Please read the Ta-Nehisi Coates article “The First White President.”. This is the best analysis of the Trump phenomenon that has come down the pike.
I think one useful starting point would be for us white people to simply admit and accept that we are racist to the core, that we sucked in racism with our mothers milk. No matter how nice we’ve been to people of color, no matter how many black friends, lovers, spouses we have, no matter how much money we’ve given to the cause, no matter how many hours we’ve spent marching or going to jail against racism.
We white people are fundamentally racist because we have tolerated the most horrific treatment of black people for 400 years. We haven’t effing ended it. We are racist because we haven’t been able to reach our white brethren and sistren who voted for the resurgence of white supremacy.
And we won’t stop being essentially racist until we have eliminated racism from the face of the earth. The real kicker is that until that time we won’t be fully human.
The real reason racism is against the interests of white people isn’t because if we were united with people of color against the system, our economic condition would improve. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t. But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is to reclaim our humanity, our solidarity with the majority of the human race.
The very concept of “white” is racist. Think about it: they are not parallel catagories, white and black. To be considered white you must at least appear to be 100% white. White is a pure category. If you have a “touch of the tarbrush” as they used to say, if you are one-eighth black, you are black, or “of color.”
Those of us white people that have worked on our racism, who have immersed ourselves in the struggle for equality – our racism tends to reflect itself in our sense of superiority to other whites who aren’t as enlightened as we are. In many cases, we were so afraid of racism that we abandoned our “less enlightened” families, friends, and neighbors in what we so snobbishly call the “flyover country” and fled to the coasts where we could hang out with people we agree with. It’s not about feeling guilty. We are guilty. We are too afraid of racism — of our own racism — to sufficiently challenge it.
It’s true in a sense that white people have no soul, no deeply felt blues for human suffering. Some of us try to appropriate that human connection in our music, but it rarely works. White people, simply by virtue of our whiteness, are cut off from the majority of humanity — and from our own feelings as well. The only way to start getting our humanity back is to dedicate our lives and our resources to ending racism and all the historic inequalities that racism has engendered.