A Shocking Number Of Trump Supporters Think Slavery Should Still Be A Thing

by John Haltiwanger
Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump epitomizes what it means to be controversial.

From the moment he announced he's running for president, the man began making incendiary remarks that provoked widespread condemnation.

Many find some of his policy proposals, such as barring Muslim immigration to the US and mass deporting over 11 million undocumented immigrants, inherently bigoted and offensive.

Even still, he's dominating the Republican field, and it's clear there are a significant number of Americans who appreciate his perspectives and vision for the country.

The US is no stranger to xenophobia and intolerance, but it's still particularly disconcerting these sentiments fueled a presidential candidate's campaign.

Correspondingly, data reported by The New York Times regarding a recent poll conducted by YouGov and The Economist highlighted some shocking (and frightening) statistics about Trump supporters and their views.

The data revealed nearly 20 percent of Trump supporters disapproved of President Abraham Lincoln's decision to free the slaves in the Southern states during the American Civil War.

In other words, around one out of five Trump supporters believes slavery should still be a thing.

Specifically, these individuals said they did not agree with "the executive order which freed all slaves in the states that were in rebellion against the federal government." This executive order is known as the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln issued on January 1, 1863 at the height of the Civil War.

Slavery was not formally abolished until 1865 via the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, but the Emancipation Proclamation was an extremely important moment in US history and a massive step forward for this country. But apparently, there are a lot of Trump backers who don't view it this way.

What's more, the data also showed around a third of Trump supporters said they believe the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a good idea. Trump supporters were also more likely than the backers of other candidates to express disapproval of the desegregation of the military.

Meanwhile, people dressed like members of the Ku Klux Klan recently showed up at a Republican caucus site in Nevada. These individuals carried signs expressing support for Donald Trump, who has been the GOP frontrunner for some time now.

It's not clear if these people were really backers of the real-estate mogul turned presidential candidate, but it's definitely concerning to see people donning KKK-inspired garb at a location related to the US presidential election (or anywhere, for that matter).

Relatedly, it's worth noting data from Public Policy Polling showed Trump supporters were more likely than supporters of other candidates to believe whites are a superior race.

Welcome to America in 2016.

Citations: How Donald Trump dominated Nevada, in one word: Anger (The Washington Post), The Economist/YouGov Poll (YouGov), Measuring Donald Trump's Supporters for Intolerance (The New York Times), Trump, Clinton Continue to Lead in SC (Public Policy Polling)