In “The First White President,” Ta-Nehisi Coates argued that, “to Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power.” White supremacy, Coates wrote, was the main catalyst for Trump’s white voters. The piece was sweeping in the ground it covered and breathtaking in its storytelling; it also completely failed to validate Coates’s argument.
I read the essay more than once, took scores of notes, researched polling data that matched statistics he listed, and highlighted several parts that piqued my curiosity. This was no small undertaking, as Coates is as elegant in his writing as he is comprehensive in his research. His essay, an excerpt from his new book We Were Eight Years in Power, covered