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respond to each question please do not rewrite the question on the final draft. The Great White Hoax: Donald Trump and the Politics of Race and Class in America (2017)
Wise, Tim. 2017. The Great White Hoax: Donald Trump and the Politics of Race and Class in America. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation.
The Great White Hoax, explores how American political leaders of both parties have been tapping into white anxiety, stoking white grievance, and scapegoating people of color for decades to divide and conquer working class voters and shore up political support. The film’s primary focus is Donald Trump’s race-baiting 2016 campaign for the presidency. But it widens its scope to show how Trump’s charged rhetoric about African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims fits within a longstanding historical pattern, offering a stunning survey of how racism and racial scapegoating have shaped American politics for centuries.
On August 11, 2017, a two-day protest march and rally began in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. The protest was organized and attended by members of several ultra-right, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups, including the famed white supremacist leader David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the KKK and a prominent supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. According to the news reports featured in the film, what was the stated purpose of the “Unite the Right” rally? How and/or do you think “white nationalism” differs from “nationalism” on its own? Why do you think the statement by President Trump that there was an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides” triggered criticism across the political spectrum?
Over the course of the 2016 campaign, a number of prominent Republicans expressed outrage over Donald Trump’s use of racial scapegoating. Additionally, mainstream media commentators and political leaders of both parties repeatedly made the claim that Trump’s use of racial scapegoating broke with the values of the Republican Party and what it means to be a true conservative. What was the “Southern Strategy”? And how did Richard Nixon use it to garner white votes and win the presidency? How did the “law-and-order” rhetoric translate into policy under Nixon? What was Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan and how does it support Tim Wise’s point about current conservative political strategies?
After the election, most politicians and pundits argued that economic anxiety was the primary reason for Donald Trump’s upset victory. The idea that “we are losing our country,” and that the country has gotten worse since the 1950s, was by far the most common belief of Trump voters. The film argues that while economic issues clearly did play a role in Trump’s victory, racial attitudes also played a central role. How does the film demonstrate that economic anxiety and race are intertwined? What was the birther movement? How does this fit with the overall argument about the primary role that racism, and white anxiety and grievance, played in the 2016 election?
While a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump, the rate was far higher for white men. Tim Wise argues that while being white has always come with certain expectations, being a white man has especially come with certain expectations. According to Wise, in what ways does being a white man in America come with more expectations than simply being white –how does whiteness intersect with gender? What role should white people play in the fight against racism and white supremacy? What lessons can we learn from the past?