Stop!

“Scott Alexander” (a pseudonym) applies some common sense the media characterization of Trump as an “openly racist” candidate dedicated to courting the KKK. He estimates, for instance, that there are 3-5000 Klansman in the US. Over the course of the campaign, he estimates that at least 14,000 articles were published on Trump’s relationship to the Klan, which is non-existent. Which means there are “two to three articles about a Trump-KKK connection for every single Klansman in the world.”

“Alexander” doesn’t like Trump. He considers him “an incompetent thin-skinned ignorant boorish fraudulent omnihypocritical demagogue with no idea how to run a country, whose philosophy of governance basically boils down to ‘I’m going to win and not lose, details to be filled in later.’” By painting Trump as a racist, he charges, the media continues to cry wolf.

The article ends with some advice to the media, which amounts to “Stop!!”

Stop writing articles breathlessly following everything the KKK says. Stop writing several times more articles about the KKK than there are actual Klansmen. Remember that thing where Trump started out as a random joke, and then the media covered him way more than any other candidate because he was so outrageous, and gave him what was essentially free advertising, and then he became President-elect of the United States? Is the lesson you learned from this experience that you need 24-7 coverage of the Ku Klux Klan? . . . Stop saying that being against crime is a dog whistle for racism. Have you ever met a crime victim? They don’t like crime. I work with people from a poor area, and a lot of them have been raped, or permanently disabled, or had people close to them murdered. You know what these people have in common? They don’t like crime When you say “the only reason someone could talk about law and order is that they secretly hate black people, because, y’know, all criminals are black,” not only are you an idiot, you’re a racist. Also, I judge you for not having read the polls saying that nonwhites are way more concerned about crime than white people are. . . . Stop calling Trump voters racist. A metaphor: we have freedom of speech not because all speech is good, but because the temptation to ban speech is so great that, unless given a blanket prohibition, it would slide into universal censorship of any unpopular opinion. Likewise, I would recommend you stop calling Trump voters racist—not because none of them are, but because as soon as you give yourself that opportunity, it’s a slippery slope down to “anyone who disagrees with me on anything does so entirely out of raw seething hatred, and my entire outgroup is secret members of the KKK and so I am justified in considering them worthless human trash.”

In short, to repeat, “Stop!”

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