"Timely and necessary. The Great White Hoax documents how Donald Trump has manipulated white racial fears and cultural anxieties to gain political power. More importantly, it demonstrates that Trumpism is nothing new, that racial scapegoating is one of the oldest games in American politics, and that we must defeat the narrative of fear and division in order to move our country forward."
—Van Jones, CNN commentator
"Anyone who wants to comprehend – and struggle against – the racial politics of Trumpism needs to get The Great White Hoax immediately and screen it widely. With the brilliant Tim Wise providing the narrative spine, this eye-opening and viscerally powerful video from the Media Education Foundation features an ingenious interplay of archival footage from the Civil Rights era and before with TV clips from the 2016 presidential campaign and the early months of Trump’s presidency. The result is a fascinating tour through the ways in which white racial anxiety and resentment have been manipulated for centuries by rich and powerful white men – from colonial southern gentry to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. This invaluable educational resource arrives at precisely the right moment for professors, high school teachers, and librarians who want to help their students develop the tools to understand and resist the rising tide of racism and bigotry in this country."
—Jackson Katz, Ph.D., educator and author of Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity
"The Great White Hoax provides a kaleidoscopic view of a nation still grappling with white supremacy, still riven by deep and persistent inequalities along racial lines. Thanks to Tim Wise's narration, it is enlightening as well as disturbing."
—Stephen Steinberg | Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College | Author of The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy
"The Great White Hoax demonstrates that a critique of the rise of right-wing ideologies and politics need not be reduced to race or class or gender or ecology, but can incorporate all these analyses to help us understand both threats and opportunities to expand real freedom and justice."
—Robert Jensen, author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men
"Identity politics? No, identity is politics. This is why The Great White Hoax can trace a historical line from the colonial period to Trump’s 2016 victory which stoked a conservative white identity politics fueled by economic, racial and cultural anxiety over the Other. Tim Wise explains how it happened by linking the hard evidence of politicians’ and voters’ statements with the nation’s history and recent social transformations. Wise is clear about which side of the fence he stands on, nonetheless, he speaks without divisive rancor or condescension in considering the newest conservative hegemony—one supported by the same old fears—now ensconced in Washington. Yet the story hardly ends there as the film also offers hope for resistance through an intersectional alliance politics. Highly recommended for both academic and non-academic contexts."
—Daniel S. Traber | Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University at Galveston | Author of Culturcide and Non-Identity across American Culture
"Timely and visually provocative! Tim Wise uses an expertly curated set of images to demonstrate that there is 'nothing at all new” about today’s racial politics—that the “Trump Phenomenon' is merely the latest form of white supremacy that has existed for centuries. The Great White Hoax makes a compelling case for the ongoing need for resistance to white racism. An excellent teaching tool!"
—Woody Doane | Chair of Social Sciences Department at the University of Hartford
"Tim Wise and the Media Education Foundation have done it again. Tracing the Right's history dating back at least to Bacon’s Rebellion, Wise exposes the conservative movement's race baiting, divide and conquer, and scapegoating tactics' clearest expression in Donald Trump’s rise to prominence. Wise's optic goes even further. The convergence of white resentment, toxic masculinity, economic insecurity, and heteronormativity, means that Trump was able to take advantage of a perfect storm. But this force is met with an equal and opposite force as Wise reminds us of the swelling resistance against this presidency's fragile leadership. We will remember this video for many presidencies to come."
—Zeus Leonardo | Professor of Critical Theory at the University of California Berkeley | Author of Race, Whiteness, and Education
"My Affirmative Action Seminar at Fordham was MESMERIZED by The Great White Hoax. At 8:30 in the morning, and on the coldest day of the year, my students sat in rapt attention as the film showed how Donald Trump's blunt appeal to white fears of losing 'their' country had deep roots in US history, and that his message was not even unique among Presidential candidates. Alongside powerful images and news clips, Tim Wise provides calm, thoughtful commentary that explains how whites throughout US history were persuaded that they had more to gain from demonizing and distancing themselves from blacks and people of color than organizing with them to challenge the owning class. My students overwhelmingly gave it the highest possible rating. I would recommend this unreservedly to show in college classes and in discussion groups in community organizations and religious institutions."
—Mark Naison | Professor of History and African American Studies at Fordham University
"It must take courage to watch The Great White Hoax if you are classified as white. The Great White Hoax takes us on a journey into the under-reported biases that have allowed racists to claim the political future of the United States of America. Tim Wise is our guide, and he uniquely takes us on a journey in opposition to white Supremacy, patriarchy, and aggressive capitalism. Tim Wise is a change agent who is not afraid to expose the dirty laundry of “whiteness.” This film is a must see for those opposed to racism in all its forms."
—Tukufu Zuberi | Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at the University of Pennsylvania
"From Charlottesville to his daily attacks on black athletes, from the Muslim ban to his plan to build to wall to keep out “Mexican rapists and criminals,” Donald Trump has leveraged a politics of racism, galvanizing white nationalism and grievance over and over again. In The Great White Hoax, Tim Wise demonstrates how racism and white anxiety anchored the Trump campaign and continues to sit at the center of the Trump presidency. Repelling narratives that have sought to see Trump as an exception, as an aberration, and as antithetical to American Exceptionalism, Wise demonstrates how Trump is nothing new to America’s racial history but instead endemic and reflective of the story of white America and the nation as a whole. The Great White Hoax makes clear that Trump, and his embrace of a politics of racism, toxic masculinity, and white resentment are as American as processed mass produced apple pie."
—David Leonard | Professor of Critical Culture, Gender & Race at Washington State University
"The Great White Hoax is a chilling dissection of the election of 2016, revealing what should have been clear all along: that Trump's ascendancy was fueled by hate, a hate that has long burned at the very heart of American history. His ascendancy, we are reminded, marked both a restoration of old-fashioned white supremacy to the Presidency and the arrival of some dangerous, destabilizing new racial style, built for the 21st century."
—Matthew Pratt Guterl | Professor of Africana Studies and American Studies at Brown University
"To better understand the dynamics that led to the surprising election of Donald Trump, the Media Education Foundation has produced the meticulously researched documentary The Great White Hoax. This brilliant documentary situates the political rise of Donald Trump within decades of racial scapegoating that stokes white anxiety based on racial nativism and cultural insecurity which are fundamentally rooted in anti-Blackness. The narrator Tim Wise once again shows why he is arguably this nation’s most effective analyst of white grievance. Whether conservative Republicans or southern Democrats, Wise shows how politicians used race, racism, and racially coded language to appeal to white people. Provocative, disturbing, and enlightening, this documentary is a powerful tool to incorporate in graduate, undergraduate, and high school classes that address race, racism, race relations, and white privilege."
—Kevin Cokley | Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor African and African Diaspora Studies and Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin | Author of The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism
"The Great White Hoax provides the key to those wishing to unlock the mystery of Donald Trump’s entry to the White House in 2017. It is not necessary to be distracted by Vladimir Putin and the Russian hackers – as ironically Trump himself has maintained – since the outcome can be largely explained in terms of American social and economic trends since the end of the Second World War. Globalization and the ever-increasing inequality has been cunningly re-framed as a cultural assault on the white working class. Following in the tradition of Nixon and Reagan, Trump has exploited genuine fears of change by employing negative stereotypes about immigrants, racial and religious minorities, and women. This was a deliberate strategy to shift the blame on to groups that are suffering from exactly the same forces, rather than towards the obscenely rich operators benefiting from, and seeking to enhance, these inequalities. Tim Wise’s penetrating narrative is a historically-grounded and nuanced explanation for the current crisis facing contemporary America."
—John Stone | Professor of Sociology at Boston University | Founding Editor of Ethnic and Racial Studies
"Tim Wise, a prolific author and teacher-activist on the subject of race in America, offers an incisive and eloquent assessment of the Trump era in this investigative documentary that offers extensive analysis of how a sizable portion of white America is drenched in alt-right propaganda, disinformation, and lies suggesting that immigrants and people of color are making their lives hard. With an echo chamber of Fox News, talk radio, and Russian bots reinforcing perennial fallacies about welfare queens and immigrants who are purportedly basking in taxpayer-funded services, Wise tells viewers how raw emotion can harden one’s perspective against actual facts. Trump, like other would-be or literal authoritarians, knows exactly how to be a figurehead for those whites who are yearning for a return to mythical days when “America” meant “white people” and not “diversity.” And Wise digs deeper, explaining how the stoking of racial hatred and fanning of xenophobia winds up separating people—particularly working class and those who depend on the justice system—who actually have much in common. A timely and insightful film, this is highly recommended."