"Make America Great Again": Investigation of the White Working Class and Their Perceptions of Racial Relations in the United States
The purpose of this study is to understand the supposed white working class that voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election and some of their perceptions on identity and current racial relations by examining concepts such as whiteness and identity politics. Semi-structured interviews with three individuals that identified as racially white and voted for Donald Trump were conducted, as well as pre-interview surveys. Through these one-on-one interviews, three themes have been found that underscore the complexity of identity and racial relations for the so-called white working class. These themes exist as 1) An unwillingness to define oneself as part of the white working class, 2) White privilege is not something generally thought about, but when pointed out, they generally feel accused, and 3) A belief that racial relations will only improve when we stop pointing out differences and focus on being American. Such themes, while often in contrast to academic thought, highlight the importance of pursuing an understanding with this population in the hopes of forging improved racial relations on a societal level.