Slate writer Jamelle Bouie already made clear on Election Night that Donald Trump’s victory was akin to racists defeating Civil War Reconstruction, but he also outlined that he wasn’t done in a Tuesday post declaring that there was no such thing as a “good” Trump voter and implying any of them deserve basic human respect is “abhorrent” and “perverse” like that of a lynch mob.
With a subhead aruging that Trump voters “don’t deserve your sympathy” because they “voted for a racist,” Bouie determined that it’s not Trump voters being accosted that needs our full attention but instead a stat from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center that “more than 300 incidents of harassment or intimidation have been reported in the aftermath of Trump’s election.”
“Millions of Americans are justifiably afraid of what they’ll face under a Trump administration. If any group demands our support and sympathy, it’s these people, not the Americans who backed Trump and his threat of state-sanctioned violence against Hispanic immigrants and Muslim Americans. All the solicitude, outrage, and moral telepathy being deployed in defense of Trump supporters—who voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes—is perverse, bordering on abhorrent,” Bouie fretted.
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Bouie continued his outburst by knocking them as disrespecting any minority friends they may have by voting for the President-elect:
Whether Trump’s election reveals an “inherent malice” in his voters is irrelevant. What is relevant are the practical outcomes of a Trump presidency. Trump campaigned on state repression of disfavored minorities...If you voted for Trump, you voted for this, regardless of what you believe about the groups in question. That you have black friends or Latino colleagues, that you think yourself to be tolerant and decent, doesn’t change the fact that you voted for racist policy that may affect, change, or harm their lives. And on that score, your frustration at being labeled a racist doesn’t justify or mitigate the moral weight of your political choice.
To face those facts and then demand empathy for the people who made them a reality—who backed racist demagoguery, whatever their reasons—is to declare Trump’s victims less worthy of attention than his enablers. To insist Trump’s backers are good people is to treat their inner lives with more weight than the actual lives on the line under a Trump administration. At best, it’s myopic and solipsistic. At worst, it’s morally grotesque.
If such inflammatory language towards millions of Americans wasn’t enough, Bouie went even further by comparing Trump voters to a lynch mob:
Between 1882 and 1964, nearly 3,500 black Americans were lynched. At the peak of this era, from 1890 to 1910, hundreds were killed in huge public spectacles of violence. The men who organized lynchings—who gathered conspirators, who made arrangements with law enforcement, who purchased rope, who found the right spot—weren’t ghouls or monsters. They were ordinary. The Forsyth County, Georgia, sheriff who looked the other way while mobs lynched Rob Edwards, a young man scapegoated for a crime he did not commit, was a well-liked and popular figure of authority, as described by Patrick Phillips in his book Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America.
“Hate and racism have always been the province of “good people.” To treat Trump voters as presumptively innocent—even as they hand power to a demagogic movement of ignorance and racism—is to clear them of moral responsibility for whatever happens next, even if it’s violence against communities of color,” he concluded in part.