Politics & Policy

Drop the Racial Rhetoric

Obama should blow his own dog whistle and tell his partisans to desist.

Congressman-for-Life Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) recently waded into the enduring controversy over Vice President Joseph Biden’s August 14 remarks in Danville, Va. That’s when Biden notoriously used a southern accent to tell a largely black audience that, if elected, Mitt Romney is “going to put y’all back in chains.” Biden and his defenders claim that the Veep innocently referred to Republican aspirations to unshackle banks. Doing so, somehow, would slap manacles on all Americans — not just the black folks standing before Biden in the final capital of the Confederacy (black population: 48 percent).

“Was he [Biden] talking about slavery?” Rangel asked last Thursday on The Perez Notes radio show. “You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.”

Rangel now joins former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder as a prominent Democrat who has rejected Biden’s side of this still-simmering story. “Biden’s remarks brought race into the campaign and they were not necessary,” Wilder told CNN on August 17.

Biden’s comments were just a bizarre and crude effort to scare black people into voting Democrat, again. After all, if Biden is telling the truth, how would deregulating banks put Americans “back” in “chains?” Before the 2007–8 financial meltdown, banks did not hold Americans in chains. Au contraire. Fueled by the federal Community Reinvestment Act, loose money from the Federal Reserve Board, and the boisterous encouragement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, many banks promiscuously approved mortgages — even for dodgy borrowers with little prospect of repaying their loans. So, come 2013, there would be no “chains” into which banks could put Americans “back,” even if a President Romney cremated the Dodd-Frank law in a giant bonfire on the National Mall.

While one may disagree with Romney, his running mate Paul Ryan, and every Republican on Capitol Hill, the notion that the GOP is itching to re-enslave blacks is an outrageous, disgusting lie that utterly mutilates American history. As most students learn in junior high school, abolitionists launched the Republican party to end slavery. Republicans defeated the Confederacy and then spent Reconstruction trying to incorporate blacks into American society. Democrats fought them at every turn.

Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which bans slavery, and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees every American equal protection under law, regardless of race. Unwilling to limit their anti-black hate to Capitol Hill, Democrats founded the Ku Klux Klan as, in essence, the party’s militant wing. In the 1920s, Democrats defeated the GOP’s federal anti-lynching legislation. Led by West Virginia’s Robert Byrd — a one-time Exalted Cyclops in the KKK who recruited 150 new Klansmen — Senate Democrats filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Republicans broke that filibuster and moved that landmark legislation to President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s desk for signature.

President Ronald Reagan named General Colin Powell to be America’s first black national security adviser and authorized the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

After President George W. Bush appointed not one but two black secretaries of state (Powell and Condoleezza Rice), a freshly inaugurated President Obama and Senator Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) ended the Washington, D.C., school-voucher program. Thousands of young, black Washingtonians were relegated to lives of ignorance and poverty once Obama and Durbin had derailed this Underground Railroad out of the ghettoes of the nation’s capital.

Against this backdrop, Americans were startled to hear Touré, the mononymous co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, remark on August 16 that Romney was using “racial coding” to effect the “niggerization” of Obama. So, how does Touré contend that Romney “niggerized” Obama? According to Touré, Romney said that Obama is running an “angry” campaign. Romney and his supporters had chided Team Obama’s class-warfare rhetoric, criticized claims that Romney is a “felon” who has paid no taxes in a decade, and condemned a pro-Obama super-PAC commercial that blames Romney and Bain Capital for speeding the cancer death of the wife of a steel-mill employee.

“That really bothered me,” Touré said on live TV regarding a Romney campaign appearance. “You notice he said ‘anger’ twice.”

That’s right. What could be more “niggerizing” than uttering the word “anger” twice (!) in reference to Barack Obama?

After all, only black men get angry. (You should see the rage on my face right now.) “Anger” apparently is a “dog whistle” word that only whites can hear. How odd, then, that a black man like Touré deciphered this “racial code.” Perhaps Toure’s otherwise-Negroid eardrums can discern a few of the kilohertz that only Caucasians can perceive.

Romney’s super-high-pitched statement helped him telegraph this vital secret to white voters in swing states:

Barack Obama is black!

This shocking news surely will drive white bigots by the tens of millions into the loving arms of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Meanwhile, the Left is trying to “honkify” the Romney-Ryan ticket. As columnist Victor Davis Hanson masterfully documented, leading liberals labor mightily to portray Romney and Ryan as Whitey McWhite & Son.

‐Actress Mia Farrow saw the first Romney-Ryan rally on TV and said, “Camera pans crowd: whole bunch of white people.”

‐State senator Louise Lucas (D., Va.), an Obama campaign “Truth Team” member, said on July 20 that Romney is “speaking to that fringe out there who do not want to see anybody other than a white person in a leadership position.” Lucas barked this just nine days after Romney used his speech to the NAACP’s national convention to ask black Americans for their votes.

‐Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who has a history of racial bomb throwing, warned that if Romney wins, “the day after the election, 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country.”

Whether or not these Leftists believe this nonsense, Americans are on edge, thanks to the stagnant economy and a host of other frustrations. Some unhinged individual may hear this idiotic drivel about lily-white Republicans using cryptic messages to re-enslave blacks. Who knows what such stupid lies might inspire some fanatic to do?

Gay-rights volunteer Floyd Lee Corkins allegedly opened fire at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., on August 15. Police say he declared, “I don’t like your politics,” and then shot staff member Leo Johnson in the arm. While Johnson (who happens to be black) will recover fully, things might have been far worse had Corkins dropped the 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he carried as part of an apparent “social-conservative disguise,” and pumped FRC staffers full of the 50 bullets that he reportedly possessed.

On August 13, anti–Paul Ryan protesters interrupted his remarks and tried to rush the stage as the House Budget chairman addressed the Iowa state fair. Police say that one hooligan at the gathering “punched a volunteer.”

If this nastiness continues, something truly ugly could happen. The Right’s public discourse has its blemishes. But hatred, invective, and racial pot-stirring are light years more common and intense on the left.

Obama should blow his own dog whistle and tell his partisans to cease and desist. They should discuss today’s issues. Slavery is not among them.

Lest he disappoint Americans even further, the candidate who promised in 2008 to unite Americans should set an example by employing lively but non-inflammatory campaign rhetoric. President Obama then should insist that his supporters follow his lead.

— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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