This electoral season continues to illuminate the power of race, racism, and xenophobia to divide people and to empower the ruling class.
Trump won the Republican party nomination using openly racist, classist and sexist campaign rhetoric. Meanwhile, the Sanders campaign has highlighted the country’s profound structural economic inequalities. As a result, there has been an increased interest in the social, economic, and political roles of white working class and poor white people.
Never before has a national election showed me a picture of myself and my community of origin so clearly. From my favorite home state politician hitting the national stage and shifting the boundaries of what discussions are possible, to the increased scrutiny of the political role played by poor and working class white people, this is an electrifying (if somewhat terrifying) moment.
Although this article by Nate Silver, “The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support” has disproved the widely accepted idea that Trump’s base is poor white people, at Catalyst Project we have nonetheless welcomed the flurry of new writings looking at the roles and realities of the white poor and the white working class. We have found the following articles to be thoughtful, useful, insightful, and provocative on this topic.
Let us know what you think!
- A cross-class capacity-building tool from our friends at Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Braden Program alum Jes Kelley played a lead role in creating this. “This living document was created by the SURJ poor and working class group as an act of love and commitment to our common desire, across the class spectrum, to bring white folks into action, dismantle white supremacy and engage with the complex struggle and beauty of collective liberation.”
- A look at the rise of Trump and what it says about this country’s from the perspective of a poor white woman.
- An interview with Ben Laughlin, a working class organizer (and Braden program alumni) on blocking access to a Trump rally in Arizona.
- A look at how the people who write about the poor and working class white people get it wrong.
- What do we mean when we say that working class poor people are voting against their own interests?
- “America incentivizes racism in working class white people, and if we fail to understand this, we will fail to fix it.”
In Love and Struggle,
on behalf of Catalyst Project