Donald Trump may claim to be the "least racist person on Earth," but the same cannot be said of his supporters.
According to new data from the American National Elections Studies 2016 pilot survey, 45% of Trump supporters believe the word "violent" describes black people in the United States either extremely well or very well.
The study, completed by 1,200 people in January, asked respondents to identify with their political party as well as which candidate they preferred. In their analysis of the data for Salon, Sean McElwee and Philip Cohen teased out how Democrats, Republicans and Trump supporters feel about racial issues.
Unfortunately, high numbers of respondents also agree with the statement: 31% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats opted for similar responses.
On the other end of the spectrum, 28% of Democrats said that "violent" doesn't describe black people at all, compared to 18% of Republicans and 7% of Trump supporters.
Earlier this month, a Trump supporter sucker-punched a black person at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Only a few days earlier, Trump supporters removed a black woman from a rally in Kentucky with great force. Trump supporters also have a history of violently ejecting people of color from rallies: Similar incidents have occurred in Louisiana, Florida and Alabama.
The stereotypes do not stop at violence, however: 38% of Trump supporters agreed that "lazy" describes black people either "extremely well" or "very well." About a quarter of Republicans and less than one-fifth of Democrats espoused the same belief.
The survey also included a "feeling thermometer" that asked respondents to gauge on a scale of 1 to 100 how they felt about various politicians, presidential candidates and communities. The results show a clear correlation between support for Trump and antipathy toward black Americans. As positive feelings toward black people went up, so did the probability that respondents would identify as Democrats. Those with the lowest opinion of black people were statistically likely to be Trump supporters.
While a high number of Trump supporters agree that black people are violent and lazy, maybe it's time we talk about what is actually violent and lazy: believing in stereotypes.
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