The Rise of White Identity Politics: The age of Trump largely exists because of a resurgent white racial identity, by Eric Knowles. The rise of anti-establishment, anti-corruption Trump doesn’t require any explanation as white identity politics. (Nobody likes people who cheat). But this is an interesting argument in a PC magazine.
Many political commentators credit Donald Trump’s rise to white voters’ antipathy toward racial and ethnic minorities. However, we believe this focus on racial resentment obscures another important aspect of racial thinking.
In a study of white Americans’ attitudes and candidate preferences, we found that Trump’s success reflects the rise of “white identity politics” — an attempt to protect the collective interests of white voters via the ballot box. Whereas racial prejudice refers to animosity toward other racial groups, white identity reflects a sense of connection to fellow white Americans. …
[O]ur data provide some of the clearest evidence that ongoing demographic changes in the United States are increasing white racial identity. White identity, in turn, is pushing white Americans to support Trump.
When we talk about white identity, we’re not referring to the alt-right fringe, the white nationalist movement or others who espouse racist beliefs. Rather, we’re talking about everyday white Americans who, perhaps for the first time, are racially conscious. …
[T]he era of “white invisibility” is coming to a close. … Non-Hispanic whites are projected to become a minority in the year 2044. This increasing diversity across the country is making whites’ own race harder and harder to ignore. Political and social phenomena, from Barack Obama’s presidency to the Black Lives Matter movement, are making whiteness even more salient to white Americans.
Proximity plus diversity leads to …. racial consciousness.
We’ve seen that living close to Hispanics leads whites to develop a strong sense of racial identity and that strong racial identity is associated with support for Donald Trump. … [W]ork by political scientist Ryan Enos … finds that everyday exposure to Latinos can increase support for restrictive immigration policies. Whites’ support for Donald Trump is, in fact, greatest in areas with a large Hispanic population. …
We had participants rate their agreement with a series of statements. For example, “There is nothing wrong with a white person choosing to support a political candidate because that candidate is white” and “Blacks, Latinos, and Asians engage in ‘identity politics,’ and there’s nothing wrong with whites doing the same.”
Exactly the same patterns emerged for these questions as for Trump support: Endorsement of white identity politics was highest in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods and was strongly correlated with white racial identity. These results suggest that America’s growing ethnic diversity is creating a politicized form of white identity that has clear repercussions for future elections.
From which, the left concludes, Trump supporters are racist. While blacks, Latinos, and others who support racial identity groups are merely diverse and vibrant.