Karl Rove won’t surrender race card

Lee Atwater’s claim to fame was his pioneering use of racially divisive imagery in political messages that, superficially, didn’t seem to be about race at all. The most infamous examples, of course, were Atwater ads like the “Revolving Door” and the Willie Horton spots. Under the guise of a color-blind message about criminal justice, those spots honed in on African-American criminals in a deliberate effort to stoke racial fears among whites. In employing such a formula, the ads embodied the now-standard dog-whistle tactic for racial messaging — a tactic which itself was an outgrowth of Atwater’s guiding political principle about euphemistic language.”You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,'” he said. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and 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.”Continue Reading…

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Karl Rove won’t surrender race card

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