Americans are stubbornly, congenitally optimistic. And the millions who backed Trump see something in his visage. Something that gives them hope. Here’s what I see. I see a man who empowered white nationalists and won. I see a man who demanded the removal of nonwhite immigrants and won. I see a man who pledged war crimes against foreign enemies and won. I see a man who empowers the likes of Rudy Giuliani and others who see blacks as potential criminals to control, not citizens to respect.
After the redemption of the South, black Americans—and nonwhites around the country—faced the nadir. Whites imposed new kinds of discrimination and turned a blind eye to the pogroms and racial terrorism that was scarring the American landscape.
In a few hours, millions of Americans will wake up in the age of Trump. I, and millions who look like me, will open our eyes to a second redemption. We can only hope—we can only pray—that we won’t reach a new nadir.