This paper analyzes how Trump uses metadiscourse as a strategy for denying accusations of racism. We conduct a discourse analysis of press event interactions where Trump denies journalists’ accusations of racism or where Trump himself voices others’ accusations of racism and then denies these accusations. Analysis of 8 excerpts illustrates how Trump a) uses metadiscourse to reframe his own talk as “accurate” instead of “racist,” b) uses “fake news” as humor to delegitimize media and display amicable relationships with his African American supporters and c) labels questions from journalists who ask about his racist actions as “racist” or “nasty.” These metadiscursive strategies reproduce racist ideologies that position Trump as well intentioned, not racist, and thus not blame-worthy for racist actions and those who question Trump as unreasonable and sometimes, racist themselves. Thus, Trump uses his authority to control definitions of what counts as racism and is able to perpetuate racism while attempting to maintain a “not-racist” identity. Overall, we highlight how close analysis of forms of metadiscourse as used in particular interactional and relational contexts is consequential for understanding ways that racism is justified and maintained more broadly.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Howard Journal of Communications|
|State||Published - 2022|
- denials of racism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management