Princeton professor and MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude Jr. called President Trump the “manifestation of the ugliness that’s in us” in a monologue delivered Monday on MSNBC.
Glaude, who is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton, delivered a scathing and powerful response when asked is Trump was responsible for the racial diviseness currently plaguing the country.
Glaude said, “America is not unique in its sins as a country. We’re not unique in our evils, to be honest with you. I think where we may be singular is our refusal to acknowledge them. And the legends and myths we tell about our inherent, you know, goodness to hide and cover and conceal so that we can maintain a kind of willful ignorance that protects our innocence.”
See, the thing is that when the Tea Party was happening we – people were – we were saying, pundits, “Oh, it’s just about economic populism. It’s not about race.” When people knew, people knew, social scientists were already writing that what was driving the Tea Party were anxieties about demographics shifts, that the country was changing. That they were seeing these racially ambiguous babies on Cheerios commercials. That the country wasn’t quite feeling like it was a white nation anymore. And people were screaming from the top of their lungs, “Yo, this is not just simply economic populism. This is the ugly underbelly of the country.”
See, the thing is this. And I’ll say this and take the hit on it. There are communities that have had to bear the brunt of America confronting – white Americans confronting the danger of their innocence. And it happens every generation. So somehow we have to kind of, “Oh, my god, is this who we are?”
And just again another, here is another generation of babies. Think about it, a two-year-old had his bones broken by two parents trying to shield him from being killed. A woman who has been married to this man for as long as I’ve been on the planet almost lost her husband. For what?
And so what we know is that the country has been playing politics for a long time on this hatred. We know this. So it’s easy for us to place it all on Donald Trump’s shoulders. It’s easy for us to place Pittsburgh on his shoulders, it’s easy for me to place Charlottesville on his shoulders, it’s easy for us to place El Paso on his shoulders. This is us! And if we’re going to get past this, we can’t blame it on him. He’s a manifestation of the ugliness that’s in us.
I’ve had the privilege of growing up in a tradition that didn’t believe in the myths and legends because we had to bear the brunt of them. Either we’re going to change, Nicolle, or we’re going to do this again and again and babies are going to have to grow up without mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, friends, while we’re trying to convince white folk to finally leave behind a history that will maybe, maybe – or embrace a history that might set them free from being white. Finally. Finally.
Watch his powerful analysis below.