Vox.com in conjunction with Morning Consult, a media and tech company, conducted a survey of voters and found what we’ve all known for a very long time: Most of the people that bitch and moan about immigrants stealing American jobs don’t give a damn about the economy. Rather, they care about Those People coming into “their” country because they think they’re criminals and terrorists. And yes, this is an explicitly race-based attitude:
Complementary to that analysis, Americans’ views about immigration differ substantially according to where the immigrants are from; immigrants from Europe and Asia are viewed much more positively than immigrants from Africa and Latin America, and immigrants from the Middle East are viewed least positively of all. The poll also shows that this dynamic is heavily influenced by the specific views of white Americans — while black and Hispanic Americans evaluate the impact of European and Latin American immigrants similarly, for example, white Americans are much more enthusiastic about immigration from Europe than from Latin America.
In other words, white people are racist assholes.
And it’s even more depressing that it sounds if you look at the break down of responses:
Don’t know/No opinion is 29% so that’s a little ray of sunshine. But “Weakens the economy,” the only semi-legitimate complaint, is just 18%. That leaves over 50% of the remaining answers in the “Complete Bullshit” category. The totally made up complaints of “Hurts national security” and “Increases crime” are a combined 39%. And the most insulting of all is 14% for “Weakens American values.”
That last one is obnoxious on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. Somewhere along the line, people forgot that the only “native” Americans are actual Native Americans. The rest of us come from all over the world and brought bits and pieces of our cultures and values with us. Socially and culturally, we’re one of the most dynamic countries in the world. For good or for bad, our “American values” are incredibly fluid. The only way to “weaken” our values is to calcify them by resisting the very change that has defined us a people since the founding of our country.
But this overt racism towards immigrants from
nonwhite “bad” parts of the world perfectly explains why Donald Trump’s message of Mexicans being rapists and Muslims being terrorists resonates so strongly with white voters. No matter how much the right pretends that racism is dead in America, this poll and the rise of Donald Trump tells us that it’s not only alive, it’s thriving.