Was Ta-Nahesi Coates right to call Donald Trump 'The First White President'?

This week marks both what would have been Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 88th birthday and one year since Donald Trump was sworn in as President.

On this week's edition of the Friday Roundtable, Kerri Miller and her guests discussed race, the presidency and an essay that journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates published in The Atlantic last fall.

It was titled, "The First White President," and it got a lot of attention, consideration and some criticism.

Coates argues that Trump's rise to influence and power during the presidency of America's first black president was a product of his whiteness.

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Coates writes:

"To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies."

Three guests joined Miller to weigh in on that charge — and the Coates essay:

Keno Evol is an award winning poet, Founder and Executive Director of BlackTableArts.

Brian Lozenski is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Multicultural Education at Macalester College.

Charisse Burden-Stelly is an Assistant Professor and Mellon Faculty Fellow of Africana Studies and Political Science at Carleton College.

Use the audio player above to hear the full conversation.