On White Bitterness and Black Despair

After a brief, desperate attempt to try to explain white privilege to one of my white, male, cis, straight students, then watching President Obama's wonderful, inspiring farewell address and reading some vitriolic comments by his detractors, then reflecting on August Wilson's play Fences, and then reading about an angry white man who reveled in the repeal of Obamacare because he didn't realize his ACA provided health insurance is Obamacare, I've had a bit of a revelation: Most white people will never be able to fully empathize with the feeling Wilson is trying to express through Troy, the anti-hero of Fences, a character emotionally hobbled by the persistent recognition that he is a Black man who was exceptional and simply had the misfortune to be born before our advancements in civil rights would have provided him the opportunities to capitalize on his dreams. But most people of color will not be able to fully empathize with the inverse, the source of the bitterness of so many Trump supporters who are, at their core, normal, unexceptional white folks who do not want to admit that, had they been born ealier, their whiteness would have conferred upon them some measure of status which they could have parleyed into greater economic opportunity and potentially exceptional success. The exceptional person of color must know he's been born too early. The mediocre white man must constantly deny the fact that he's been born too late.