Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Racist Dogwhistle Is Working Overtime in Michigan

I had a feeling that this would be a tactic used by Rethugs. This is why Mr. Hip Hop pissed me off with his antics, especially since they were right around election time. I knew it would be an issue.

When it comes to Black politicians... there is always supposed to be this magical connection, just by virtue of the fact that they are Black (no real substantive connection is necessary). But with White politicians, it's not so easy to make such an assumption. You actually have to tie the white guys (or gals) together with some sort of connection...with facts, evidence of involvement, etc. Whites don't have the same burden of representing an entire group based on their race. They represent businesses, Parties... but they aren't usually held accountable for every !%#$-up who happens to be of the same racial/ethnic group.

That's why I say that Black politicians who reach any level of National status represent more than just themselves, their cities, their States or their district constituents. They represent an entire group....although that status may be forced upon them. It is what it is. This is what made the Hip Hop thug Mayor so damaging...and I knew that it would somehow find its way into the General Election. Let's face it... Race is at the heart of this strategy. If the Democratic candidate had been White, I don't think the commercial would have been made.

Whenever I would read or hear a story about the latest antics of Kwame Kilpatrick, I would always cringe for Obama.


The Social Reformer said...

lol @ kwami kilpatrick. There is truth to this post. I agree with you about Hip Hop being a potential threat

Anonymous said...

I agree with the point of your post, but since I am in Michigan, I wanted to see this "racist" ad that I somehow missed.

I do not agree with your the assessment of the ad. They aren't tied together because of race. They are tied together because at some point Obama (unfortunately) spoke in support of Kilpatrick. Convenient? Yes. Racist? A bit of a stretch.

Luckily I haven't seen that ad, which is surprising considering I live in the more right-wing/conservative West Michigan. Maybe it has more of an impact the closer you get to Detroit?

Brian said...


White politicians congratulate one another all the time... especially when they are visiting someone else's political jurisdiction. This is a normal & basic part of politics. It's simply being polite to do those things. Obama made his comments long before Kilpatrick got into serious trouble.

My point was.... Whites do this all the time... and I just don't see the "guilty by association" concept applied nearly as much. In fact... this is not even a case of being guilty by association ... this is a "guilty because of race" situation.

The ad is designed to stir fear in White voters...and to try to make an association based on race.

And no, it's not always obvious...that's why it's called dogwhistle politics... it's designed to be understood (ie heard) by a certain target audience, an audience who may already have misgivings about Kilpatrick...and who may be on the fence about Obama because of racial prejudices. That adds up to a lot of Whites.

Ricketson said...

Also, this add is only being shown in one suburb of Detroit--the whitest suburb.