The Two Words a Shocking Number of Trump Supporters Use to Describe Black People

March 29th 2016

Alex Mierjeski

A significant number of Donald Trump's supporters think that the words "violent," and "lazy," describe Black people either "extremely well" or "very well," according to the initial draft of a study surveying 1,200 American voters.

The data comes from yet-to-be peer reviewed survey conducted by American National Election Studies, in which 45 percent of Trump supporters said "violent" was an accurate descriptor, while 38 percent said the same of "lazy."

That view, unfortunately, is hardly restricted to Trump supporters. As a graph of the data, compiled by Sean McElwee and Philip Cohen at Salon, shows, a high number of both Republicans and Democrats also said those were apt terms to describe Black people.

About 31 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of Democrats said they would describe Black people as "violent."

How certain voters view Black people

About 25 percent of Republicans and just under 20 percent of Democrats said they thought Black people were "lazy," the results showed.

How some voters view Black people

As Salon noted, the data presents an irony wherein some Trump supporters appear to be more willing to embrace racist stereotypes that characterize Black people as violent — when in fact, many Trump supporters themselves have been accused of carrying out racially motivated violence at rallies.

Race Relations and the 2016 Election

Just as it has dominated political conversations in recent years, race has loomed large in the 2016 presidential cycle for both Democratic and Republican candidates, who have faced questions about how they would handle systemic racial inequality and profiling by police.

But supporters of Trump — as well as the GOP front-runner himself — have been criticized for a tone-deaf approach to race issues. At a number of Trump rallies, which have become known for their propensity to turn violent, Black protesters have been attacked for allegedly being disruptive. At one November rally in Birmingham, Alabama, a CNN reporter recorded one such incident:

Following the event, Trump faced criticism after saying that, "Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up."

And earlier in March, Trump raised eyebrows for not immediately rebuking a soft endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Trump would eventually disavow the former Ku Klux Klan leader, but not before Saturday Night Live took a stab at the racist undercurrents that apparently run through some of the candidate's supporters.