America, say hello to President Trump. And you can thank white folks for this mess.
It turns out that a whole mess of white people voted for Donald Trump, but obviously many of them did not tell the pollsters they were voting for the man. Nov. 8 was an exercise in white supremacy. Simply put, this was white America’s last stand.
Looking at the exit polls, white voters came out in full force for the Donald. And we’re not simply talking about uneducated whites but ALL white people, regardless of education or socioeconomic status.
According to exit polls, Trump won among white women, with 53 percent to Hillary’s 43 percent. And with 31 percent of white male voters to Trump’s 63 percent, Clinton did not match President Barack Obama’s results with this demographic against Mitt Romney (35 percent) in 2012.
Among white voters without a college education, the President-elect snatched an impressive yet not surprising 72 percent to Clinton’s 23 percent. He won with white, non-college women with 62 percent (vs. 34 percent for Clinton) and white college-educated men with 54 percent to Hillary’s 39 percent.
Add to that less than energized black, Latino and millennial voters for Hillary — including smaller margins of victory among the African-American and Hispanic vote than Obama over Romney — and you had a recipe for disaster for the Democratic candidate.
Chalk it up to the “Bradley effect” on steroids, referring to the black mayor of Los Angeles who ran for governor of California in 1982. Although polls had him leading the race up to election day, he ultimately lost because white voters were too racist to admit to pollsters that they would not support the African-American candidate. Similarly, this time around, in the 2016 national race for the White House, far more white folks cast their ballot for Trump than thy cared to admit.
Meanwhile, the numbers coming from the fallout of the election suggest that whites flocked to Trump because of his open appeals to white supremacy, xenophobia and racism, not in spite of it. His naked and unabashed promotion of white nationalism — putting white people first and people of color be damned — worked in a big way. The support of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis and robocalls from hate groups must not have hurt Trump — and may have helped him.
Trump’s “law and order” stance towards blacks and Latino communities besieged by police violence, his incitement to violence against Black Lives Matter protesters at his campaign rallies, and calls among his supporters to lynch journalists, Hillary Clinton and President Obama himself, were part of that white supremacist narrative. So, too, was the call to build the wall to keep out Mexicans, and the ban on Muslims entering the country. We can pretend this was not the case, that whites were angry primarily over economic issues and Obamacare, and that this was not a backlash against a black president and a rising tide of multiculturalism.
The “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” crowd — who want more stop and frisk, more prison cells for black men, more police violence and more dead black bodies riddled with cop bullets lying by the side of the road — have emerged victorious, in a repudiation of civil rights and racial justice for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised. Those who want to end voting rights for people of color, and believe we have too many rights in general, have been heard.
Moreover, “Make America Great Again” is by its very nature a nightmare for black America, because America never was a great place for us. Meanwhile, there are many whites who long for the day when African-Americans were relegated to the cotton fields or the big house — or hanging from a Poplar tree.
White skin solidarity won the election for Donald Trump, allowing a mediocre white man — a bully and misogynist, a carnival barker and a circus side show act, operating in the gutter and peddling trash — to become the most powerful individual in the nation and the world. This is white America’s cruel gift to the rest of us that will keep on giving for generations to come.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.