The Real Trump Effect
Last updated 8/3/2020 at 2:56pm
In Sally MacMillan’s recent letter, she describes the “Trump Effect” based on a survey administered by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) “Teaching Tolerance” project. After detailing what sounds like a tidal wave of discrimination and bullying resulting from Donald Trump’s 2016 win, she finishes by asking “Do we want the Trump Effect wave of political and identity based harassment to continue to wash ashore by electing Donald Trump?” Her argument fails to hit its mark in two ways.
First, the Teaching Tolerance survey that she cites is suspect. In their report, “The Trump Effect” by Maureen Costello, published by the SPLC, she essentially admits as much. Costello writes, “Our survey…was not scientific. Our email subscribers and those who visit our website are not a random sample of teachers nationally.” Given the SPLC’s well-known left-leaning political views, it is reasonable to assume the teachers’ survey responses were hardly objective. As we’ve seen recently with situations like the Covington student libel lawsuit and the NASCAR “noose” incident, it is easy to assume racial motivation that, after investigation, turns out to be innocent.
Secondly, if President Trump is a racist, he is doing a very poor job of it. The only “Trump Effect,” if he is re-elected in November, will be to continue to get things done on issues important to people of color. During President Trump’s first term, U.S. Labor Dept. data shows pre-COVID unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic communities hit all-time record lows.
He has increased support for historically Black colleges and universities and has been a champion of allowing parents in failing inner-city schools to have access to private school vouchers. He signed a series of prison reform initiatives including the bi-partisan First Step Act, an effort to improve criminal justice outcomes, as well as to reduce the size of the prison population while maintaining public safety. He also signed the bill to create Opportunity Zones in low income areas.
So, yes, we want more of that “Trump Effect” and he, not Joe Biden, is the one who will deliver it.