You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’  By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites.”  –Lee Atwater, 1981 Interview with a political science professor

I heard an NPR piece Tuesday on an upcoming documentary, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.  Immediately the current conversation comes to mind.  Fox News’s Neil Cavuto blames minority homeowners for the economic crisis, a McCain campaign aide says he’s tired of “catching the spears” from Obama.  Last night, Fox News gave a 5 minute platform to a man who argues Barack Obama is a terrorist’s best friend. Fernando C. de Baca, the chairman of Bernalillo County Republican Party in New Mexico recently said,

The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors.  African-Americans came here as slaves.  Hispanics consider themselves above blacks.  They won’t vote for a black president.”

This is just in the last 48 hour news cycle.

Black people continue to be the designated scapegoats for all that is wrong with America.

NPR discussed how GOP methods leave Democrats utterly defenseless.   This is a point of pride for conservatives, “They don’t even defend themselves.”  Why can’t liberals fight back?  My own thinking on why the Atwater, and now the Rove, strategy is so effective is that calling something racist requires an explanation when the racism is veiled.  There is no public forum to unpack the prejudice from subtle buzz phrases like “states rights” and “forced bussing” and “catching spears.”  Liberals hear these things and want a dialetic; conservatives want votes.


5 thoughts on “Boogie Man and the Party of Bigots

  1. I think the reason liberals are rendered defenseless stems from the type of tactics being used. Racism is a pure assault on reason. How is a person supposed to make a rational argument with an irrational opponent. The proverbial sword is brought to the gun fight.

  2. Thank you, Trey and redeye. I’m hoping people will answer for me why these attacks amount to a shot with a stun gun for Dems.

    So, anyone else out there, please speak up.

    I’m looking forward to going through your links, redeye.

  3. Just finished, redeye. I’ve read abagond before. Good writer. Not being racist is just as subtle as being racist! The youtube guy makes an excellent point to. Name the behavior racist; don’t label the person as racist. But what about the evidence that bigotry is a strategy?

  4. Pingback: Boogie Man and the Party of Bigots Video

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