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Sapna Cheryan and Ella Lombard co-authored this opinion piece in Crosscut about responding to Trump’s racism

How to respond to Trump's racism

Two UW psychologists break down why reporter Weijia Jiang’s response to the president was so effective, and how others can emulate it.

by Sapna Cheryan & Ella Lombard / May 19, 2020

"Maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” President Donald Trump told Asian American journalist Weijia Jiang at a press conference last week.

She had asked about why the president was viewing the pandemic as a global competition. Unfortunately, that sort of remark from Trump is nothing new.
Last year, the president’s July 14 tweet to four Democratic congresswomen and American citizens of color advised them to “go back” to where they “originally came from.” Until late in his 2016 campaign, Trump persisted in publicizing the unfounded theory that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than in the United States. Casting political opponents and people with whom he disagrees as foreign invaders rather than American citizens is a tactic Trump has repeatedly invoked.

What was new this time was Jiang’s response. “Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?” she asked. In posing a question back to Trump, she encapsulated a perfect in-the-moment retort to allegations that you or your group does not belong in the United States. 

When individuals feel that their American status is called into question, their knee-jerk response is often to explicitly prove or exaggerate their American identity. When important aspects of our identities are met with suspicion, it’s natural to defend ourselves by presenting evidence proving who we really are. But there is another way.

Read the entire article here.