Friday, August 24, 2012

Racial Coding and the “Otherization” of Obama

Progressives always deal from a deck full of race cards, and possibly never more outrageously so than last week on Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Cycle. Its panel of pundits was discussing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney‘s call for President Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” A black co-host read racial connotations underlying Romney’s phrasing which he claimed signaled the “niggerization” of Romney’s campaign. You read that right.

The co-host, who for some reason goes by the single name Touré (perhaps he fancies himself in the same league as Cher and Madonna), said this of Romney’s speech:

That really bothered me. You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the “otherization,” he’s not like us.

On the “otherization” point, I have to agree with Touré – Obama is definitely not like us, if by “us” he means Americans who love their country, believe in its exceptionalism, and don’t want to see it turned into a socialist, Muslim Brotherhood dystopia. By that characterization, skin color is irrelevant. But of course, to race-mongers like Touré, skin color is the alpha and omega of their political consciousness and identity. They are incapable of perceiving anything except through the lens of race. For them, there can be no other explanation apart from color for Romney and his racist white Republican constituency to oppose the (half-)black Obama. This is a useful perspective to hold when your candidate cannot run on his record alone.

“I know it’s a heavy thing,” Touré acknowledged. “I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization.’ You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who [sic] we’ve been trained to fear.”

By “we,” Touré certainly isn’t including himself. He’s referring to white America, which in the left’s view is inherently, irredeemably racist and which in the post-civil rights era is forced to communicate its racism to each other in impossibly subtle, fiendishly clever ways – like racial coding.

“Racial coding,” as defined by pundit Juan Williams, is a sort of winking between a white speaker and audience that consists of “euphemisms allowing the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message.” As examples, Williams offers phrases such as “entitlement society,” “poor work ethic,” and “food stamps,” all of which are obviously code phrases for “black people” in the race-obsessed minds of Williams and his ilk. Even “references to a lack of respect for the ‘Founding Fathers’ and the ‘Constitution’” are coded racism, says Williams. This ingenuous tactic allows the left to infuse racism into every word that issues forth from the mouth of a white conservative (or a black one, for that matter, since leftists don’t consider black conservatives to be truly black). Through this patently false narrative they can maintain a perpetual accusation of racism where it doesn't exist.

“Anger”? That’s racial coding to inspire fear of the angry black man stereotype. Therefore conservatives aren’t allowed to accurately identify the tone of Obama’s campaign. “Food stamps”? That’s racial coding for, as Jimmy Carter put it, “welfare mammies.” Carter and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who couldn’t be more solidly in the tank for Obama, accused Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail of racial coding when he accurately labeled Obama “the food-stamp president” (O’Brien falsely claimed that there were more food stamp recipients under Bush).

Meanwhile progressives turn a blind eye to the blatant racism of goofball Vice President Joe Biden, who once praised Obama for his light skin and lack of Negro dialect, and who recently told an audience “Trust me, Obama has a big stick” (why isn’t that racial coding for stereotypical black sexuality? Because he’s a Democrat, and the left never charges its own with hate speech, racial coding, or any other politically incorrect crime). Last week Biden made an even bigger laughingstock of himself by trying out his very own “Negro dialect” on a largely black audience, telling them that Romney was “gonna put y’all back in chains!” This is to say nothing of the divisive racism of Obama himself, our “most-racial president,” and others in his administration of racial payback like Eric Holder.

While the left is busy pointing out imaginary racism, actual serious racism goes uncondemned, such as the incendiary rhetoric of Holder’s pets the New Black Panthers, who called once again last week for the genocide of white Americans. Such black-on-white racism gets a pass from not only the Obama administration but the media as well, who are too busy scanning transcripts of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in a futile search for racist remarks.

Back to last week’s episode of The Cycle. Its conservative co-host S.E. Cupp pounced on Touré’s outrageous accusation, taking him to task for admitting that Joe Biden’s “chains” comments were divisive, but claiming that Romney is racist for using the word “angry.”
“Do you see how dishonest that is?” she asked.

Touré denied calling anyone racist, to which Cupp responded, “Certainly you were implying that Mitt Romney and the base will respond to this dog-whistle, racially-charged coding, and hate Obama, the angry black man?”

“Absolutely,” he said. “This is a constituency all-white party that rejects the black vote.”

“You have two white guys in Joe Biden and Mitt Romney,” Cupp noted. “Joe Biden made the overtly racial comment and has a history of making bigoted remarks. Mitt Romney was responding to the comment. Yet he is the one responsible for the whole Republican history of racism in politics?”

“He’s using the playbook Republicans have been using for decades now,” Touré stubbornly concluded.

He later apologized for his use of the “N” word, but only because the controversy over it (which of course he intended to create in the first place), “muddied the discussion… I could’ve made the same point without using the word.” In other words, I miscalculated the backlash but stand by my side’s own playbook of dealing from the race card deck.

(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 8/21/12)