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Posts Tagged ‘Naacp Tea Party Racism’

There’s nothing shocking or surprising about the latest Andrew Breitbart scam in which he released selectively-edited video of an African American USDA worker, Shirley Sherrod, and accused her of racism against a white farmer couple, the Spooners. That’s not to suggest we shouldn’t be vigorously talking about it. We absolutely should be. But the most outrageous aspects of the story are fairly typical of everyone involved: Breitbart, the so-called “liberal” news media, Democrats, Fox News Channel and all points in between.

For background purposes, it’s important to note that Andrew Breitbart is an attention-whore who is desperate to emulate his mentor, Matt Drudge, and this isn’t the first time he’s released misleading videotape “evidence” of African Americans behaving badly (or so he claims) in order to drive traffic to his various websites while augmenting his status as a player in the modern conservative movement. He previously engaged in the same chicanery when he released heavily edited and ultimately phony Jackass-style videos in which, he alleges, ACORN workers had given inappropriate advice to a (fake) pimp and a (fake) prostitute who were, among other things, seeking to engage in human trafficking. The videos turned out to be misleading at best, and the fake pimp character went on to plead guilty to charges of entering federal property under false pretense.

Breitbart scammed nearly everyone on the ACORN videos including people who should have known better, like, for example, Jon Stewart.

Breitbart has done it again. This time, he’s flimflammed the White House, the NAACP and the traditional news media.

None of this is a particularly big shocker, of course. This is what Breitbart does. He’s another Karl Rove type in that his entire modus operandi is to tangle the debate — to be an instigator. To kerfuffle everyone he engages until the discourse has become so confused, skewed and tangential that he’s able to walk away more or less unscathed while the targets of his regularly scheduled crusades are often damaged beyond repair. ACORN is a national pariah. And this week, a decent woman is out of a job.

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During her honeymoon speech at the Republican National Convention in 2008, Sarah Palin echoed a jab at Barack Obama that had been lurking around in Republican circles for most of that year. Earlier at the convention, Rudy Giuliani famously brought it up through his gigantically-toothy grin and childish giggling. But it was Sarah Palin who would get most of the credit for it.

I’m referring here to the emphasis on President Obama’s service as an urban community organizer. Clearly, this was a Southern Strategy-style racial dog whistle — a way of underscoring the president’s ethnicity, his race and his association with scary inner-city black people.

It’s worth mentioning again the Lee Atwater quote regarding the functional language of the Southern Strategy. Suffice to say, Atwater made it perfectly clear that Republican political tactics included (and still do) exploiting race — winning white votes by demonizing blacks. And the way to play this game in the modern age was to use code language. Dog whistles, because overt racial language would too easily “back fire.”

At the time, Atwater suggested the exploitation of issues like tax cuts or states rights with the implication that the Republican Party supported the preservation of white dominance. (Not surprisingly, tax cuts and states rights dominate the 2010 political discourse.) And the demagoguing of issues like welfare, affirmative action or Medicaid would underscore, to predisposed white voters, the fallacious notion of lazy black freeloaders horking white jobs and white tax dollars and not contributing anything to society other than crime.

And there was Sarah Palin in her prime time debut mocking the president’s early career as a community organizer — the implication being that the president was a product of black culture and not “real Americans.” Combine this with the ongoing emphasis on the president’s “spread the wealth around” remark to Joe the Plummer — the Republicans very obviously playing the “welfare queen” dog whistle here. And we all remember how Sarah Palin went “rogue” and fueled the Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim-terrorist myth (part of early Birther lore) by repeatedly telling her rabid white audiences that the president “palled around with terrorists.”

Sarah Palin is and was a Southern Strategist.

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