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

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

Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.

In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney López offers a sweeping account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives. The tactic continues at full force, with the Republican Party using racial provocations to drum up enthusiasm for weakening unions and public pensions, defunding public schools, and opposing health care reform.

Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, Haney López links as never before the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the decline of the middle class and the Republican Party's increasing reliance on white voters. Dog Whistle Politics will generate a lively and much-needed debate about how racial politics has destabilized the American middle class -- white and nonwhite members alike.

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About the Author:


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.

Review:


"As Haney Lopez demonstrates, the vocabulary of race has changed. Nonetheless, race is still skillfully used to distract our attention from ongoing and pernicious disparities in economic opportunities. Read this terrific book to understand how dog whistle politics enables the wealth gap to stay the same and even to get worse not just for blacks or other people of color but for the white working class as well." --Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor, Harvard Law School


"This is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone and everyone who is struggling to understand how and why political elites succeed, time and again, in persuading poor and working class whites to support regressive policies that are a boon for corporations but actually harm them and wreck the middle class. The answer to the riddle has far more to do with race than most want to acknowledge. But it isn't old-fashioned, malevolent racism that's to blame. No, as Haney Lopez brilliantly and painstakingly lays bare, what is unraveling our nation is not bad people, but a stubborn refusal to deal openly and honestly with the reality of how race operates today." --Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow


"Read this book to understand how dog whistle politics enables the wealth gap to stay the same and even to get worse not just for blacks or other people of color but for the white working class as well. As Haney Lopez demonstrates, the vocabulary of race has changed. Nonetheless, race is still skillfully used to distract our attention from ongoing and pernicious disparities in economic opportunities." --Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of The Miner's Canary


"A brilliant guide to modern politics, for anyone who wants to understand how outright racist appeals morphed into the genteel rhetoric of 'states rights' and from there into today's 'defund Obamacare' -- and why Democrats too often collude in rather than repudiate dog whistle politics." --Joan Walsh, Salon.com and MSNBC, and author of What's the Matter With White People


"Grounded in history rather than theory, this is recommended to readers engaged in today's political discourse." --Library Journal


"
"This is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone and everyone who is struggling to understand how and why political elites succeed, time and again, in persuading poor and working class whites to support regressive policies that are a boon for corporations but actually harm them and wreck the middle class. The answer to the riddle has far more to do with race than most want to acknowledge. But it isn't old-fashioned, malevolent racism that's to blame. No, as Haney Lopez brilliantly and painstakingly lays bare, what is unraveling our nation is not bad people, but a stubborn refusal to deal openly and honestly with the reality of how race operates today." --Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow


"Read this book to understand how dog whistle politics enables the wealth gap to stay the same and even to get worse not just for blacks or other people of color but for the white working class as well. As Haney Lopez demonstrates, the vocabulary of race has changed. Nonetheless, race is still skillfully used to distract our attention from ongoing and pernicious disparities in economic opportunities." --Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of The Miner's Canary


"A brilliant guide to modern politics, for anyone who wants to understand how outright racist appeals morphed into the genteel rhetoric of 'states rights' and from there into today's 'defund Obamacare' -- and why Democrats too often collude in rather than repudiate dog whistle politics." --Joan Walsh, Salon.com and MSNBC, and author of What's the Matter With White People


"Grounded in history rather than theory, this is recommended to readers engaged in today's political discourse." --Library Journal


"

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Ian Haney-Lopez
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0199964270 ISBN 13: 9780199964277
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 the broadest 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 to certain 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 who question blacks (and by extension, the President s) intelligence. Haney s book looks at 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. The dog whistle tactic has been with us from at least the era of George Wallace, but every candidate who has 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 to generate a productive and lively debate about the role of race as a fundamental driver of inequality. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199964277

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Ian Haney-Lopez
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0199964270 ISBN 13: 9780199964277
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 the broadest 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 to certain 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 who question blacks (and by extension, the President s) intelligence. Haney s book looks at 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. The dog whistle tactic has been with us from at least the era of George Wallace, but every candidate who has 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 to generate a productive and lively debate about the role of race as a fundamental driver of inequality. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199964277

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110199964270

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