Trying to understand the 2016 elections? Looking back 150 years may provide some answers.

The rhetoric in 2016 elections was full of racism, anti-Blackness, and xenophobia. And even after the elections, this trend continues. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team includes people who have voiced support for white nationalists, who have championed laws that disproportionately disenfranchise Black voters, and are calling for mass deportations without due process.

Vox’s Bradley Proctor argues that this backlash against social progress mirrors another period in US history:

“On Wednesday, November 9, after the presidential victory by Donald Trump and the Republican’s sweep of both houses of Congress, Paul Ryan said that ‘to heal the divisions of a long campaign … [t]his needs to be a time of redemption.’ Historically literate Americans felt it a curious choice of words. Redemption was the term used by white-supremacist Democrats in the 1870s to refer to the reversal of Reconstruction, a process that was perhaps the most violent and anti-democratic campaign in American history.”

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Via Vox

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