With the election of Donald Trump, the question of how white Americans can remain in a state of denial has become a flashpoint.
In a November 2016 interview with ABC News, Trump said he would “keep America great and beautiful” but that he “would do a much better job of keeping it white.”
“It will be much more difficult for me, because I’ll be the first one to admit, if we get knocked down, I will be the last one,” Trump said.
“I have to make the people of Texas, of the states of the South, very proud.
We have to be able to walk through that wall and the wall will be just as strong as ever.”
He added, “It’s going to be a much tougher job than I thought.”
Trump said that “white people” need to “put our house in order” and “get our lives in order.”
“We’re going to have to put our house, and our families, in order,” Trump told ABC News.
“And I’ll tell you, it’s going be a lot tougher.
It’s going the other way.
We’re going for our lives.
And I’m going to do a better job.”
Trump’s comments came on the same day that white people began to protest against the election results.
In Texas, thousands of people demonstrated against the result of the state’s vote.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime,” said Heather Roper, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, who studies how people of color view the election.
“The turnout was massive.
We saw hundreds of thousands of African Americans and Hispanics and all types of people, and a lot of people are feeling pretty hopeful, but I just want to see it more in terms of how people feel.”
At the same time, Trump has been criticized for using his post-election comments to fuel his campaign.
On Tuesday, he tweeted: “I was right about ‘Make America Great Again’ but I was wrong about ‘White Supremacy.'”
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Trump repeated the sentiment, telling host Anderson Cooper: “You know, I’m very disappointed.
I mean, I mean this has been a really difficult campaign, but the people are saying that.
It was very, very close.”
He continued: “But I just think it was a mistake, and I’ve said, ‘I was wrong.’
I was very wrong.
But we’ll see what happens.”
Roper noted that Trump has “had to respond to the election” but added that “it was not a race to the top, but a race of people.”