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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why Do Poor White Folks Vote Republican? Dog-Whistle Politics Explained

Posted by on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Democracy Now!'s segment on the new book Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, by Ian Haney Lopez, has plenty of chilling archival audio linking Reagan and Lee Atwater to Marco Rubio and the current practice of southern states refusing Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Coded racism is a sophisticated practice, and this is a good primer on how to read it.

Start at 47:00 if your time is super-limited.

Haney Lopez is coming to Seattle's Town Hall to read on January 20. Details.


Comments (37) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
Wasn't this already covered in What's the Matter With Kansas?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Report this
our time is super super limited.

OK if we start at 58:00?
Posted by you're a peach, jen on January 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM · Report this
3 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
Ah. So all 'poor white folks' are racists just itching to put on one of them thar Klan hoods? No chance they just don't want cradle to grave nanny state nonsense? Or that maybe even poor folks, Lord love 'em, can tell that the liberal worldview is that of a toddler rather than an adult?

Okay then! Gotta love liberals like you. You don't even know how silly you sound, and that's where the humor lies. Thanks for the laughs!
Posted by Seattleblues on January 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 5
@4, You're right. They're hopelessly stupid, sadistic, cross-eyed, tongue-talking, obtuse, neo-nutzie assholes, too.
Posted by Original Andrew on January 15, 2014 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
The totally failed right wing, whose only goal is to protect the wealthy from their responsibilities to our nation, have always appealed to small minded people.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Poorer people tend to be less educated, the less educated you are the more you tend to be around less educated people, and the more you tend to think stupid things. Appeal to the stupid things the stupid people care about and they'll vote for you, because they make you think the other guy's out to take or ruin all of the stupid things you believe.
Posted by The CHZA on January 15, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 8
so this is a good primer on how to read coded racism?

read coded racism in what? articles, videos, body language, talking to a person on the street.
my belief is that the "sophistication" you speak of, gets even more sophisticated with each situation, and my belief extends to "talking to a person on the street" being the MOST important.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 15, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this

which is how democraps sew up the black vote.
Posted by Right? Are ZWe Right? on January 15, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
@ 9 No we do that because you tend to give them the middle finger.
Posted by Seattle14 on January 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM · Report this
chinaski 11
@6 failed at what?
They seem to be doing an excellent job of it, or did I miss the income equality and re-distribution of wealth?
Posted by chinaski on January 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Just keep telling yourself that the working class are a bunch of racist half-wits. Cause that's a lot more comfortable than admitting that the Democrats have done just as much to fuck over the working man in this country as the Republicans.
Posted by Westside forever on January 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 13
@11 Yes, victory! Destruction of the middle class, wages of slaves, division, delusion, disillusion, destruction of public education, murderous healthcare. That's their goals and achievements. Oh, and denying women medical care, etc., etc. Not to mention war, debt, collapse of the housing market and Wall Street.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
@3, 4 & 8, so since you're poor white racists who vote republican, why don't you just tell us the "real" reasons?
Posted by GermanSausage on January 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 15
@4: Actually, the genius of this sort of dog-whistle politics is that it's mostly subconscious. The use of code words, as it were, allows people to have strong opinions on an issue without realizing that those positions are deeply rooted in racist principles.
But yeah, an awful lot of people out in the sticks are overtly racist. They just don't wear hoods much any more.

Also, did you know? People with college degrees tend to skew substantially Democratic, and those with postgraduate degrees even more so. Just another reason for you to fear and hate experts in any field and instead cling to willful ignorance and argument from incredulity.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on January 15, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 16

The majority of the American working "poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

My Fox father is one. I read the whole of the Steinbeck quote to him and he AGREED with it, proudly, no hint of irony involved.
Posted by femwanderluster on January 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM · Report this
raindrop 17
When will so called progressives quit being randomized by the red herrings (all the *isms) and start meaningful dialogs?
Posted by raindrop on January 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Fnarf 18
It's pretty straightforward, and it's been going on since the early seventies: the push to share the working-class economic pie with women and minorities came at exactly the same time the pie itself started shrinking drastically. So poor whites were hit with a double whammy.

And certain politicians (cough cough George Wallace cough cough Richard Nixon) knew exactly how to exploit that economic crisis for votes. It's been that way ever since.

Read Stayin' Alive: The Last Days of the Working Class for more.
Posted by Fnarf on January 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 19
Racism is just coded classism. When liberals talk about racism, they are just continuing mainstream 'Merika's denial that there is a class problem in this nation. Even MLK, towards the end of his life, understood that the inequities in our society transcended race. Racism, while still a factor, is yesterday's news. Income inequality is what matters. Darker skinned people's problems won't be helped until we help all who are economically disadvantaged.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on January 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@17, you and your economic program ARE the red herrings.
Posted by Fnarf on January 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
@20 What economic program? Raindrop just spouts Fox news talking points. It'd be nice if he actually voiced an economic program or policy prescription but alas all we are likely to get is an assertion that the Republican party is better at managing the economy.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 15, 2014 at 1:39 PM · Report this
@19: Close, but not quite. Racism is a tool used to distract from the oppression the racists are under. Just like sexism. Kyriarchy.

Please note that this does not mean that women and folks of color do not have it worse, they objectively do, but almost everyone is oppressed in this system.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 15, 2014 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Posted by rob! on January 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Why do poor white folks vote republican? Why don't you ask them?
The truth is, while promoting themselves as more of a friend of those of modest means then the Republicans, Democrats will throw the poor under a bus pretty quickly to stay in power. One example is there blind enthusiasm for giving benefits and citizenship to illegal immigrants. That is not in the best interest of the poor and middle class. A bill is being pushed by Dems in WA that would give illegal immigrants access to college grants. This comes at a time when 33000 legal WA state residents can't get them. (I got that info from NPR btw).
Posted by hayden c on January 15, 2014 at 3:59 PM · Report this
"Ian Haney Lopez, has plenty of chilling archival audio linking Reagan and Lee Atwater to Marco Rubio and the current practice of southern states refusing Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act."

Wow, and there is plenty of audio and video archive linking Al Sharpton to the Freddy Fashion Mart Massacre, Crown Heights pogrom, Tawana Brawley rape hoax, Korean business boycott, and drug dealing (which was done while he was harassing Korean businesses for "exploiting the black community"). His race baiting far tops Lee Atwater's including during the Central Park rape incident where he slurred the victim in the media and during rallies on many occasions despite the attack almost killing her. He did this both at the time of the incident and years later.
Sharpton completed for Presidential nominee under the Democratic banner about a decade ago and I don't remember anyone complaining. He is a frequent guest of at the White House and you can see plenty of photos of him being chummy with Obama. Is there a reason why this doesn't disturb anyone?
Atwater has been a pariah for years yet his race baiting was mild in comparison to Sharptons.
Posted by hayden c on January 15, 2014 at 4:08 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 26
@24: A quick Google search suggests that last (about WV giving college grants to undocumented immigrants) is fabricated, or at least heavily modified. Why not post the original NPR-ticle if that's where you got the story from?

Or go ahead, continue demonizing liberals and black people.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on January 15, 2014 at 5:22 PM · Report this
raindrop 27
@21: That's also a "talking point" that's been used against me for years. Try harder.
Posted by raindrop on January 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM · Report this
@27 You were better when you were Gaydude for Romney. At least then you occasionally something solid that could be addressed. Lately you've just been blowing smoke. Can't bounce a ball off something unless it is solid. Give us something solid.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 15, 2014 at 7:32 PM · Report this
raindrop 29
@28: Okay. You're right, I can always try harder.
Posted by raindrop on January 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM · Report this
@29 no worries. I know you can do better. We both can.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 15, 2014 at 8:04 PM · Report this
raku 31
Conservatives want as much as possible for the dominant group - straight white men in the USA. Neoliberalism, fascism, national socialism - it all has the same goal. As much as possible for white men (or whatever sliver of society is in power) and as little as possible for everyone else.

You've got to be kidding if you think poor people are too stupid to understand or are voting against their own interests. Of course conservative poor white men understand progressives would give them free health care and more social benefits. But they know along with that, they'd lose their de facto slaves in women and brown people.
Posted by raku on January 15, 2014 at 9:18 PM · Report this
@24, immigrants (especially undocumented) are usually poor. So how is helping them hurting the interests of poor people???
Posted by Upchuck on January 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM · Report this
venomlash 33
@32: The implication is that poor white Americans matter more than poor brown Mexican immigrants. Talking of dog whistles...
Posted by venomlash on January 16, 2014 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Neither Jen nor the clip said anything about poor white people being inherently racist. That's because we aren't. Anti-poor bullshit coming from rich white liberals is part of the problem, such as Dan Savage and his digs at "slope-shouldered yokels." The clip focuses attention on the ruling class, who are the rightful targets of our rage and resistance.
Posted by paula_7 on January 16, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Wow, you folks are hilarious. You demonize White people and then wonder why they don't vote lock-step with you?
Posted by YTdevil on January 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM · Report this
@33 No, venomlash. Rule of Law and the self-interests of working Americans matters more than the interests of Mexican illegal immigrants.

That goes for nations around the world, but hey, a lot of Leftists don't believe in sovereign nation-states either. They want global governance with Leftists at the helm, which is why they support policies that undermine the sovereignty of Western nations.
Posted by YTdevil on January 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Just read number 4 post by Seattleblues. Oh the irony! I'd laugh if it weren't so damn serious and sad.
Posted by callensberg on September 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM · Report this

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