Friday, May 16, 2014

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class: Ian Haney López: 9780199964277: Books:

Shortly after I was married I realized that my wife read bags of  "romance novels", so thought maybe I ought to read one to see what was up. What I learned is that men will never understand women, and vice-versa -- the wiring is simply different.

From time to time I read some books with a far left / "liberal" bias and have much the same experience -- the world views presented are simply too far apart for someone of a Christian / Conservative / Western Civilization / White / etc perspective to fully understand what is being presented.

I can only try however, so I'll do my best to cover what this author appears to be thinking / saying, but I can fully imagine someone that is far left / radically liberal / Black / etc just not being able to understand what I am saying in any real way.

For starters, one could read "What's the Matter With Kansas" -  it's all about "fake" social wedge issues",  or "Don't Think of an Elephant" - it's all about "bad" frames of thought,  and then slide into "Dog Whistle Politics" (DWP) -- it's all about race!!

So I kinda like the Dog Whistle Politics, DWP acronym, it could also stand for "Driving With Pallor" ;-)

The idea of DWP is that very nearly ANYTHING said by someone that doesn't follow the complete "New Deal / Progressive" dogma can be labeled as "coded racism", and thus discounted. Kind of like a "dog whistle" that is at a frequency that only the dogs can hear. With DWP, the myriad of "coded appeals" are only heard by the "dogs" (racists) ... only sometimes, maybe most times, even the "racists" don't know what they are hearing, but still react to it as the "coders" would like.

So "Welfare Reform" is racist -- because it is REALLY about giving less to Blacks. "Tough on Crime" is racist because it is REALLY about putting more Blacks in jail. Oh,  Blacks don't commit any more crimes than anyone else -- the reason they have a higher incarceration rate is, DEFINITELY racism, and it is like Global Warming, Gay Rights, or a host of other things -- if you claim to "think differently", you are stupid, evil or both!
for race constitutes the dark magic by which middle-class voters have been convinced to turn government over to the wildly affluent, notwithstanding the harm this does to themselves. This book’s primary goal is to grab the attention of middle-class readers, white and nonwhite alike, to awaken them to the importance of race to their fate. We will not pull government back to the side of the broad middle until we confront the power of racial politics.

In order to understand the above, you have to understand the liberal brain a bit. There is NO HOPE for "the middle class" outside of radical continuance and acceleration of "New Deal / Progressive Politics"! The government MUST transfer wealth from the more successful to the less successful! There is no other way that "helps the middle class".

If you think anything else -- like culture, work ethic, two parent families, competitiveness, the incentive of people being able to keep what they make, ANYTHING other than progressive dogma, then this book says you are either racist or the victim of DWP making you act against your interests without knowing why. ("conservatives fooling people" is a major theme of this book as well as "Kansas" and "Elephant")

 "Kansas" said that "false wedge issues" like abortion, gay marriage, etc caused people to "vote against their interests", "Elephant" says that it is "clever framing", but ALL are completely agreed that "progressive" politics is 100% in the interest of the middle class -- pay no attention to the fact that except for the short period after WWII where we were the only standing economic power on the planet, the "progressive" approach has brought the "middle class" nothing but consistent decline! (see LBJ, Carter and now BO)
This makes racial dog whistling a more complicated phenomenon than other sorts of surreptitious politics . It involves, as we shall see, three basic moves : a punch that jabs race into the conversation through thinly veiled references to threatening nonwhites, for instance to welfare cheats or illegal aliens; a parry that slaps away charges of racial pandering, often by emphasizing the lack of any direct reference to a racial group or any use of an epithet ; and finally a kick that savages the critic for opportunistically alleging racial victimization.

The cool thing about DWP is that ANYTHING can be labeled a "code", so rather than have to discuss nasty things like issues, results, alternatives, etc, the politician merely has to claim that your distaste for "Sharia Law", "Voter ID", "Immigration Policy", "Welfare", "Higher Taxes", ANYTHING is in fact a "coded dog whistle" that proves you are a RACIST! (so SHUT THE F**K UP! ... the standard Socialist argument)

So to parse what is said above:
 1). You make a claim that "people that vote ought to have an ID" -- the DWP expert will label that your "punch".
2). The DWP guy "calls you out", tells you that you are using "coded racist appeals, so why don't you just say "N**R", because that is what you mean! ... You, being a racist "dog whistler" of course will try to claim something lame  like "having people vote legally has nothing to do with race". The fact you tried to defend yourself is further proof you are a racist!
3). The KICK ... you may try to say something like "What the hell is going on? I talked about voter ID, you called me a racist, and now the discussion is supposed to be stopped because of the charge you made up? How can we have a discussion at all if everything is supposed to be about race?" ... which clearly PROVES you are a racist and are following a template laid down by Nixon in "The Souther Strategy". So there!
... to ensure broad prosperity government has four crucial roles to play: first, to help people weather the vicissitudes that easily plunge families into poverty, for instance job loss or ill health ; second, to provide escalators of upward mobility, such as quality schooling, higher education, and mortgage assistance; third, to build the nation’s infrastructure, thus laying the groundwork for the next great economic boom; and fourth, to rein in marketplace abuses through regulation , and to prevent excessive concentrations of wealth through progressive taxation.
The above is the core belief of the authors of this and the two other books I mention. GOVERNMENT is what does it all -- not culture, not capitalism, not technical expertise and competition, and certainly not entrepreneurship and innovation! NOPE, as BO let us know nobody does ANYTHING without MASSIVE help from the government! The people that deny that are "reactionaries", and usually racists (maybe always, some of them may just not know it yet). For the "progressive", just replace the Judaeo / Christian God with "government", and I believe that is pretty much their universe ... "Government is great, Government is good, we thank it for our daily bread ..."

What these three books say is that the quote above is obvious and totally true. To deny it is evil, just like denying Global Warming or Gay "marriage" (or lately not being just completely celebratory of a public gay kiss) ... there is simply no other way to think, and if you claim there is, then racist is one of the charges that can validly be leveled against you ... "coded hate speech", which may not be quite a crime yet, but if you read this book, it is very clear that it should be!

I DID read this book to the end ... I have a ton of highlights and notes from the entire book, but I've actually more than covered it here in it's particulars. What I didn't cover is the relentless grinding view that "it is all about race" and NOTHING about culture! Which often had me thinking in diatribe after diatribe of a few points:

  • While other minorities ... Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, etc are touched on, it is only in tiny and in fairly tenuous ways on specifics that would tie them to Blacks (eg the Japanese internment) What is NOT discussed is how all of the above have been FAR more generally successful in the US and elsewhere than Blacks due to CULTURE, not race! 
  • The focus on racism would make MUCH more sense if Africa was a model of great success to the planet, yet Blacks in this country were struggling. Since that is NOT the case, it appears that although this author would STRONGLY argue that "race is primary", the real answer is in fact that Culture and System of Governance are what matter.  
  • I'd argue that Western Civilization, China, India, South Korea, East and West Germany (prior to unification), Hong Kong and on and on give us MANY examples of the importance of Culture and System of Government (and very clear differences due to System of Government with THE SAME racial/cultural content as in Germany), but NONE indicating that race is primary! This book seeks take a known failed government system (Socialism, which is the correct name for "progressivism) and to try change the subject to race for any that would question the guaranteed success of Socialism! (which has of course failed miserably again and again)

People need to be aware that this book (and the other two) exist in order to be aware of the basic dishonesty of the approaches, and to be prepared to be attacked by some who find this a way to cut off  discussion.

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