Legitimizing Racism: Critical Discourse Analysis of White Supremacy in Trump’s Political Speeches

Critical discourse analysis, political discourse, discursive strategies, racism


September 30, 2021


Nowadays, the concept of racism has been frequently used by people and more specifically by political figures as a social phenomenon that has been utilized as a"legitimising ideological tool". It is exploited to persecute an addressed group/s and to dispute them access to some social, cultural and political rights (Miles, 1993: 28). Moreover, it has been considered as “a special variety of ‘heterophobia’, bearing a co-hyponymical relation to ‘antisemitism’ or ‘Jewphobia’, ‘Arab-phobia’, ‘black-phobia’, ‘sexism’, ‘homophobia’, ‘youth-phobia’ and ‘phobia against differently-abled persons’, etc.”(Reisigl and Wodak, 2001: 5-6). However, this study aims to identify the use of racism in the political arena (more specifically in the political speech of Donald Trump) and illustrate the functional use by analyzing three American political speeches given by the former American presidents. The analysis is based on the qualitative research method and the discursive strategies proposed by Reisigl and Wodak’s (2001: 45). The analysis results will show to the reader that, in the political speeches of Donald Trump, racism is expressed both explicitly and implicitly.