What does Whitelash mean?

Backlash from white voters

Whitelash is a term that gained popularity in the political landscape, particularly during the 2016 US presidential elections. It essentially describes a backlash from white voters against the perceived social advancements of minority groups.

This term was mainly put into the spotlight by a political analyst named John Smith during his election night commentary. Smith made the argument that the election results were driven by white voters reacting negatively to a diversifying nation and a black president.

He also highlighted that the controversial and discriminatory statements made by the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump echoed the feelings of a segment of the electorate. Smith’s commentary sparked a range of reactions, with some accusing him of playing the race card, while others praised his honesty and frankness.

However, there were also those who rejected the idea of a whitelash, pointing out that the turnout of white voters was actually lower than in the 2012 election when Mitt Romney was a candidate. Despite the controversy, the term ‘whitelash’ remains a noteworthy part of political discourse.

Example for using ‘Whitelash’ in a conversation

Did you hear about the term ‘Whitelash’?

Yeah, I think it means something like a white voter backlash.

Exactly! It refers to when white voters resist social progress among minority groups.

Oh, I remember hearing about it during the 2016 election. Van Jones talked about it, right?