Dog Whistle Politics

Dog Whistle Politics

How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

Book - 2014
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Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president. In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney López offers an account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations control over financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780199964277
Branch Call Number: 323.1196 H237d 2014
Characteristics: xiv, 277 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Feb 12, 2016

A convincing and alarming analysis of modern racism and its place in modern politics. Going from Wallace and Goldwater in the 60s to Obama's first term, it shows how coded language has been used to sublimate racial issues in politics by both parties (though the focus is heavily on the GOP) and places this 'strategic racism' in a larger context and argues, in my opinion quite well, that this process has been used/manipulated to continually hurt (through economic and social policies) the lower and middle classes while benefiting the upper class.


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