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Emanuel, C. (2017). A White Woman in a Red Prius: Encounters With Race, Disability, and Donald Trump. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):364-366.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(3):364-366

A White Woman in a Red Prius: Encounters With Race, Disability, and Donald Trump

Christina Emanuel, Psy.D.

It’s 10:00 p.m. and I am a white woman in a red Prius driving through South Los Angeles on my way home from a teaching gig. Heading north on La Brea, I see there’s notification of a sobriety

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checkpoint just ahead. Traffic slows, the story of my life. As I prepare to enter the queue I am instead immediately waved through by an LAPD officer. Glad to bypass the checkpoint, I glance at the line of cars waiting and am disturbed to notice that each driver is Latino or African American. When I arrive home I make a Facebook post about the egregious racial profiling I had just encountered. My post receives many likes.

I feel I am the kind of liberal who calls out oppression from an admittedly comfortable position of privilege and safety. I feel a little guilty about this, but maybe I should. Similarly, my patient James is the son of good, conscientious liberals like me. James, however, voted for Donald Trump and is delighted that he is our president. How can this be?

James is autistic and possesses an intellect of the highest order. As a young child he failed to connect socially or academically in the private, progressive schools to which his parents sent him, the very same schools my own children have attended. Instead, realizing that James required special education services (although at that point his diagnosis was not clear), his parents felt they had little choice but to enroll him in their local public school when he entered second grade.

Forced integration

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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