The answer to "Do you know anyone who you would call a racist?" before Trump was elected

    1/n Still don't have my broken computer / all my data back from repair (hoping sometime next week). Said I'd take a break, but it's a new year/decade so I feel obligated to tweet *something*. So here's a gem I just found. Too funny.

    — Zach Goldberg (@ZachG932) January 4, 2020


    Goldberg's takeaway:

    Or wp were surprised to see how racist some of their friends and acquaintances were. They were less open about it before but Trump's election gave them permission to express what some saw as racist speech. Most probable imo

    Nothing like Twitter wisdom! 

    Social psychology - behaviors, beliefs and actions of Individuals and population under charismatic authoritarian, racist leaders is a difficult topic to understand or explain.  Research on the Holocaust has shed light on where the social coherence of a core group under the ideological control of a racist "norm breaking" lawless demagogue can lead. Under Trump's relentless racist actions, his despicable rallies and his dehumanization of ethnic groups we have echoes of history, along with an unprecedented rise in antisemitic attacks, marches by white supremacists etc, See in particular points 1, 2 below.

    Ordinary Men, Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

    Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions.


    Newman, Leonard S., "Understanding Genocide, The Social Psychology of the Holocaust", Oxford Press, 2002.

    Factors related to the low level people involved in racist repression, and mass murder:

    1. "Induced compliance", subtle pressures of conformity and comradeship within a group operating under an overriding ideology.
    2. Organizational culture sets boundaries for acceptable behaviors.


    Trump was elected Nov. 8, 2016.

    The tweeted chart compares the difference in answers between those in Dec. 2006 (under President Bush) and those in June 2015 (under President Obama) by the same pollster.

    By the middle of 2015 there was a sea change in the answer from white Democrats, where a lot more of them knew racists. Among non-white Democrats, fewer of them knew any racists. And among Republicans there was little change, about the same number knew some racists.

    Edit to add: Goldberg is a PHD student studying polls and statistics related to "wokeness" issues, he's studying change (or not) in the culture using poll stats and on his twitter feed he shares interesting finds he runs across while doing his research. I haven't found him to have any agenda except for trying to figuring out where America is at culturally.

    Trump has an agenda, not Goldberg, and it's to use lies, hate and fear to racially, ethnically, religiously and culturally divide the nation.

    Gallup poll on race relations trends


    Pew poll on race relations suggests things are not rosy

    Other polls indicate worse race relations 


    In January, a CBS News poll found nearly 6 in 10 Americans saying race relations in the country are generally bad.

    It wasn’t always that way. Positive views of the state of race relations in the country peaked with President Barack Obama’s inauguration, after which 66% of Americans said race relations were generally good in an April 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll. But views started to sour in 2014 following a number of high-profile shootings of black men by police officers and have continued to be more negative than positive in the Trump era.

    And Americans think Trump is contributing to the problem. A Pew Research Center poll earlier this yearshowed 56% of Americans saying Trump has made race relations worse.

    While Zach found the numbers " too funny" in his Tweet, it may simply reflect more white people pay attention to complaints of black people and are not dismissing them as pity olympics. Blacks may spend more time around other blacks and thus have decreased contact with racist whites. Some racist whites may only communicate their racism to other whites and not to black co-workers.

    Trump is erasing the "boundaries for acceptable behaviors". See above.

    It's how a corrupt Party destroys a society, while the unprecedented actions, attacks on political opponents and virulent rallies and speech distract from the crimes, looting and self aggrandizement of the megalomaniac leader.


    We have to be honest in noting that supposed "good" white people are willing to caste votes for a white supremacist.

    We also have to realize that some black people who experience discrimination will blame Jewish people, who also face discrimination for oppressing black people.

    In the short term, it is very unlikely that we can change their minds.

    In order to begin a change, we are going to have to hope that good-hearted people of all ethnicities can be encouraged to go to the polls and vote for Democrats. 

    We are a two-party system. Democrats are obviously not perfect, but they offer the best alternative.

    I will repay, Republicans are staging a coup. Asking what Democrats can do to appease Republicans is not the solution.

    just plopping this here for now:

    I shouldn't be surprised, but it's sort of amazing to me how many Americans (on Twitter) seem to think America is a uniquely evil force in world affairs. Is it a white privilege thing? I don't know. But at some point it devolves from well deserved self-critique into pathology

    — Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) January 8, 2020


    "Prosper" is a bit misleading. In America you can often survive & enjoy, can have excitement depending, and in some ways relatively easy to just do stuff, few questions asked. And for those cming from speech deprived countries, can be a breath of fresh air (except few will take you that seriously - that's the flip side). Sure, if you come with the right skills, you might even "prosper", but I'd wait for the comparative stats on that. "Immigrating" to Stanford ain't the norm.

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