“I’m Not going to the f***ing White House”: Twitter Users React to Donald Trump and Megan Rapinoe

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Abstract

When asked if she would go to the White House if invited, Megan Rapinoe stated, “I’m not going to the fucking White House.” The next morning, President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets in which he criticized Rapinoe’s statements. In his tweets, Trump introduced issues around race in the United States and brought forth his own notion of nationalism. The purpose of this study was to conduct an analysis of users’ tweets to determine how individuals employed Twitter to craft a narrative and discuss the ongoing Rapinoe and Trump feud within and outside the bounds of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and nationalism. An inductive analysis of 16,137 users’ tweets revealed three primary themes: a) Refuse, Refute, & Redirect Racist Rhetoric b) Stand Up vs. Know your Rights, and c) #ShutUpAndBeALeader. Based on the findings of this study, it appears that the dialogue regarding racism in the United States is quickly evolving. Instead of reciting the same refrain (i.e., racism no longer exists and systematic racism is constructed by Black people) seen in previous works, individuals in the current dataset refuted those talking points and clearly labeled the President as a racist. Additionally, though discussions of nationalism were evident in this dataset, the Stand Up vs. Know Your Rights theme was on the periphery in comparison to discussions of race. Perhaps, this indicates that some have grown tired of Trump utilizing nationalism as a means to stoke racism.

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Frederick, E. L., Pegoraro, A., & Schmidt, S. (2020). “I’m Not going to the f***ing White House”: Twitter Users React to Donald Trump and Megan Rapinoe. Communication and Sport. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479520950778

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