The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates Cites Professor Christopher Parker’s Research

The Atlantic Cover - My President Was Black
The Atlantic Cover - My President Was Black

Ta-Nehisi Coates cites UW Political Science Professor Christopher S. Parker’s research on the Tea Party in his article “My President Was Black.” The article is the lead for the January/February issue of The Atlantic. Coates, who is a national correspondent for the magazine, discusses the history of the first African American White House and its unmaking.

Coates quotes Professor Parker’s research when he is addressing the relationship between Trump, racism, and the Tea Party:

“Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto, political scientists at the University of Washington and UCLA, respectively, have found a relatively strong relationship between racism and Tea Party membership. “Whites are less likely to be drawn to the Tea Party for material reasons, suggesting that, relative to other groups, it’s really more about social prestige,” they say. The notion that the Tea Party represented the righteous, if unfocused, anger of an aggrieved class allowed everyone from leftists to neoliberals to white nationalists to avoid a horrifying and simple reality: A significant swath of this country did not like the fact that their president was black, and that swath was not composed of those most damaged by an unquestioned faith in the markets. Far better to imagine the grievance put upon the president as the ghost of shambling factories and defunct union halls, as opposed to what it really was—a movement inaugurated by ardent and frightened white capitalists, raging from the commodities-trading floor of one of the great financial centers of the world.”

On the website of The Atlantic you can also find a short video clip about “The Making of a Black President” based on Obama’s own words and response to Coates asking him whether he had any doubts. Furthermore, Coates discussed the article in a recent appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah