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

OUP USA, 2014 - 277 pagina's
The decades-long increase in income inequality has become perhaps "the" issue in American politics, and scholars have offered many reasons for why the gap between the rich and the rest has widened so much since the mid-1970s. Most of the explanations have been social and political in thebroadest sense, and many have keyed on the propensity of middle- and working class Americans to vote against their own interest. Yet given that the greatest income divide is racial in nature, why have so few looked toward racially motivated behavior as a cause?Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Wrecked the Middle Class is a sweeping account of how "dog-whistle" racial politics contributed to increasing inequality in America since the 1960s. Now a pervasive term in American political coverage, "dog whistle" refers to coded signals sent tocertain constituencies that only those constituencies will understand. Just as only dogs can hear a dog whistle, only a constituency fluent in a subterranean argot can understand that argot when it is used. For instance, attacks on Obama's use of a teleprompter is a dog whistle for racist voters whoquestion blacks' (and by extension, the President's) intelligence.Haney's book will cover racial dog whistles in America from the 1960s to the present, showing that their appeal has helped generate working class and middle class populist enthusiasm for policies that were actually injurious to their own interests. As Haney-Lopez argues, the implicit associationbetween blacks and social welfare programs that dog whistle politicians make has led many voters to turn against the state itself despite the fact that they benefit from redistributive policies. The dog whistle tactic has been with us from at least the era of George Wallace, but every candidate whohas benefited from race-based resentments has used it: Nixon, Reagan (welfare queens), George Bush I (Willie Horton), Bill Clinton (Sister Souljah), and - most recently - Newt Gingrich. A sweeping reinterpretation of the recent political and legal history of the U.S., Dog Whistle Politics is sure togenerate a productive and lively debate about the role of race as a fundamental driver of inequality.

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - mcelhra - LibraryThing

I found Dog Whistle Politics utterly fascinating, horrifying and heartbreaking all at the same time. López defines dog whistling as “inaudible and easily denied in one range, yet stimulating strong ... Volledige review lezen

LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - Mithalogica - LibraryThing

On the one hand, I love this book, and I think it's terrifically important. On the other, I was disappointed in its lack of scope. Let me back up; I received this for Early Reviewers, and I've been ... Volledige review lezen


IntroductionRacial Politics and the Middle Class
1 The GOPs Rise as the White Mans Party
Strategic Racism
4 The False Allure of Colorblindness
Clinton and W
6 Getting Away with Racism
The Tea Party and Romney
8 Whats the Matter with White Voters? Commonsense Racism
9 Obamas PostRacial Strategy
ConclusionTo End Dog Whistle Politics

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Over de auteur (2014)

Ian Haney López is the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. An incisive voice on white identity since the publication of his path-breaking book White by Law (1996), he remains at the forefront of conversations about race in modern America. A past visiting professor at Yale and Harvard law schools, in 2011 he was awarded the Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship, given to scholars whose work promotes the integration goals of Brown v. Board of Education.

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