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Ian F. Haney-Lopez quotes (showing 1-30 of 74)

“We have learned to see racism in the spittle-laced epithets of the angry bigot. We must also learn to see racism in the coded racial entreaties promoted by calculating demagogues.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Whites believed in structural remedies when they saw the poor as people like themselves, folks sometimes trapped by larger forces or bad breaks. They shifted to a belief in personal failings when they began to see the poor as nonwhites fundamentally unlike themselves.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Wallace, Goldwater, and Nixon recognized and sought to take advantage of existing bigotry in the voting public, bigotry they did not create but which they stoked, legitimized, and encouraged. They did so not to inflict further pain and humiliation on nonwhites, though that consequence was sure to follow from their actions. Rather, they were willing to play racial hardball to get elected. These racial demagogues acted out of strategic racism. This chapter’s principal”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“What is the Southern Strategy? It is this. It says to the South: Let the poor stay poor, let your economy trail the nation, forget about decent homes and medical care for all your people, choose officials who will oppose every effort to benefit the many at the expense of the few—and in return, we will try to overlook the rights of the black man, appoint a few southerners to high office, and lift your spirits by attacking the ‘eastern establishment’ whose bank accounts we are filling with your labor and your industry.”42 McGovern”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“In 1963, Robert Novak had written that many Republican leaders were intent on converting the Party of Lincoln into the White Man’s Party. The following year, Goldwater went down in crushing defeat, winning only 36 percent of the white vote. Even so, less than a decade later, the racial transmogrification of the Republicans was well underway. In 1972, Nixon’s first full dog whistle campaign netted him 67 percent of the white vote, leaving his opponent, George McGovern, with support from less than one in three whites. Defeated by the Southern strategy, McGovern neatly summed it up: “What is the Southern Strategy? It is this. It says to the South: Let the poor stay poor, let your economy trail the nation, forget about decent homes and medical care for all your people, choose officials who will oppose every effort to benefit the many at the expense of the few—and in return, we will try to overlook the”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Yet, those who adopt a colorblind strategy often come across as more racially hostile, not less. Refusing to acknowledge obvious social differences creates an impression of suppressed dislike, and studies have shown that whites who studiously avoid mentioning race even when it is clearly relevant are perceived as more bigoted.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“George Fredrickson, in his history of that phenomenon, concludes that “the word ‘racism’ first came into common usage in the 1930s when a new word was required to describe the theories on which the Nazis based their persecution of the Jews.” Or more pithily: “Hitler gave racism a bad name.”36”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“This book is not about bad people. It is about all of us.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“From 1960 to 1970, as the New Deal expanded into the Great Society, the number of Americans in poverty declined from 40 million to under 25 million. During the 1970s, after the rise of dog whistle politics but before its full hijacking by rightwing oligarchs, the numbers in poverty remained steady. During the 1980s, as Reagan and then George H.W. Bush reigned, those in poverty soared to 35 million. At the end of Clinton’s second term in 2000, those mired in poverty had fallen to just above 30 million. But following the Great Recession that marked the end George W. Bush’s presidency, over 46 million Americans were in poverty.63 That’s an additional 16 million good folks pushed into the material and emotional hardship of destitution in just one decade.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“In accord with the stories spun by dog whistle politicians, many whites have come to believe that they prosper because they possess the values, orientations, and work ethic needed by the self-making individual in a capitalist society. In contrast, they have come to suppose that nonwhites, lacking these attributes, slip to the bottom, handicapped by their inferior cultures and pushed down by the market’s invisible hand, where they remain, beyond the responsibility, or even ability, of government to help.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Dog whistling comes out of the South and its preoccupation with blacks, but it always involved equal opportunity racism, and never more so than today.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“We would like to believe that if the polity understood that race-baiting continues to be widely practiced, people would repudiate it. Yet many whites may be so sure racial discrimination is not a problem that, when told it is, they will reject this information and compound their support for the discrimination.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Race is neither an essence nor an illusion, but rather an ongoing, contradictory, self-reinforcing process subject to the macro forces of social and political struggle and the micro effects of daily decisions.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez
“The research is clear that colorblindness does not help us overcome racism; on the contrary, colorblindness as a strategy (rather than as a goal) forms part of the problem. Attempting to ignore what one has inevitably already noticed only makes it more difficult to recognize and thus control internalized racial stereotypes.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“the confluence of racial prejudice and conservative politics is the new racism. It’s a product of almost a half-century of ethnic discourse and coded race-baiting that has remade racism into a set of ideas jointly demonizing nonwhite culture and activist government. These ethnic-racial-political stereotypes have become staples of modern racial discourse, and now seem like self-evident truths to a staggering four out of five Republicans. It is now virtually commonsense, at least among the GOP faithful, that minorities fail, and they succeed, as rugged individuals.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“when demagogues use offensive caricatures to inflame passions, they are demonizing people. Dog whistle politics turns people’s lives into nightmares. People just like us. People whose heights of joy and depths of pain are no less real than our own, even as their humanity is rendered invisible by slurs about their behavior and culture. In our inability to recognize their humanity, we as a nation have lost part of our own.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Not since the gilded years preceding the Great Depression has the United States been so economically unequal, and so financially precarious for those in the middle.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Dog whistle politics turns people’s lives into nightmares. People just like us. People whose heights of joy and depths of pain are no less real than our own, even as their humanity is rendered invisible by slurs about their behavior and culture. In our inability to recognize their humanity, we as a nation have lost part of our own.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Here are the basic moves: (1) punch racism into the conversation through references to culture, behavior, and class; (2) parry claims of race-baiting by insisting that absent a direct reference to biology or the use of a racial epithet, there can be no racism; (3) kick up the racial attack by calling any critics the real racists for mentioning race and thereby “playing the race card.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Defeated by the Southern strategy, McGovern neatly summed it up: “What is the Southern Strategy? It is this. It says to the South: Let the poor stay poor, let your economy trail the nation, forget about decent homes and medical care for all your people, choose officials who will oppose every effort to benefit the many at the expense of the few—and in return, we will try to overlook the rights of the black man, appoint a few southerners to high office, and lift your spirits by attacking the ‘eastern establishment’ whose bank accounts we are filling with your labor and your industry.”42”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“it bears mention that “illegal” is a misnomer: crossing into or remaining in the United States without proper authorization is not a crime, but rather a civil matter. Thus, contrary to Scalia’s preference, the Court majority eschewed the term “illegal alien,” noting that “as a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Conservative dog whistling made minorities, not concentrated wealth, the pressing enemy of the white middle class. It didn’t seem to matter that the actual monetary transfers to nonwhites were trivial. If all of the anti-poverty and social welfare dollars paid to blacks during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations had instead been given to low- and middle-income whites,”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“What explains the rise of racialized mass incarceration? It’s not racial differences in crime rates. To measure crime rates we must take into account poverty and age. Poverty correlates with criminal activity, both because those without resources are more likely to commit crimes, and also because the poor spend more of their hours in public spaces intensively policed by the state. Another factor associated with crime is youth, with young men in particular likely to engage in high-risk and anti-social behavior. Paying attention to these factors, when one compares crime rates across poor males in the high-crime ages of 15 to 18, it turns out that poor youth of color almost across the board are less likely to commit crimes than their white counterparts.37 Poor white youths typically report committing more crimes of all sorts than do minorities. Still, this means that, because blacks and Latinos are disproportionately poor and young relative to the population as a whole, they are disproportionately involved in crime, and perhaps this modest disproportion—not in the propensity to commit crime, but in the likelihood of being poor and young—explains arrest and conviction patterns. It does not. Young men of color are far, far more likely than young white men to be swept into the maw of the American crime control system, even when taking into account youth and poverty.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“This shift in emphasis, though, allowed the Feds to go after those Reagan repeatedly portrayed as menacing society. During his first administration, anti-drug funds at the FBI surged from $38 million to $181 million, and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s spending skyrocketed from $86 million to over $1 billion. Meanwhile, illustrating the full perversity of the effort, spending on health care for drug treatment plummeted, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse suffering a budget cut from $274 million to $57 million, and with anti-drug funds for the Department of Education slashed from $14 million to $3 million.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Rather than treat nonwhites as complex persons, the media often reduce minorities to walking stereotypes: rapists, gang members, maids, terrorists, and so forth. White characters, though all too often also flat, nevertheless are typically the only ones allowed to blossom into multifaceted personalities, persons who respond to and also change their relations with others and, on occasion, alter their environment. As a result, media consumers learn to see nonwhites only as racial archetypes, while simultaneously being reminded that whites are unique individuals shaped by and in turn capable of shaping the world around them.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“At a demonstration in Chicago, speakers “continually repeated that the Tea Party was not ‘about race’—a message that received roars of approval from the nearly 100 percent Caucasian crowd.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Anson laid bare his ulterior motives for favoring the removal of Japanese farmers, but like all strategic racists, he also at least partially subscribed to the racial antipathies he endeavored to exploit. From here, motives become more attenuated as persons adopt particular ideas depending not on their material interests but on how these notions protect their self-image and, for the privileged, confirm society’s basic fairness. For instance, the dominance of colorblindness today surely ties back to motives, not on the fully conscious level, but in many whites being drawn to conceptions of race that affirm their sense of being moral persons neither responsible for nor benefited by racial inequality. Colorblindness offers whites racial expiation: they cannot be racist if they lack malice; nor can they be responsible for inequality, since this reflects differences in group mores. Colorblindness also compliments whites on a superior culture that explains their social position. In addition it empathizes with whites as racism’s real victims when government favors minorities through affirmative action or welfare payments. Finally, colorblindness affirms that whites are moral when they oppose measures to promote integration because it’s allegedly their principled objection to any use of race that drives them, not bias. Colorblindness has not gained adherents because of its analytic insight (that race is completely disconnected from social practices blinks reality); rather, it thrives because it comforts whites regarding their innocence, reassures them that their privilege is legitimate, commiserates with their victimization, and hides from them their hostility toward racial equality.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“Much later in his book, Hacker acknowledges the implausibility of the hypothetical posed to the White college students, a question impossible to answer since few Whites can truly imagine themselves Black. Even this implausibility, however, confirms the importance of Whiteness to Whites. No matter how degraded their lives, white people are still allowed to believe that they possess the blood, the genes, the patrimony of superiority. No matter what happens, they can never become “black.” White Americans of all classes have found it comforting to preserve blacks as a subordinate caste: a presence, which despite all its pain and problems, still provides whites with some solace in a stressful world.7”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
“Tea Party fury may not have come from old-style, hate-every-black-person racism, but it nevertheless stemmed from the racial hostilities mobilized by dog whistle politics. To be sure, some Tea Partiers would have been out there screaming for the dismantling of social welfare programs no matter what, as part of the fringe opposition to the New Deal that had never fully gone away.21 But this fringe did not suddenly move to the center of American politics on its own. Rather, dog whistle racism helped bring it back. The vast majority of those identifying with the Tea Party were not dyed-in-the-wool Goldwaterites and last-gasp Birchers. They were Wallace voters and Reagan Democrats. They were persons stampeded by racial anxieties into fearing government and demonizing liberalism.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
“The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”
Ian F. Haney-Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

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