TRUMP RACIST AND ENVIRONMENTAL
In an effort to cope with the onset of the Trump administration, I began making lists of all the racist and anti-environmental things that were happening. I did this out of curiosity, but also to document the changes themselves. I began the process on my blog, but was not able to maintain it. In Winter 2018 I taught “Race, Nature & Power” (Geography 410/510) at the University of Oregon and took the opportunity to develop a class-based research project centered on the lists. Working together, we tried to identify all the racist things that happened in Trump’s first year and all the anti-environmental actions. We then analyzed the lists and studied how the two different agendas unfolded.
On this page you can find the data itself, as well as the accompanying article that discusses the findings. The article, “Environmental Deregulation, Spectacular Racism and White Nationalism I the Trump Era,” is forthcoming in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
HERE IS THE CLIFF NOTES VERSION
This paper examines the relationship between racism and environmental deregulation in President Trump’s first year in office. We collected data on all environmental events, such as executive actions at the Federal level or Trump’s tweets. Likewise, we documented racist events targeting indigenous people, people of color, Muslims and South Asians/Arabs. We found important differences in how these agendas unfolded: Environmental events were more likely to be concrete actions, whereas racist events were more likely to involve “noisy” rhetoric. The differing forms are not associated with particular levels of harm, but rather, suggest the unanticipated and complex ways in which racism intersects with environmental governance under neoliberal, authoritarian regimes. We argue that Trump’s “spectacular racism,” characterized by sensational visibility, helps obscure the profound deregulation underway. The white nation plays a critical role, as Trump uses spectacular racism to nurture his base, consolidate his power, and implement his agenda. Such an analysis expands how environmental racism is typically conceptualized.
Keywords: spectacular racism, environmental deregulation, Trump, white nation