NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer wants you to think that because Donald Trump's supporters believe racist things, it doesn't mean they're racist. No, really.
Blumer complains in a Sept. 19 post that Juan Williams, in a column for The Hill, agrees with Hillary Clinton that a significant number of Trump supporters are "deplorables," citing a poll showing that a large percentage of self-described Trump supporters describe black people as more “lazy” than whites, “less intelligent” than whites, more “rude” than whites, more “violent” than whites and more “criminal” than whites, and that 58 percent of Trump supporters have either a “very unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” view of the entire religion of Islam. But Blumer doesn't want you to believe your own eyes:
Let's make one thing clear: All six of the views identified (five relating to blacks, and one relating to Islam) are NOT presumptively racist views. (Islam is a religion and not a race, so I'll set that matter aside after observing that the over 29,000 Islamic jihadist attacks around the world since 9/11 certainly influence the high percentage of Americans who view Islam unfavorably.) I would argue that the vast majority of people holding those views don't have a racist bone in their body. I'll demonstrate the accuracy of that argument later in this post.
That's right -- according to Blumer, it's not racist to believe blacks are inferior.
After trying to distract from the issue by noting that polls also showed a significantly lower number of Clinton supporters held similar views, Blumer hits us with his "accuracy" argument:
Holding any of those views is not an automatic indicator of racism — and this fallacy, which should be obvious to anyone, has seriously polluted political discourse in the U.S. for far too long.
You identify a genuine racist by asking the "born that way" question. That is, are blacks as a race inherently inferior because they are born less intelligent, lazier, more rude, more violent, and more criminal than members of other races? Only people who would say "yes" would likely qualify as racists. I would argue that fewer than 5 percent of all non-black Americans agree with even one of the five statements; my guess is that it's more like 2 percent (to be clear, this was not always so; it's a credit to the people of this nation that these attitudes have changed as much as they have in the space of no more than four generations).
Prove me wrong, pollsters, if you dare, and ask the questions properly. Sadly, most of won't even think about asking properly formulated questions, because doing so would delegitimize their own or their clients' agendas.
Not only is Blumer trying to obfuscate the issue -- for him, it apparently doesn't follow that declaring another race is violent, lazy, etc., is, in fact, a de facto "born that way" question -- he's trying to mainstream racist views.
In the original version of his post at his own blog, Blumer goes even further by explaining that "There are perfectly good reasons why respondents who are not racist in any way, shape or form would agree with each of the five statements." Which, somehow, gets even more racist while also trying to blame liberals in the process.
Blacks are less intelligent, Blumer argues, because "A disproportionate percentage of the black population receives substandard educations at inferior urban public schools and/or live in family situations where the parent or parents fails to treat childhood education with sufficient seriousness." He adds, "Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life will regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America are on the whole less intelligent than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."
Lazy blacks? That's because "LBJ’s Great Society programs have devastated the black family and urban areas" and " Minimum-wage laws shut young blacks out of work ethic-building opportunities." Again, he adds: "Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America on the whole do not have as strong a work ethic as non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."
Rude blacks? "Again, we go back to the disastrous influence of the Great Society and its impact on the black family. Then add in the cultural influences which have filled the void, including violent and pornographic rap music." And again: "Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole are more rude than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."
Violent blacks? "The voluminous violent crime and other crime statistics, especially among black juveniles and early adults compared to non-blacks, speak for themselves. Sadly, those who are aware of the crime statistics are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole have a record of more violence and more criminality than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so."
Finally, Blumer insists that Trump supporters are not racists but, rather, realists:
What that failure all too often shows is an inability to recognize or admit the sad realities in America today — again, as much as one sincerely wishes that these conditions did not exist. One could also argue that Donald Trump’s overwhelmingly non-racist supporters are more willing to recognize those realities, unintimidated by people like Juan Williams, [Slate writer] Josh Voorhees and so many other misguided commentators and thought-police enforcers.
Yeah, realist like, uh, this Trump supporter.
As Trevor Noah has noted, if the only time you see black people is when they're in a criminal situation, you will believe that all black people are criminals. And if, as is apparently the case with Blumer, if the only media you consume is partisan-motivated right-wing media that portrays blacks as lazy and violent and insists that liberals made them that way as part of their political agenda, you will believe that. That seems to be why he is trying to tell us we shouldn't believe our own eyes with regard to the racist views of Trump supporters.
We highly doubt that Blumer "regretfully agrees" with the inferiority of blacks, as much as he sincerely wishes it were not so -- it's too good of a right-wing talking point for people like him to be regretful about.
Blumer is trying to thread a needle that nobody this side of VDARE believes should be threaded -- and he's making NewsBusters look racist in the process. The Media Research Center surely knows this, since it edited out the most offensive and indefensible part of his post. But what remains -- Blumer's insistence that obviously racist views can't possibly be racist -- is still pretty offensive and indefensible.
Not to mention an incredibly desperate and bizarre attempt at right-wing "logic."