Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Responding in the Age of Trump: “We Can Use Outrage, We Shouldn’t Let Outrage Use Us”

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Lester Spence, a Detroit native and an expert on race and politics at Johns Hopkins University, reacts to Trump’s tweets about Baltimore.

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Lester Spence (right) with Stephen Henderson (left) during an appearance on Detroit Today in 2016.Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Lester Spence (right) with Stephen Henderson (left) during an appearance on Detroit Today in 2016.

President Trump described an American city last week as a “disgusting, rodent infested mess.” 

That city was Baltimore. Trump was attacking that city because it’s represented — alongside other central Maryland communities — by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who chairs the house oversight and reform committee. Cummings is black, as are about 65 percent of the citizens of Baltimore. This has become a familiar refrain for this president, to use racially charged language about African Americans and their representatives when he’s challenged by them.

On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson speaks with Lester Spence, a Detroit native and an expert on race and politics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

They talk about Trump, race, Baltimore, and how we should react to these kinds of statements. 

My first response was that the lying, racist president is being a lying, racist president again,” says Spence.

What we have to do is we have to create the institutional capacity to defeat the Trump political tendency,” he continues. ”That means we can use outrage and we should use outrage, but we shouldn’t let outrage use us.”

Click on the player above to hear Stephen Henderson’s conversation with Detroit native and Johns Hopkins professor Lester Spence.


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