Donald Trump’s Identity Politics

“When the dominant status of whites relative to racial and ethnic minorities is secure and unchallenged, white identity likely remains dormant,” according to research by political scientist Ashley Jardina. “When whites perceive their group’s dominant status is threatened or their group is unfairly disadvantaged, however, their racial identity may become salient and politically relevant.”

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Why Confederate Statues Fail to Represent Southern History

“The Civil War was about conflict within the Confederacy and within the United States. But statues of Confederate soldiers erase those conflicts by portraying the South as united behind the Confederacy,” writes historian Laura Edwards. “In fact, the South was as conflicted in the Civil War era as it is now. So was the rest of the United States. And that is why the Confederate statues and their portrayals of false unity are so misleading and dangerous.”

Read More in The Hill

Should Confederate Statues Be Removed From Public Spaces?

Political scientist Kerry Haynie struck a note of caution in removing the Confederate monuments. “I am fearful as an educator that we will forget the past,” says Haynie, director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. “You often see now in textbooks and various places almost a denial of a slavery past or a racist past. One of the purposes those monuments serve is to remind us of that past.”

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White Supremacist Groups’ Rally Turns Deadly In Charlottesville

Kerry Haynie, associate professor of political science and African and African-American studies, talks about race and the White House’s response to the weekend’s protests in Virginia. Haynie says it’s hard to see President Trump’s condemnation of white supremacists two days after the protests as genuine. “We’re in some troubling times, I think,” Haynie says.

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Military Bases Named For Confederate Leaders

“Let’s not be in any doubt about what Braxton Bragg represents. He was a slaveholder who fought against the U.S. Army in order to preserve the South’s ‘peculiar institution.’ The time has come for Fort Bragg and the other bases named after Confederate generals to be renamed in honor of individuals who fought to defend the United States and the values that the U.S. Army is pledged to defend,” writes Michael Newcity, a professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

Read More in the Detroit Free Press

South Carolina Schools are Failing Students Like Me

“The state of South Carolina perpetuates what’s called the ‘Corridor of Shame,’ a string of rural school districts where students receive inferior educational opportunities,” writes Ehime Ohue. “As a rising sophomore at Duke University, I now see what the phrase means. I was educated in one of those districts from Head Start to 12th grade. I know firsthand the issues these students face.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Is North Carolina the Future of American Politics?

What really distinguishes North Carolina is that it is a quintessentially purple state, with voters almost evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliateds. “That’s what contributes to the meanness and paralysis of North Carolina politics,” says public policy professor Mac McCorkle, a former Democratic political consultant. “… We’re so closely pitted, everything’s a battle.”

  Read More in New York Times Magazine

The Architect of the Radical Right

Historian Nancy MacLean’s new book, “Democracy in Chains,” examines the Southern roots of modern conservatism. A reviewer notes that what sets it apart from other recent books on this topic, “is that it begins in the South and emphasizes a genuinely original and very influential political thinker, the economist James M. Buchanan.”

Read More in The Atlantic

Religious Liberals Want Back In Political Game

Liberal religious leaders who used to shun the political arena are getting involved to fight back against President Trump’s policies on immigration, health care, poverty and the environment. Imam Abdullah Antepli says he had hesitated to march alongside gay pastors until he realized their struggles were linked. “We can’t have only Jews cry for anti-Semitism, and Muslims cry for Islamophobia,” Imam Antepli says. “We can only win this if we see it as one big fight.”

Read More in The New York Times

Most Trump Voters Were Not Working Class

“In short, the narrative that attributes Trump’s victory to a ‘coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters’ just doesn’t square with the 2016 election data,” writes public policy professor Nicholas Carnes and a colleague. “According to the election study, white non-Hispanic voters without college degrees making below the median household income made up only 25 percent of Trump voters. That’s a far cry from the working-class-fueled victory many journalists have imagined.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Impact of Supreme Court Rejecting NC Redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina’s 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011. A three-judge federal court ruling had previously found that lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing the boundaries. “You’re likely to see state legislature be extremely careful in using race in redistricting, because uses of race are likely to be struck down by a federal court,” says law professor Guy Charles.

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What Herman Melville Can Teach Us About Trump Era

I can think of no other American author who can so inform the perilous moment we are currently living. …  (Though) “The Confidence-Man” … was published 160 years ago, on April Fool’s Day, 1857, Melville could have been presciently forecasting today’s America when he imagined his country as a Mississippi steamer (ironically called the Fidèle) filled with ‘a flock of fools, under this captain of fools, in this ship of fools!’” writes Ariel Dorfman, English professor emeritus.

Read More in The Nation