American novelist, playwright, essayist, and professor Toni Morrison, who died Tuesday, wasn’t a fan of the current president, and several years ago penned an essay in which she explained the election of Donald Trump.
In November 2016, about a week after the United States elected current President Donald Trump, Morrison penned a piece for The New Yorker titled “Making America White Again,” in which she made her opinions on Trump and his supporters clear.
Morrison said that in a post-slavery and post-civil rights era, the superiority complex white people had developed over centuries about the color of their skin was disappearing, and it was causing a panic.
“There are ‘people of color’ everywhere, threatening to erase this long-understood definition of America,” the Pulitzer Prize winner wrote in 2016. “And what then? Another black President? A predominantly black Senate? Three black Supreme Court Justices? The threat is frightening.”
Morrison said that white people were “sacrificing themselves” in an attempt to restore the white identity to one of national superiority through means that she said compromised their human dignity and made them appear cowardly. The author followed this with references to acts of violence committed against people of color by white individuals, including the burning of black churches and shooting of black churchgoers.
The Nobel laureate lashed out directly at the then president-elect, noting that the U.S. Department of Justice had previously sued Trump’s business for not renting apartments to black people. She drew attention to Trump’s previous questioning of former President Obama’s birth location, and what she said was his seeming approval of the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his campaign rallies.
Toni Morrison, author and Nobel laureate, dies aged 88 https://t.co/yEsFYZAXzl— The Guardian (@guardian) August 6, 2019
She said that white people – and white men in particular – flocked to the Trump message because they were fearful of losing their cultural superiority against growing populations of minorities in the United States.
Her words strike a particular chord in the present day following recent events which have exacerbated existing racial divides in the United States.
On Saturday, a gunman in El Paso, Texas killed 22 at a Walmart store in the city that has a population comprised of 83 percent Hispanic or Latino people, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A manifesto that the would-be shooter posted on online forum 8chan prior to the shooting used language that said he wanted to stop a Hispanic “invasion” of Texas. The language used has mirrored similar rhetoric used by the president in the past, per The New York Times.
Last week, Trump attacked Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is black, and called his Baltimore district “infested” with rodents. A pattern was revealed in which the president used similar language to refer to areas with a high population of minorities. In weeks prior, the 45th president lashed out at minority congresswomen, telling the U.S. citizens to “go back” to their ancestral countries.
The president has continued to deny that he is racist, saying in July that he believed he was the “least racist person anywhere in the world,” per The Hill.
Morrison, who was 88-years-old at the time of her death, was known for authoring novels that included Beloved, published in 1987, The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, and Song of Solomon, published in 1977.