A Reuters survey of American voters asked people for their opinions on African Americans and results showed that Trump supporters were overall more racist than Clinton, Cruz, or Kasich supporters. The survey had people rate whether African Americans were more or less lazy, rude, violent, criminal, or intelligent than white Americans. Trump supporters were the most invested in stereotypes about black people, but not all supporters fit that mold.
Between 20% and about 45% of respondents agreed with the stereotypes presented. Those numbers were lowest for Clinton supporters, but there were still those who indicated they felt that black people are less intelligent or more criminally inclined than white people.
So what does this tell us? For one, not every Trump voter is a white supremacist. However, that doesn’t mean much if they’re voting for one. It also means that not all Clinton voters are shining beacons of racial equality. Among white Americans, racist attitudes are still frighteningly common. Sure, “only” 32.8% of white people think black people are more violent than them, but that’s still almost a third of white people who are buying into a racist stereotype that has been used to oppress black people for centuries.
Yes, racism is still alive and well in our country.
This election cycle has brought out some pretty repugnant behavior by some pretty repugnant people, with Trump’s undeniably racist rhetoric creating a safe space for everyone from bitter white retirees to actual neo-Nazis to spout their hatred. But Trump didn’t create these people–they were already and always there. This new political atmosphere didn’t create a problem–it is making the problem worse, but it is a problem that has long existed, and still needs to be solved.