While Republicans deny racism plays a huge role within their party, most rational people recognize that, even in 2016, racism plays a fairly significant role within the GOP. Heck, Donald Trump skyrocketed to become a Republican superstar based upon his history as a “birther” (an absurd belief that was driven by racism) and a speech where he called most Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.
As I’ve written about before, the transition of the GOP from the party of Abraham Lincoln to the racist and bigoted party of the tea party and Donald Trump has been going on for decades. As Sen. Harry Reid recently put it, Trump is just the “natural evolution of the Republican party.”
I prefer to call it “devolution.” The term “evolution” implies progress whereas Republicans have clearly regressed over time.
Racism has been prevalent within the GOP for a long while, but it wasn’t until President Obama’s election in 2008 that it really resurfaced in ways we hadn’t seen in quite some time. From the aforementioned “birther” nonsense – to the attitude projected by so many conservatives that President Obama just isn’t “one of us” – for the last few years open racism has become far more acceptable within the GOP.
Well, a new study that was just released basically confirms that racism is a driving force behind tea party Republicans.
According to The Washington Post:
First, the researchers randomly sorted subjects into two groups and showed them a series of pictures of celebrities, including digitally altered images of the commander in chief. One group saw a version in which Obama’s skin had been lightened, while in the other version, his skin had been darkened.
Then the researchers asked the subjects in each group whether they supported the tea party. The share that did was a small minority in both groups. Among the 255 white subjects, though, those in the group that had seen the darkened portrait were almost twice as likely to say they supported the movement.
The result suggests that some white Americans are more likely to oppose Obama solely because of the shade of his skin. For them, the reality that someone with a dark complexion occupies the nation’s highest office could be a source of unease.
Think about that; among the 255 white subjects, the ones who were shown a darkened picture of President Obama were twice as likely to say they supported the tea party – twice as likely.
This study clearly shows the complexities of racism. Not only is there blatant racism simply because he’s half African-American, but there’s also subliminal racism where darker skin can actually make people view someone less favorably. And I’ve seen that firsthand among people who I know aren’t “racist” but say things like “there’s just something about him I don’t like/trust.” While I’m sure that attitude is not always derived from racism, I do believe a good amount of this subliminal racism that a lot of people aren’t even aware they carry with them.
But this study only confirms what most of us have known from the start, that a lot of this over-the-top hatred toward President Obama has been driven by racism.
Or as I put it a few years ago, the tea party mainly consists of a bunch of white people who simply don’t like a black guy being in charge.
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