While I was doing an image search for lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights Era, I came across this remarkable photo on NPR.org of activist Dion Diamond being confronted by the leader of the American Nazi Party. The year was 1960. When you look at these photos from the not-so-distant past, invariably filled with sneering, cocky white boys tormenting Black people, you can also see the present.
This got me thinking about contemporary notions of the “real American voter” — a white male Trump supporter in an Ohio diner. How is it that a mere handful of decades after these historic lunch counter protests, our go-to image of an “authentic American” is a white guy in a diner?