Posted on February 9, 2022

Led by Trump, GOP Increasingly Casts White People as Racism’s Victims

John Harwood, CNN, February 6, 2022

Early barbs for President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court selection process have helped crystallize a rising Republican line of attack against Democrats.

“He’s saying, ‘If you’re a White guy, tough luck,’ ” complained Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cruz was referring to Biden’s vow to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in American history. But that same sense of grievance propels the drive by Republican state and local officials to shield the psyches of White students through constraints on what schools teach about slavery and modern-day discrimination against non-White people

It finds its starkest expression, characteristically, from the top Republican of all. In recent days former President Donald Trump has falsely accused Democrats of putting White people at “the back of the line” for coronavirus medical care and has blasted prosecutorial “racists” — a jibe at Black women in New York and Atlanta who are probing his conduct.


But what’s striking now, nine months before midterm elections, is how explicitly Trump and his GOP followers have embraced a theme that inverts the onus of racism in America. Whatever history shows, they insist, White people today represent its victims at least as much as Blacks and other minorities.


{snip} With the Census Bureau projecting that demographic change will make America a majority-minority nation within a generation, most White Republicans now claim the status of victim.

In October 2015, for example, polling by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that a 61% majority of White Republicans rejected the idea that White people faced “a lot of discrimination” and just 38% said they did.

By January 2021, those views had flipped. A 55% majority of White Republicans said White people face a lot of discrimination, while 45% said they did not. Among all Americans aside from White Republicans, 26% said White people face a lot of discrimination, while 72% said they did not.

Other surveys have pointed in the same direction. A March 2021 Pew Research Center poll found Republicans more likely to believe that White people face a lot of discrimination than that Black, Hispanic or Asian Americans do.

Emily Ekins of the libertarian Cato Institute, who has closely tracked Trump’s following, found that 73% of his 2020 voters believe that “today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.” A similar proportion disagree that “American society systematically advantages white people,” while an even larger 87% reject the view that “white people should feel guilty about racial inequality.”