The Trump Normalization Watch Database Is Keeping The Way Racism Is Discussed In Check
Along with his far-right and white nationalist advisors, President-elect Donald Trump is preparing to assume the presidency and lead the nation. And, as they do so, the threat of their xenophobic, homophobic, racist, and sexist views becoming normalized in national discourse only grows. But now, a Twitter account called @TrumpNormWatch is keeping tabs on these reported instances of normalization with its Trump Normalization Watch open source database. According to the Google Spreadsheet on which it is hosted, the database is an attempt to "collect instances of the normalization of white nationalism by major media companies and public figures." Bustle has reached out to @TrumpNormWatch to learn more about the database.
Started on Nov. 15, it already has over 30 examples of media outlets publishing pieces that the creators of the database believe either lack critique of or completely overlook the bigoted views and actions of the president-elect and his advisers. Each example is listed with an accompanying tag that classifies each article's alleged means of normalization. One tag is "Blank Slate," which notes an article that claims Americans should approach Trump with an open mind and the benefit of the doubt. Another is "Burying," in which a piece buries or fails to mention white nationalism at all. Yet another is "Normalcy," which the database defines as "Pointing to signs of normalcy or strength in the economy, culture etc. as signs that white nationalism is normal and fine."
Since even before the Nov. 8 election, journalists worldwide have been writing, tweeting and speaking about the dangers of normalizing Trump's presidency in the media. That danger extends to the normalization of the views of Trump's Senior Counselor Steve Bannon, White House Chief of Staff designate Reince Priebus, and Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions. And as the Trump Normalization Watch database highlights, that process has already begun.
Anyone can submit an example of "Trump normalization" to the database using its Google Form. Here are just a few of the many articles already included on the list.
"A Look At Steve Bannon And His Years At Harvard Business School," The Boston Globe
Interviews with more than two dozen of his former classmates illustrate that many view him as a brilliant thinker, even if they don't always agree with his politics.
He was gregarious. He was preppy, often dressed in a favorite yellow sweater. As one classmate put it, "He didn't strike me as out of the mainstream." Minorities in the class said he didn't make them feel uncomfortable. A Jewish classmate said he never heard him say anything anti-Semitic.
This article was marked with the categories "aesthetics, normalcy, low bar, just the facts."
"27 Photos Of Ivanka Trump And Her Family That Are Way Too Cute," People
The post makes no mention of white nationalism or the far right. However, it does proclaim, "Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, and their children Arabella, Joseph and Theodore have the adorable Instagram thing down pat."
This article was marked with the category "aesthetics," which means it focuses "on aesthetic, humanizing, and depoliticized aspects of Trump's rule at the expense of the political."
"Gritting Our Teeth And Giving President Trump A Chance," The New York Times
The time for ranting is over, and it's time to accept the inevitable. Trump has surprised us in many ways this year, and let's hope and pray that he will stun us once again by repairing the tears he made in our social fabric. Let's give him a chance — for those are our democratic values.
And if he falls short, let's hold him accountable — for the sake of those same values.
This article was marked with the categories "white victims," "hypotheticals," and "democracy."
"Donald Trump On Refusing Presidential Salary: 'I'm Not Taking It'," CBS News
During a campaign appearance in Rochester, New Hampshire, last October, the billionaire told a crowd he would not be accepting the $400,000 annual salary if he became president.
"The first thing I'm going to do is tell you that if I'm elected president, I'm accepting no salary, OK?" Trump said. "That's not a big deal for me."
This article was marked with the categories "normalcy," "aesthetics," and "low bar."
"Bannon, Tormentor Of Establishment GOP, Gains Foothold In West Wing," POLITICO
Trump's decision Sunday to elevate Bannon to chief strategist and senior counselor ensures that the firebrand's long-time efforts to tear down the GOP establishment will have a home just steps from the Oval Office.
This article was marked with the categories "euphemism," "democracy works," and "burying."