Eddie Glaude Jr. on Northam Blackface Scandal: "It Has Something To Do With What Trump Has Unleashed"

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Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. said Monday that the Ralph Northam blackface yearbook photo scandal revealed that "the problem of racism is not a problem solely of the Republican party." Glaude also said that blackface has become front and center in America again because of President Trump.

"What it reveals is that the problem of racism is not a problem solely of the Republican Party," Glaude told NBC's Craig Melvin.

"I think it has something to do with what Donald Trump has unleashed. It has something to do with the reservoir that’s underneath our politics that can always be activated at any moment," he said. "It’s always underneath. It’s the undertow."





From the Feb. 4. edition of NBC's TODAY:

AL ROKER, NBC: So, Eddie, you say this is an issue not just an on one person, one party, this is a country-wide issue.

EDDIE GLAUDE JR., PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITYOh, absolutely. What it reveals is that the problem of racism is not a problem solely of the Republican Party. It’s clear for Governor Northam to think that dressing up in blackface was a good idea, it suggests that his social environment is completely segregated, that his intimate life doesn’t consist of people of color. Because if you had people around you that you loved dearly, you would know that that would be painful. And so, what it reveals is that we’re often mysteries to each other because our lives are profoundly segregated. And this country is still segregated...

CRAIG MELVIN: Professor Glaude, I had a question for you though. I always enjoy your insight and your perspective. This is the third such incident that’s surfaced over the past, I think, three or four weeks. You had that situation in Florida, the secretary of state there stepping aside because it was revealed that he also dressed in blackface back in, I believe, 2004 or 2005 as a Hurricane Katrina survivor. In Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago, you had the two college students there. How did – when did blackface become a thing again? Why does it seem as if blackface is all of a sudden front and center in America again? What’s happening?

GLAUDE JR.: I think it has something to do with what Donald Trump has unleashed. It has something to do with the reservoir that’s underneath our politics that can always be activated at any moment. So it’s not like something new has happened, it’s always underneath. It’s the undertow.

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