Atlantic Survey Tries to Rebrand Racism As ‘Cultural Anxiety’; Public Having None of It

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2021
Donald Trump’s election wasn’t because of a financially distressed white working class but a racist one, according to a recent survey. (Caiaimage/Lukasz Olek/Caiaimage)

A new report revealing so-called cultural anxiety behind the white working-class votes that pushed Donald Trump into the White House has the public wanting to it be labeled what it is: racism.

The results of a survey conducted in partnership with the Public Religion Research Institute were published by The Atlantic Tuesday, May 9. The piece proclaimed that racism, what the article coined “cultural anxiety” and “fear of social change,” was to blame for working-class white people electing Trump. The survey suggested working-class white people who were facing financial distress were the ones who voted for Hillary Clinton, putting a hole in a theory that this group was supportive of Trump.

“Besides partisan affiliation, it was cultural anxiety — feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the deportation of immigrants and hesitating about educational investment —that best predicted support for Trump,” it said.

The survey revealed 68 percent of working-class white voters declared the American lifestyle must be guarded against “foreign influence.” The assertion, “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country,” was supported by almost half of survey takers.

Plus, among the 27 percent of working-class white people who supported systematic deportation of illegal immigrants, 87 percent gave Trump their vote.

Online, many took issue with the sanitized language for racism.

Vann R. Newkirk II‏, who writes for The Atlantic, acknowledged the euphemistic phrase “cultural anxiety” and explained the survey captures other elements that led the white working class to vote for Trump.

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