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1/ We are taught prejudice before we are taught to fight it in others and in ourselves. Even those who fight the hardest still bear the taint of bias.
2/ Thus, even when we can recognize a smear against a woman and/or a minority, the negative connotations of that smear can have a sticky effect in our cognition and our perception.
3/ Once the foundation of prejudice is there, it's easy to add to it, *even* in cases when the prejudice has been recognized & rejected. We might denounce one racist attack, but its connotations can remain: opportunistic, dishonest, foreign, dirty, suspicious
4/ This is one reason why journalists must be abundantly careful when reporting Trump’s racist remarks about Ilhan Omar or any other person. Journalists must highlight that his statements are smears &/or lies.
5/ Rep. Ilhan Omar faces several domains of prejudice and their intersections. She is a Muslim woman of color who was born in a different country. Even white Americans who fully reject Trump’s racist lies may subtly absorb some of the negative connotations of his statements.
6/ B/c, again, we are taught prejudice first as baseline knowledge. It is only later that we are taught to fight it. Trump is trying to make white ppl fear and doubt everything about Rep Omar that society teaches white ppl to fear and doubt about POC, esp. Muslim women of color.
7/ Trump’s words will fire up his racist base who are already deeply wedded to their hatred. However, the negative connotations of his words will also *stick* in the minds of other white Americans if the media fails to properly report them.
8/ Do not “neutrally” report Trump’s words. Highlight that they are false. Highlight the tropes they evoke. Do everything you can to place this propaganda in its correct context.
9/ Otherwise the propaganda will have its intended effect: not just for Trump’s base, but for everyone who has the *baseline* foundation of prejudice that our society teaches us. And all POC, esp., in this case, Muslim women of color, will be the long-lasting victims.
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