Based on how much people have spoken about it in recent years, you'd think so
Here’s a remarkable chart from Zach Goldberg, which shows the frequency with which the words racist, racists and racism are used in five American newspapers and also NPR (National Public Radio).
There’s a bit of variation over time (the data starts in 1970), but as you can see, there’s been an unprecedented surge over the last decade — and especially the last five years.
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Why would this be? Have Americans suddenly become massively more racist, thus giving the media more stories of racism to report on? Or, more likely, is just that Americans are more likely to talk about it?
Obviously, there’s the Trump factor. He’s a divisive president who uses divisive rhetoric — for instance about illegal immigrants. There’s also the liberal narrative that can’t seem to ascribe any other motive except racism to those who voted for the man.
Goldberg shares other charts showing a corresponding surge in the use of terms like ‘white privilege’, ‘unconscious bias’, ‘marginalisation’ and ‘whiteness’. This, of course, is the language of woke academia. The Millennial graduates of classes in X theory and Y studies are now well represented in journalism and are regurgitating their education all over the media.
This produces an inevitable reaction on the Right — where, in their own way, people have become just as obsessed with wokeness as their opponents are on the Left.
Amidst all this, we end up not even talking about racism itself, just endlessly talk about how we talk about the issue.