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Primary Concerns Episode 7: The Democracy of Blame

What will the Trump candidacy mean for the Black Lives Matter movement? And if he is indeed the nominee, who's to blame?

Thos Robinson/Getty Images

What happens when a Black Lives Matter zeitgeist collides with a White Lives Matter political juggernaut? That’s the question we try to answer on this week’s episode of Primary Concerns. Jelani Cobb, a staff writer for the New Yorker and history professor at the University of Connecticut, examines what Trumpism means for a revitalized and maturing civil rights movement, and takes a critical look at Kevin Williamson’s National Review feature essay, which points a finger squarely at Trump’s base—the white working class.

Then, CNBC Washington correspondent and New York Times contributor John Harwood discussed his recent interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Can the conservative leader come to terms with an interloper taking over his party? And how does he feel about the apocalyptic rhetoric Trump has inspired this campaign—the same kind of rhetoric Ryan himself has been trying to distance himself from since his losing vice presidential bid in 2012?

Further reading:

  • Donald Trump, Chicago, and the lessons of 1968, by Jelani Cobb for the New Yorker
  • John Harwood interviews Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on CNBC
  • How the right is trying to escape blame for the rise of Trumpism, by Brian Beutler for the New Republic