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Another social trend highlighted by recent politics is the emergence of white tribalism. Here’s an article by David Marcus about how the current social/political climate has increased this development. Normally “whites” come from a polyglot of racial/ethnic backgrounds, from Nordic to Mediterranean to Slavic, all mixed together without maintaining any kind of identity as a single tribal unit. However, this lack of identity has recently shown signs of shifting. The key social trend Marcus identifies as leading to this change is political rhetoric that makes everyone the representative of their race. He thinks progressives are only accelerating this trend with a policy of insisting whites should confess their privilege and otherwise “own it.” According to Marcus, this does nobody any good, and instead leads to solidification of a white racial identity and greater entrenchment of white privilege.

In the run-up to the election, I had thought the extremes weren’t really Clinton vs. Trump, but Sanders vs. Trump. Hillary Clinton looked to be pretty moderate in the beginning, but shifted hard left to pick up Sanders’ supporters. You’d think that white tribalism would be something mostly found on the right, but here’s an article by Barrett Pitner that points to white tribalism among Sanders’ supporters who felt they were entitled to win (and have the benefits Sanders was promising) because of who they were. According to Pitner, both Trump and Sanders were mining white tribalism in their political rhetoric.

On the other side of this vision of whiteness, here’s an article by James Lawrence who thinks this kind of white tribalism is only a “flash in the pan” because people of European descent are basically moral universalists. He’s getting somewhat out of the realm of practicalities and into theology here, but I think he’s right that there has to be new middle ground in the current political split.

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