"Racialized Politics"—Who Started It? Trump or the Democrats?
November 29, 2016, 05:47 AM
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From City Journal:

Democrats, Not Trump, Racialize Our Politics

A party obsessed with race won’t have much luck reaching out to non-elite whites.

Heather Mac Donald

November 27, 2016

… The most absurd Democratic meme to emerge from the party’s ballot-box defeat is the claim that it is Donald Trump, rather than Democrats, who engages in “aggressive, racialized discourse,” in the words of a Los Angeles Times op-ed. By contrast, President Barack Obama sought a “post-racial, bridge-building society,” according to New York Times reporter Peter Baker. Obama’s post-racial efforts have now “given way to an angry, jeering, us-against-them nation,” writes Baker, in a front-page “news” story.

Tell that valedictory for “post-racial bridge-building” to police officers, who have been living through two years of racialized hatred directed at them in the streets, to the applause of many Democratic politicians. …

President Obama welcomed Black Lives Matter activists several times to the White House. He racialized the entire criminal-justice system, repeatedly accusing it of discriminating, often lethally, against blacks.

… Obama put Brittany Packnett, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, on his President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. …Packnett’s plaint about crushing racial oppression echoes media darling Ta-Nehesi Coates, whose locus classicus of maudlin racial victimology, Between the World and Me, won a prominent place on Obama’s 2015 summer reading list. Coates has received almost every prize that the elite establishment can bestow; Between the World and Me is now a staple of college summer reading lists.

According to Coates, police officers who kill black men are not “uniquely evil”; rather, their evil is the essence of America itself. These “destroyers” (i.e., police officers) are “merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy. This legacy aspires to the shackling of black bodies.” In America, Mr. Coates claims, “it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.”

Coates’s melodramatic rhetoric comes right out of the academy, the inexhaustible source of Democratic identity politics. The Democratic Party is now merely an extension of left-wing campus culture; few institutions exist wherein the skew toward Democratic allegiance is more pronounced.

I’ve been looking for a way to measure this question for awhile. My impression of the history is that in roughly 2009-2011, both parties edge movements — the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street — were fairly strenuously non-identity politics and instead concerned themselves with economic ideology, while the Democratic mainstream was obsessed with gay marriage, which was of little interest to blacks. My recollection is the tipping point came in the late winter of 2012 when the Obama Campaign adopted feminism and black anger over Trayvon to turn out the vote. This was pretty successful in 2012, and intimidated the GOP Establishment. Finally, Donald Trump emerged in June 2015.

But I could be biased. Does anybody have suggestions for a quantitative way to test the history?

[Comment at Unz.com]