The White Elephant In the Room

The White Elephant In the Room

“From polling and the behavior of individual politicians, it’s become harder to deny that people support the president not just for being president, but for his core message of white resentment and grievance—the only area where he has been consistent and unyielding.”

 “In an analysis of recent polling . . . William Saletan observes that, across a number of questions gauging racial animus, Republicans generally (and Trump supporters specifically) are most likely to give answers signaling tolerance for racism and racist ideas. Forty-one percent of Republicans, for example, say that whites face more discrimination than blacks and other nonwhite groups (among strong Trump supporters, it’s 45 percent). Ten percent of Republicans and 19 percent of strong Trump supporters have a favorable impression of white nationalists, while 13 percent of the former (and 17 percent of the latter) say it’s ‘acceptable’ to hold white supremacist views.”

“White identity politics have always been dominant in American life, one of the key forces that shape much of the nation’s political and social landscape. It’s not that Trump is new; it’s that he’s explicit, and in making his open appeal to white identity and its supposed endangerment, he has raised its salience. Before Trump, white resentment was part of Republican politics. In the age of Trump, it increasingly defines it.”

— “White Elephant,” Jamelle Bouie, Slate

Related:

“The First White President,” Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

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