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💬 "The Last Four Years"

Code Switch

Photo by Natilyn Hicks (Natilyn Photography) / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Gene Demby, Shereen Marisol Meraji
Guest: Ayesha Rascoe, White House correspondent, NPR
Category: Society & Culture | 💬 Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[5:36] [The Capitol siege] surprised me not because Trump hadn't already been stirring this pot, but to actually see it come together. He had been lighting matches for a very long time. And I had seen the matches, but […] they hadn't ignited completely. I guess it's like you're watching something for four years. He's come out of everything - the first impeachment, the Russia investigation. He said all this wild stuff. He's attacked all these people. And yet it hasn't gone to the place of really no return.

[11:16] The reason why I felt like [cataloging Trump’s tweets] needed to be done is because I felt like Trump said so many things and he did it with such frequency that people quickly would forget or it became just […] background noise […]. But when you actually sit down and you look at his tweets, you realize he doesn't just talk about everybody in the same way. […] He wants to elevate certain people. And he will go after them in certain ways. […] The people that he called stupid were a lot of times people of color.

[14:08] I do think that there's been an evolution in the way that people look at Trump. Especially in the beginning, where I think just in general […] there were people who just felt like […] Is everything really about race here? Maybe Trump just says things. He doesn't really mean it that way. And […] we don't want to make the people that support Trump feel like just because they support him, this has anything to do with race. And I do think over time you've seen this shift where people realize, Oh, no, this is all about race.

[15:54] I think [the realization of Trump being racist has] been slow. And the thing is, maybe the media or certain people in the media did not get it, but his followers always got it. They knew what he was saying. […] They knew exactly what language he was using and what message he was trying to send forth.

[17:19] [Trump] created this alternate reality and people really have bought into it […]. What's interesting now is that back then, the bad guys were the terrorists coming over the border […]. And then it became […] basically the left and the liberals in the cities and Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

[24:43] It's not that Trump came up with racism and white supremacy […]. But that white grievance that he played upon, […] he intuitively knew was something that he could ride to the top of the U.S. power structure.

[25:20] He's changed the way politicians talk about each other, the things that they're willing to say about each other. And it's not about just trying to be polite. But when you start talking about people as enemies and as stupid, it ends up with violence because you're making people be less than human. And so, I think that opening that door to politicians being more willing to say those things is something that I think we will be feeling the effects of for a long time. And I do think it's damaging.

[25:55] I do hope for that slow evolution […] with the media kind of having the scales fall off their eyes when it comes to race and seeing that these are real issues. […] I do hope that that continues and that people realize that anger and all those things that drove these people to the Capitol with […] Confederate flags, with […] anti-semitic t-shirts, and that all of these things have been building in this country for a very long time. And that we need to not act as if those things don't exist.

Rating: 🍎🍎🍎

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 31 min | 🗓️ 01/20/2021
✅ Time saved: 29 min

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