Donald trump started it all off wrong from the get go. His misguided and racist declaration that rapist Mexicans are pouring into our country and are somehow taking away jobs and (in his twisted mind) even lives from Americans, was the catalyst for his race to the bottom campaign that had racists and neo -Nazis jumping for joy. Instead of unifying poor brown and white people so that they could all embrace his populist message together, he chose to use the tried and true formula of dividing people by race.
With the demographic that now chooses to follow him it was easy, and he chose the easy way out. That's what grifters do.
It was always going to e a tricky dance, regardless of who decided to go down this populist path. America is not Europe or Asia with its homogeneous populations, but it was doable. Surely someone could make poor people of all races realize that they were being played by the establishment. Surely someone could mobilize them into a true populist force.
Sadly,with an intellectually lazy person like Donald trump, a man with a huge and unchecked ego, the movement was doomed from the start. Donald trump was not going to be that leader. Donald trump needed a gullible audience, and with his "basket of deplorables" he got one.
The only thing some poor uneducated white people have to hold on to is their skin color and the place of their birth. We may be dumb ignorant and poor, but at least we ain't one of them Negroes or one of them immigrants from another country. It's really sort of sad, but the more things change...
Dr. King and the civil rights movement relied on Northern educated whites and intellectuals to help mainstream the movement and embarrass Southerners ---who were against change--- into doing the right thing. Some of those same Southerners now see a new leader in trump, and they will defend him and everything he stands for with their last dying breath. The more things change...
*Pic from slate.com