Post Reports

Trump’s racist tweets, and the politics of white identity

Michael Scherer explains the president’s identity politics. Plus, Eugene Scott on the history underpinning the “go back” refrain. And readers tell us how it feels to be told you don’t belong.
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Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

White identity is driving the GOP — but where?
President Trump has continued to attack four minority congresswomen, after tweeting this weekend that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
 
Wednesday night, the president stood by as a crowd of supporters in Greenville, N.C., echoed his racist language in a chant: “Send her back.” All four of the freshman Democrats Trump targeted — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — are American citizens, and all but Omar were born in the United States. 

The president has refused to apologize, even as the House of Representatives passed a measure condemning his remarks. Politics reporter Michael Scherer says it’s part of the identity politics the president hopes will get him reelected. 

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How the historically racist trope, ‘go back,’ is far from past 
The “go back” refrain has been hurled at nonwhite and white Americans for generations. It’s a well-worn phrase in xenophobic speech and one that has engendered racist policies throughout American history. 

And politics writer Eugene Scott says it’s not going anywhere.

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‘You are not an American’
This week, The Post asked people to call in and share the times when they’ve felt like outsiders in their own country. More than 80 people responded with their stories. 

One caller, who asked that The Post not use his name, said he was fearful of harassment after hearing about the president’s campaign rally in Greenville. “After seeing those people chanting,” he wrote, “I just am fearful. I’m just afraid. These things are emotional and just the memory is traumatizing.” 

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.