Is Trump Racist?

Many celebrity, political and media figures accuse Trump of being racist. A new example: CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said “…there is also a huge racial dimension to this. The fact that the president is always attacking black people.”

Jeff Sessions, James Comey, and Hillary Clinton are not black. Elizabeth Warren isn’t black and neither is CNN’s Jim Acosta, two recent instances of Trump attacks. These counter-examples don’t prove that Toobin’s accusation is wrong. They suggest that more serious inquiry is needed to shed light on the hypothesis that Trump is racist. For one thing, Trump’s insults are legion. In mid-2017, the New York Times wrote of 650 such insults. They form a population to be examined. If 38 percent of Americans are not white, are Trump’s insults directed to non-white people significantly higher than 38 percent of this population? That’s only a start at analysis because racism is only one of many motivations to attack people. Complicating the analysis is the fact that race, religion and ethnicity are correlated with political positions and ideologies. Hence, one must do a multivariate analysis to see if race survives as an independent variable in competition with other variables that measure other motivations.

Let those who are relentlessly attacking Trump on grounds like racism do their homework by referring us to well-constructed studies. If they existed, wouldn’t they be citing them?


9:40 am on November 10, 2018