eighty percent of likely Trump primary voters supported Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims.
• Sixty-two percent supported creating a national database of Muslims and 40 percent supported shutting down mosques in the United States.
• Thirty-eight percent wished the South had won the Civil War.
• Thirty-three percent thought the practice of Islam should be illegal in this country.
• Thirty-two percent supported the policy of Japanese internment during World War II.
• Thirty-one percent would support a ban on homosexuals entering the country.
Charles Blow has a brilliant op-ed in the Times today about what support for a demagogue like Trump means.