In Vox, Ian Haney Lopez presents the progressive conventional wisdom’s favorite Conspiracy Theory:
How Democrats can talk about race and win
A new project reveals that combining race and class can be a winning message for Democrats in November and beyond.
By Roge Karma Feb 18, 2020, 10:00am EST
… Roge Karma: One of the narratives you tested was a “racial fear” message based on the talking points of Donald Trump. What was this message, and how successful was it?
Ian Haney López: Here’s one example of the racial fear message we tested:
Our leaders must prioritize keeping us safe and ensuring that hardworking Americans have the freedom to prosper. Taking a second look at people coming from terrorist countries who wish us harm or at people from places overrun with drugs and criminal gangs is just common sense. And so is curbing illegal immigration, so our communities are no longer flooded with people who refuse to follow our laws. We need to make sure we take care of our own people first.
We asked people in a nationally representative sample of 2,000 whether they agreed with it using a 1-to-100 dial. Unsurprisingly, 72 percent of Republicans found this message convincing [rated it 51 or higher out of 100]. But we found that 52 percent of Democrats found this message convincing as well.
The proportion of Democrats who found that narrative compelling is interesting in its own right. But what I found even more shocking was how people of color responded to the racial fear message.
Ian Haney López
Yes. Sixty percent of Latinos and 54 percent of African Americans found it convincing, which isn’t much lower than the 61 percent of whites who did.
That finding seems to go against a lot of our presuppositions about how racism operates in politics. Why was this Trumpian narrative so compelling to everyone, including people of color?
Ian Haney López
The overwhelming majority of the people who respond positively to Trump’s racial messages do not hear them as expressions or endorsements of white superiority in the way that many progressives charge. That’s because Trump’s language is a form of racial dog whistling — using code to interject race into political conversations and trigger racist fears.
It’s very important to understand that Trump is building on a 50-year tradition. Dog whistling starts in the 1960s with language that is transparently supportive of segregation masked in the language of states’ rights. Later it becomes a way of talking about criminals versus the innocent, about lazy welfare cheats versus hardworking people, and citizens versus illegals. Underlying all of that rhetoric is a basic racist story that becomes widely accepted as a form of political common sense, even among many Democrats and people of color
[Dog whistles] have become such a basic part of the American political and cultural fabric that they no longer operate like a “secret handshake” [as they did in the 1960s] in which Donald Trump says something racist and his supporters know he means something racist but publicly deny it. Dog whistling today is like a used-car fraud. Donald Trump is peddling a story that he pretends is about common sense and patriotism and taking care of deserving people. And people don’t know that what they’re buying into is a racist story.
Who is Ian Haney Lopez and when did he add his mother’s name Lopez to his name Ian Haney? From Wikipedia:
Ian Haney López is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He works in the area of racial justice in American law.
Haney López born and raised in Hawaii. His father, Terrence Haney, is from Washington. His mother, Maria López Haney, is from El Salvador. Ian changed his surname from Haney to Haney López while a graduate student at Princeton University to honor the Latino tradition of using both his parents’ names, though also to resist the “honorary whiteness” that is sometimes offered to accomplished people of color.
But America is such a white racist country with so much White Privilege that Professor Haney’s self-sacrificing decision to admit that his mother had a Spanish last name has only allowed him to get as far in life as being the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley instead of the job he really deserves, which is Galactic Overlord.