NPR’s Michel Martin Cues Journalist to Hint Trump Voters Are Racist

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On Thursday’s Amanpour & Co. on PBS and CNN International, NPR weekend anchor Michel Martin prodded The New Yorker‘s Evan Osnos to suggest that Donald Trump supporters are racists even if they don’t like to admit it.

He also hinted that they vote racist because they support a President whose actions “explicitly, demonstrably, measurably harm people of color.”

 

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As the New Yorker contributor discussed his recent piece arguing that traditionally liberal Republican areas like Connecticut are more supportive of President Trump than one might expect because they like his actions against taxes and regulations, NPR host Martin injected race into the conversation: “Can I ask you about race, though — what role you think race plays in this? Because you don’t talk much about it in the piece.”

Osnos declared that “I think it plays a large role,” and cited former liberal Republican Congressman Chris Shays describing Trump supporters as “unnerved” by immigrants “who don’t look like them.”

He then claimed they prefer to cover up their true motivations:

And they don’t like to say it because it’s an ugly thing to say, and they don’t want to be associated with it. And so they prefer to use other language where they don’t say anything publicly. And I think he has a pretty astute sense of it. I would find that when I talked to people about it, people would recoil from the idea that they were acting out of racist ideas. They would say, “That’s not me — that’s not who I am,” and they would put it in other terms.

He concluded by suggesting that Trump voters are voting in favor of racism:

But, in the end, it’s the vote. It’s how you vote. If you vote for somebody who is enacting a policy that is explicitly, demonstrably, measurably harming people of color and people who are coming in from outside the country, well, then, you’re signaling your support for that person whether or not you describe yourself that way at the dinner table. And so I actually think it’s a version of what you see in a lot of the country, which is sometimes people put it in the economic terms, but the issues run to race below that.

Below is the relevant transcript:

CNN International and PBS’s Amanpour & Co.
May 7, 2020

MICHEL MARTIN: Can I ask you about race, though — what role you think race plays in this? Because you don’t talk much about it in the piece. 

EVAN OSNOS: I think it plays a large role.  I t0hink it’s one people tend to wrap in language of economic anxiety, but at the core of it is a kind of racial anxiety about it. I mean, Chris Shays, who was the congressman from that area for years and years and years, he in many ways is now too liberal for that area. He gets called a RINO, a Republican in name only. He says to me in this piece that he thinks a lot of people in the area and broadly share Donald Trump’s views on immigration, which is to say they are unnerved by the idea of people coming into the country who don’t look like them. 

And they don’t like to say it because it’s an ugly thing to say, and they don’t want to be associated with it. And so they prefer to use other language where they don’t say anything publicly. And I think he has a pretty astute sense of it. I would find that when I talked to people about it, people would recoil from the idea that they were acting out of racist ideas. They would say, “That’s not me — that’s not who I am, ” and they would put it in other terms.

But, in the end, it’s the vote. It’s how you vote. If you vote for somebody who is enacting a policy that is explicitly, demonstrably, measurably harming people of color and people who are coming in from outside the country, well, then, you’re signaling your support for that person whether or not you describe yourself that way at the dinner table. And so I actually think it’s a version of what you see in a lot of the country, which is sometimes people put it in the economic terms, but the issues run to race below that.

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