We’re discussing the legacy and persistence of racism more now than in decades. And Trump understands that all this talk about institutional racism and White privilege makes many White people feel attacked and defensive, as though they’re being personally accused of sins they feel they haven’t committed.
So in response he gives them permission to stop feeling bad. Not only will I protect Confederate statues and banish talk of racism from schools, he claims, I’ll convince everyone that the real thing we need to eradicate isn’t racism itself but talking about racism.
Call it the White Innocence Project.
This is the message Trump wants those supporters to hear: We’re done talking about slavery and racism. You don’t have to do any soul-searching, you don’t have to question how American institutions operate, and you sure as hell don’t have to feel guilty about anything. You, beleaguered White man, are the best there is, because you are America, not them.