The Voice

First Word: Race and the right

Taylor Baker, Staff Writer

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     According to an extensive 2018 poll by YouGov/The Economist, 64% of Republicans and specifically 72% of Donald Trump supporters agree that “These days police in most cities treat blacks as fairly as they treat whites.”

     59% of Republicans and 66% of Trump supporters agree that “blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system.” 70% of Republicans and 82% of Trump supporters believe that “Efforts to increase racial diversity always comes at the expense of whites.”
69% of Republicans and 79% of Donald Trump supporters don’t think “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class”

     The wording is not “completely hindered,” not “entirely stopped;” the wording is “make it difficult.” According to this poll from April 2018, the majority of Republicans and Donald Trump supporters surveyed believe that hundreds of years of open, legal, institutionalized slavery followed by another one hundred years of open, legal, institutionalized discrimination should have no effect on the African-American community.

     Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was the first African-American child to desegregate William Frantz Elementary School. She had to be escorted to school by four federal marshals: “There was a large crowd… throwing things and shouting.” She is now only 64 years old and not even considered a senior citizen yet.

     After hundreds of years of racial discrimination, Ruby Bridges was the first black girl to attend a white school. All the racial tension, bias and discrimination of Jim Crow did not end in just 58 years after that.

     In 2016, both parties showed a clear blind spot. Republicans and Donald Trump supporters seemed blind to hundreds of years of discrimination, to the horrors of Jim Crow and chattel slavery and their own prejudices. When an April 2018 YouGov/Economist survey reports that 66% of Donald Trump supporters see no racial inequality in the criminal justice system, and a May 2018 Harvard Study on over 50,000 defendants shows that Republican-appointed judges giving longer sentences to black defendants, some correlation can be denoted.

    Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters seemed to be just as blind to discrimination. Eight years of Barack Obama did not wipe the slate of hundreds of years of racial discrimination, not in the hearts and minds of American voters, not in the police force or the legal system. Racism is still brightly stained in the fabric of American culture and this is evident in its denial by the Republican voting base.

     It’s evident in the way Republican politicians and conservative pundits hold their rotating panel of Stacey Dash, Kanye West and Candace Owens as somehow “enlightened” above the other members of the black community, proof that their Pew Research reported 83% non-Hispanic white voter base “isn’t actually racist.”

     In the words of every overweight Caucasian man who thinks being the loudest is the same as being correct: “Democrats are the reeeeaaaaal racists!” There is a new breed of Republican, one that isn’t racist, openly, but one that denies the saturation of unaddressed racism in our society.
Tim Scott is a black Republican Senator, the only black Republican in the Senate. In 2016, he openly discussed being discriminated against by police officers who believed that he was driving too nice of a car for too dark of a complexion.

     According to the previously mentioned poll, 64% of Republicans and 72% of Donald Trump supporters don’t agree with him. The subject of race and the Republican party is being discussed today because Tim Scott recently voted “No” against the confirmation of federal judge Thomas Farr, a man with a muddled history involving the disenfranchisement of minority voters. Scott is now being deemed largely as a “traitor” for voting with his conscience as a black man instead of just a Republican.

Taylor is a freshman Political Sciene major, President of the BU Democrats club, and is a Staff Writer for The Voice.


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First Word: Race and the right