“Racists,” “Class Anxieties,” Hegemonic Racism, and Democracy in Trump’s America
In this address, I challenge dominant narratives explaining the rise of Trumpism in America. Specifically, I dispute four ideas that have emerged to account for Trump’s election. First, I suggest that understanding his election as the product of the political activities of the “racists” severely limits our understanding of racism as a collective phenomenon. Second, I question the notion that Trump’s working class support was due to “class anxieties.” Third, I argue that despite the rise in old-fashioned racism in Trump’s America, the new racism and its ideology of color-blindness are still hegemonic. Last, I ask analysts and activists alike to realize that the fight for democracy in the turbulent times we are living cannot be equated with an effort to return to “politics as usual,” politics that have maintained the matrix of domination in place.
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