Repenting of Our Whiteness

white people

Dr. Ashley Jardina, who teaches political science a Duke University, informs us that

I’ve found that after the 2016 election, there was a 10-percentage-point drop in the number of white people who identify as white. I’m working on a study now with some colleagues that tries to understand why we’ve seen this drop. What we’ve found thus far is that the drop has largely been motivated by dislike or disgust toward Donald Trump. There’s also some evidence that Trump is partly responsible for a reduction in levels of racial prejudice among some whites. Since Trump’s election, white Republicans have not become less racially prejudiced, but white Democrats have.

Both these changes are really interesting and surprising, because social scientists often think of these racial identities and racial attitudes as really stable dispositions—ones that people adopt early in their lives. They don’t tend to shift, even when things are going on in the political environment. The fact that Trump is, in part, causing these shifts is really surprising.

I don’t know exactly what the first sentence in the quotation means, because I find it hard to wrap my mind around how it applies to me. Physically, I’m just as melanin-deprived as I was back in 2015, prior to doomsday. And I still have the same ancestors, a lot of whom were Scotch-Irish, and most of whom spent several centuries stealing land from Native Americans and enslaving Africans.

But maybe “identifying as white” means feeling that being a white American is something that makes you special.

Yeah, it really is past time to think like that. And I can see that the Trumpster has forced some of us to rethink our views and our instincts about ethnicity.