Writing at Ebony, David J. Leonard analyzes what he says are reactions to the "alarming message about demographic shifts and waning white male control" sent by the presidential election.
The re-election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States prompted a wide range of hateful reactions. From tearful Romney supporters to enraged bigots, the prospects of an African American leading the nation for another four years sent many within White America into panic mode or what I like to call "WDD:" White Delusional Disorder.
Teenagers took to twitter to hurl racial slurs without concern for the blowback; college students at Ole Miss and Hampden-Sydney (among others) took to the streets to voice their anger. In displays of violence usually reserved for sports celebrations, or disgust over an early bar closing, White males made their prejudices clear, hurling racial epithets and rocks with little fear of consequence. As editor Jamilah Lemieux said of those on twitter "the fact that there are so many people willing to publicly express these views … is troubling."
Predictably, much of the chatter has focused on individual reactions, imagining racism in terms of emotion, anger, and frustration. The media's shock and awe is not surprising given its failure to shine a spotlight on the resurgent White nationalism since 2008 and persistent racial inequality in the United States. Worse yet, the media has consistently portrayed racism as extreme in nature — the extremely young, the extremely bigoted, the extremely Southern, the extremely uneducated, and the extremely low-class. But most of us know that it is more common than any newspaper may have you believe.
Read David J. Leonard's entire piece at Ebony.com.
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David J. Leonard is an associate professor in the department of critical culture, gender and race studies at Washington State University, Pullman.