The Great White Hope: Donald Trump, Race, and the Crisis of American Democracy

Event Date: 

Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Annenberg Conference Room - SSMS 4315

Dean's Lecture Series

Christopher Parker

Department of Political Science
University of Washington

The election of Donald Trump caught many by surprise. What’s more, he won the White House with the type of race-baiting not seen since George Wallace’s unsuccessful campaign in the 1960s. Drawing on my prior work on the Tea Party movement, I put Trump’s victory (and the MAGA movement) in historical context, serving as a successor to the Klan of the 1920s and the John Birch Society. Trump’s rise, like the formation of other reactionary movements, was fueled by a sense of existential threat: the belief that “real American” culture is under siege. I also explore another application of threat: the threat the election of the 45 th president poses to the progress of people of color (POC). I demonstrate that POC who felt threatened by Trump’s candidacy were far more politically engaged, mobilized, and felt more solidarity with other POC, than those who felt less threatened.
Reception to Follow