Oct 28 2008

Can “Dog-Whistle Racism” be Stopped?

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obamaA federal judge this weekend rejected a lawsuit by a Pennsylvania attorney that Senator Barack Obama is ineligible to run for president because he was either born in Kenya or is a citizen of Indonesia. The US Constitution requires that a person be born in the United States and be a citizen of the country in order to be eligible to serve as president. Undoubtedly many in the fringe right wing will be disappointed by the court’s decision. The internet is abound with far-fetched, racially tinged conspiracy theories about Obama’s religion, origin, and race. But the online racist vitriol is spilling over into real life: think about Governor Palin’s mob-like rallies calling for Obama’s death, a McCain supporter who “read Obama was an Arab,” and protesters chanting: “the only difference between Obama and Osama is BS.” Even Party officials are playing the game, from Congressional Representatives using the word “uppity,” to Palin linking Obama to “domestic terrorism” via Bill Ayers. Language coded to trigger racist feelings are an every-day phenomenon, and, as Americans get ready to elect the nation’s first black president, so-called “dog-whistle racism” could get a lot worse before too long.

GUEST: Ludovic Blain, Director of StopDogWhistleRacism.com, a project of the Center for Social Inclusion.

One response so far

One Response to “Can “Dog-Whistle Racism” be Stopped?”

  1. JustJackon 28 Oct 2008 at 11:55 am

    Wonderful, chilling segment.

    Immediately, what came to mind was the inland empire incident with the Republikaan party’s fundraising drive using “Obama Bucks” featuring watermelon, KFC (illegally using their logo… an intriguing irony) and welfare/food stamps.

    I also appreciated, and wished for more, the critique of the NYT’s Frank Rich’s piece in defense of white people. I remember reading that piece and thinking, as a white person, what planet is this guy living on?

    Tim Wise always comes to mind too…. and how much I appreciate Uprising and segments like this one.