TRUMP RACIST AND ENVIRONMENTAL

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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

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