Flyover: The politics of white resentment

In conversations about things like affirmative action, immigration reform, or the very phrase “Black Lives Matter,” it’s easy for white Americans to start to feel like they’re losing something when someone else gains. Recent polls show that during the Obama years, whites perceived anti-white discrimination to be on the rise in the U.S., which plays into the notion that racism is a zero-sum game that one side must be losing if another side is gaining. This week on Flyover, we’ll try to understand how white resentment continues to shape our politics and our communities.

  • Some related reading for this week from the New York Times' Upshot blog: Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)
     
    For every $100 made by a white family, black families only make $57.30 and for every $100 in wealth possessed by a white family, a black family possesses  $5.04, according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.
     
    However, both black and white American families (especially wealthy white Americans) believe the income and wealth gap isn’t actually that large. 
     
    “It seems that we’ve convinced ourselves – and by ‘we’ I mean Americans writ large – that racial discrimination is a thing of the past,” Jennifer Richeson told the Times. “We’ve literally overcome it, so to speak, despite blatant evidence to the contrary.”

     
  • More reading on this week's show topic comes from The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates. His latest piece is titled The First White President
    Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.”
  • This week's guests:

    • Jason Rosenbaum — Political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio

    • Carol Anderson Chair of African American studies at Emory University and the author of "White Rage"

    • Victor Chen — Assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of "Cut Loose: Joblessness and Hopelessness in an Unfair Economy"

  • How is a person kneeling not respectful? I remember ministers and friends joining Martin Luther King Jr. kneeling the same way in prayer together.
  • For over 200 years after slavery whites regardless of economic class benfitted.

    Blacks with PhD s were porters on trains. Black veterans were denied loans to purchase housing. Black people in the deep South were denied the right to vote.Banks red lined real state redistricting where they would allow loans and then charged Black folk higher interest rates.

    These are well documented facts.

    White working and middle class need to focus on facts. They will see that wealthy white folks with money are the o we do i g well. Black folks as a whole are mot do i g better off than worki g and middle class whites.

    Also, technology coupled with many working poor choosing not to go to college is what adversely effects their lives.
  • The point was missed re: white anger. The anger stems from watching TV's coverage of he demanding nstrations. For nstance, the demonstration in MPLS, showed the demonstrations blocking the hwy and shouting rude comments about police. Without going thru all the demonstrations seen on TV, the demonstrators come off as negative. As a white woman, who grew up in the sixties, I find these demonstrators thugs.
  • It is important to talk about white privilege. I believe a lot of while individuals say "I don't have white privilege, I am pretty poor and I am barely making ends meet, where is my privilege." but they don't see that if they are walking downtown people won't look at them and say "What are they doing here?" while that happens to people of color. They don't see that when they walking into a store people think "They must be here to buy something" while when a person of color walks in sometimes the first thought is "Why did they come in here, I have nothing that they would like." All these little ways that their whiteness eases and smooths their lives they do not count as privilege.
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