“It is clear that Trump’s policies reflect a sea change in the American approach to national security — but do they ‘make Americans safe again?’ Our research suggests they could do exactly the opposite. By dehumanizing minority group members in word and deed, Trump’s rhetoric and policies may promote the very actions that they purport to prevent,” Nour Kteily and Emile Bruneau write in The Washington Post.
“Our work, published last month in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, revealed that Americans consistently rated Mexican immigrants and Muslims as less human than average Americans. Furthermore, reported levels of dehumanization strongly predicted support for Trump’s immigration policies, including the plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and the proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S.”
“To examine the ramifications of dehumanization for its targets, we sampled Latino and Muslim residents of the U.S. online and asked them to report how dehumanized they felt by Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and Americans in general. Our findings revealed that our samples of Latinos and Muslims felt heavily dehumanized, and that this had important consequences: The more dehumanized they felt, the more likely they were to support violent over nonviolent forms of collective protest, and the less likely they were to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods, potentially related to terrorism, to the FBI.”