That Trumpism is born, at least in part, of reactionary racism seems inarguable from data compiled since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Law, however, looks at discrimination differently than other disciplines, inferring a discriminatory motive where an actor proffers an implausible explanation for his decisions. Smith employs frameworks from U.S. antidiscrimination law to argue that white voters’ embrace of Trump bears familiar hallmarks of discriminatory intent. This observation is not without practical consequence, for although voters believe their candidate preferences are a matter of personal choice, Smith argues that when voters cast a ballot, they are not acting as individuals but rather as state actors. Voters are therefore bound by antidiscrimination norms as surely as a duly elected government. White voters’ failure to abide these norms, Smith contends, carries with it legal consequences that vitiate, if not nullify, their racially discriminatory electoral choices.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo. Stay tuned.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is now closed. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of May.
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