Blow notes the loss of support from white college educated women, even Republican ones. Experiences of sexism make white women more sensitive to similar kinds of discrimination against minorities. We know at first hand "how very harmful bias can be." This awareness is strong in my generation of women who saw privileges being extended to men that were never offered to us and who always had to work very hard for whatever recognition we could get. This was especially true in higher education. The way I had to fight against sexism and ageism as an undergraduate and graduate in college has made me incredibly tough! I glory in that, actually, maybe more than I should.
So think how tough black people must be, who have maintained themselves in a country that threatens their existence every day of their lives to a far greater degree than anything I ever experienced as a white woman.
My own experiences working with fellow citizens of color and living in integrated communities dispelled the racist notions I might have "inherited." Importantly for me, I met many middle class blacks and striving working class blacks and Asians and Mexicans in my younger years in the Bay Area. In New Jersey I lived in an unsegregated neighborhood with people of different ages, income levels, education levels, ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Life in Europe gave me an insight into what it's like to be an unimportant family member of an imported worker in a country (Switzerland) that exploits foreigners but does not like them. I got the cold shoulder from the Swiss, mostly, and my friends were other foreigners. Italians were the group that experienced discrimination there similar to what Mexicans experience in the U.S. They were regarded as a cheap and expendable work force. Thinking back, I believe I shirked an obligation to engage with Swiss people more, but I found them tiresome, on average, slow thinking and tendentious. I didn't have much social capital at the time and was struggling to maintain myself and my family, so that's an excuse, I guess.
I did not like living in the all white neighborhood we ended up in in Portland after coming back to the U.S. Hawaii is more to my taste. The African American population of Hawaii is only around 1%. This lack of contact with Black Americans means that some non-white people pick up the prejudices against blacks that they consume in the media. Or they regard black people as exotic. That is fairly harmless, I guess, although I think if I were black, I would find this annoying* Naturally, everyone is proud of Obama!
So this is how empathy developed in the course of my life and not as a conscious goal but as a lived experience, not through the phony "reaching out programs," that Trump proposes. A prime example of "fake outreach," as Blow calls it is the laughable Taco Bowl fiasco. See, when Mexicans aren't selling drugs or raping and murdering people, they make great figures of fun to joke around with!
Blow's most important point, and one that squares with my perceptions, is that Trump's base is white men without higher degrees who have good incomes and live in segregated communities. They believe every word Trump says about teeming crime-ridden cities, black rapists, breeders on welfare, out of control druggies and so on. And Trump's tone deaf attempts at courting minorities, "Come to me and I will save you from your evil circumstances," only reaches his white base and serves to reassure them that they are good people and not really racist. But of course they are racist.
I'm not racist. A lot of white people are. They ought to admit it! Then the serious dialogue can start. I don't understand why people want to live in racial and cultural isolation. How boring that must be.
*And I must stress, too, that stories and anecdotes about being discriminated against for being white in Hawaii are mostly self-serving nonsense. There is always this claim of "reverse racism" that someone makes whenever I'm in an all white group. Just because you can't make everyone do things your way, just because you are not greeted with shouts of joy everywhere you go, does not constitute racism against you. You will lose some fights and not be able to get your way all the time, too. Almost always, though, being white means being on top, here as everywhere. It's necessary to show some sensitivity, if you are white, and be aware that cross-racial and ethnic associations can be tricky and uncomfortable sometimes.