Do you think Donald Trump got elected because liberals ignored white working class voters? I did to some extent too, but now I see my own blind spots reflected back. Read this essay for yourself. It’s long but…WOW. Ta-Nehisi Coates interrogates an emotional post-election appeal about the forgotten white working class and rather easily pokes holes at both the liberal and conservative explanations. More importantly, he demonstrates that this way of framing things is nothing new. It is a story that white folks have proposed many times in a largely successful effort to dismiss the charge of racism and reenact white America’s “bloody heirloom.”
Our whole lives seem soaked with fear in 2017, but I thank Mr. Coates for making plain America’s original sin. It’s not too late to see our hidden wound. The truth will set us free, my beloved white brothers and sisters.
“Certainly not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”
–Ta-Nehisi Coates in The First White President