The Colorblind Impeachment of Donald J. Trump Is Pathetic
Nancy Pelosi wore black to the impeachment vote, but Donald J. Trump and his impeachment are all about whiteness. Politicians say impeachment is sad, but a colorblind impeachment of Trump is pathetic.
There’s no way to impeach Trump without impeaching whiteness because Trump is thoroughly white: Trump’s father was a white German; Trump is a real estate mogul and whiteness itself is property; Trump switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party; Trump’s voters voted for whiteness; Trump employs white supremacists; Trump has the support of white supremacists; Trump redirected resources away from white domestic terrorism; Trump supports white policies, and Trump relies on lies, slurs, and state power — to include a state power in the Caucasus region — for his relevancy. The Kavanaugh-like opposition to Trump’s impeachment is white-hot because Trump is, as Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote, the first white president.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for doing what whiteness does: It abuses power, it obstructs, and it interferes in US elections. Even Trump’s ‘defenses’ are white — he did nothing wrong; it doesn’t matter that he benefits politically from Ukraine’s state power to denigrate his opponent, and he has plenty of process complaints—all of them boil down to white innocence, white privilege, a white man’s government pitted against someone who competes for power, and white legalities.
The whiteness is there, and by not specifying whiteness, Congress keeps whiteness invisible for whites. This colorblind impeachment sees no color, and it denies how color, in the aggregate, correlates to opinions on many subjects including impeachment.
It’s ineffective to impeach a white demagogue by colorblindness because colorblindness further entrenches whiteness.
Race polarizes like no other: According to the journalist DeWayne Wickham, 90% of Black voters opposed Bill Clinton’s impeachment and it evenly divided whites. Americans racialize the two major political parties, and no impeachment is race-neutral.
The media should talk more about why opinions on Trump’s impeachment correspond to race. Antiracism educators should be on TV around-the-clock to make it clear why whites oppose Trump’s impeachment and to problematize that view.
Trump tweeted that his removal would cause a Civil War-like fracture, and that’s another reason this colorblind impeachment is weak. In the book Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney-López recommends addressing race directly, and Jonathan Metzl makes the same point about the “ideologies of whiteness” in his book Dying of Whiteness.
Trump is a white demagogue. It’s ineffective to impeach a white demagogue by colorblindness because colorblindness further entrenches whiteness, and that is pathetic.