Talk Back

Trump & the Revenge of the White Women


Something very revealing about the soul of America has happened over the past week. Republican nominee Donald Trump (aka The Teflon Don) has verbally assailed Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, “the Blacks,” Rosie O’Donnell, persons with disabilities and women of every background. But now he has finally sustained a wound that he may not survive: College-educated white women.

The release of the now infamous Trump tapes has enraged women across every demographic, but none more lethally so than the white female professional. Educated women, journalists, educators, doctors, lawyers, and even stay-at-home moms (off ramping their careers) living in the crucial vote rich suburbs of Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida have all been bothered. If Trump’s graphic and menacing words caught on audio were not enough, more women are coming forward daily to say that he groped, kissed, or grabbed them by the “P.” His remarks even infuriated America’s most influential and visible college-educated woman: First lady Michelle Obama.

The nation’s first lady, who is very popular with all American women—according to a recent Gallup poll, Mrs. Obama’s approval ratings sit at more than 64%—delivered a powerful rebuke of Trump on Thursday in New Hampshire to college-aged (mostly-white) women.

But America’s first lady is not the demographic Trump needs. Black women are the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting block delivering huge numbers at the polls both in 2008 and 2012 for President Obama.

Contrary to what many may believe, Trump’s America, which is made up of mostly white working-class men, will not be enough to put him in the White House. The group that wields the most power in the 2016 election is not African-Americans, immigrants or others. The group that holds the keys to the White House is college-educated white women—a demographic that Trump is doing poorly with. Recent polling suggests that white college-educated women could be his Achilles heel.

But for people of color, however, the question we need to be asking of the Republican leadership is, Why did you let this man get this far? Why didn’t you stop him, or flee from him when he insulted a sitting Mexican American judge born in Indiana or when he called immigrants rapists, or killers? Or when he attacked GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly, or any other woman who got in his way? And what about his offensive “stop & frisk” rhetoric, a policy that has been ruled unconstitutional because of its desperate impact on Black men? Or his ignorance that somehow all Black people live in poor urban cities?

Why didn’t they speak up then? Why did they only react when Trump was caught on tape ogling a young white woman as he got off the bus?

Because white women are sacred in this country. They always have been.

They are the standard of femininity, motherhood, and beauty. The Republicans ran for cover because their wives, daughters and sisters started whispering loudly in their ears. Their female staffers started coaching them to move away from Trump. Nothing moves a male politician more than the women who have his ear. Beyond that, the ugly truth is that the GOP has written off all of these other groups of Americans for quite some time. And the chickens have indeed come home to roost.

Trump has staked his claim to the presidency on a Nixonian, divisive, Southern strategy that excludes everyone but white Americans. But Trump and his minions forget that white women are also considered a “protected class” in this nation. They too were once a “minority” group. Not so anymore. And Trump with his brash, mean, sexist rhetoric has stirred a hornet’s nest that may well derail the GOP just not at the topic of the ticket but all the way down the line.