According to the Washington Post, sociologist Robb Willer and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments from 2011 to 2015 in which they demonstrated that some white voters may be driven by unconscious racial biases against people with darker skin.
The study came about when Willard found himself pondering why racist hysteria has ratcheted up in this country since the election of President Obama in 2008. The ranks of white supremacist groups swelled after Obama entered the White House and watchdog groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center report that hate groups have become more active in recent years.
In Republican politics, right-wing extremist Tea Party candidates ran longstanding GOP officials out of office as conservatives in this country doubled down in opposing the president and his policies.
“That left a lot of analysts slack-jawed, wondering: What was this latent force that drove the emergence of this movement?” Willer told the Post.
Willard then presented white participants with the photo on the right up above featuring President Obama with darkened skin:
Among 255 white subjects, people shown the darkened picture of Obama were almost twice as likely to say that they support the Tea Party when questioned by researchers.
“The result suggests that some white Americans are more likely to oppose Obama solely because of the shade of his skin,” wrote the Post’s Max Ehrenfreund. “For them, the reality that someone with a dark complexion occupies the nation’s highest office could be a source of unease.”
At this point in time the only people who are still denying that racism is driving conservative hatred of the President, are the conservatives who hate the President due to racism.
And of course this is exactly the demographic that Donald Trump tapped into back when he was the Birther-in-Chief, and is now using to fuel his presidential campaign.
Of course without President Obama as his political foe in the general one might wonder if this strategy will continue to work as we approach November.
But I doubt that Trump has to worry about losing them. I think there is ample evdience that they are also women hating sexist pigs.