This August, our centre member Jennifer Saul published a piece in The Conversation, talking about “racial fig leaves”, the Republican National Convention, and why it’s even more dangerous now than it was four years ago.
In her article, she discusses how the overall picture of the Convention has changed in comparison to four years ago and how this relates to what she calls “racial fig leaves”: “I use the term fig leaves because they serve to just barely cover something you aren’t supposed to show in public. Fig leaves are needed because most white people don’t want to think of themselves as racist. Fig leaves work because some white people are so keen to convince themselves that something apparently racist really isn’t racist after all.”
As Saul writes, while four years ago the Convention “was filled with chants of “lock her up” and “build that wall””, now they took a different route – “highlighting speakers of colour and showcasing U.S. President Donald Trump’s pardons and his granting of citizenship to people of colour.” Saul states further, that “[t]hese fig leaves were meant to convince voters that Trump and his party are not racist after all”, which is why fig leaves are so dangerous: “they have the potential to change our views about what racism is and to make us accept increasingly racist policy and conduct as not racist after all.”
You can find discussions of this, and more, in the full article, which can be found here.