Racial Coding and the ‘Otherization’ of Obama

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Progressives always deal from a deck full of race cards, and possibly never more outrageously so than last week on Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Cycle. Its panel of pundits was discussing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney‘s call for President Obama to “take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” A black co-host read racial connotations underlying Romney’s phrasing which he claimed signaled the “niggerization” of President Obama. You read that right.

The co-host, who for some reason goes by the single name Touré (perhaps he fancies himself in the same league as Cher and Madonna), said this of Romney’s speech:

That really bothered me. You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the “otherization,” he’s not like us.

On the “otherization” point, I have to agree with Touré – Obama is definitely not like us, if by “us” he means Americans who love their country, believe in its exceptionalism, and don’t want to see it turned into a socialist, Muslim Brotherhood dystopia. By that characterization, skin color is irrelevant. But of course, to race-mongers like Touré, skin color is the alpha and omega of their political consciousness and identity. They are incapable of perceiving anything except through the lens of race. For them, there can be no other explanation apart from color for Romney and his racist white Republican constituency to oppose the (half-)black Obama. This is a useful perspective to hold when your candidate cannot run on his record alone.

“I know it’s a heavy thing,” Touré acknowledged. “I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization.’ You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who [sic] we’ve been trained to fear.”

By “we,” Touré certainly isn’t including himself. He’s referring to white America, which in the left’s view is inherently, irredeemably racist and which in the post-civil rights era is forced to communicate its racism to each other in impossibly subtle, fiendishly clever ways – like “racial coding.”

“Racial coding,” as defined by pundit Juan Williams, is a sort of winking between a white speaker and audience that consists of “euphemisms allowing the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message.” As examples, Williams offers phrases such as “entitlement society,” “poor work ethic,” and “food stamps,” all of which are obviously code phrases for “black people” in the race-obsessed minds of Williams and his ilk. Even “references to a lack of respect for the ‘Founding Fathers’ and the ‘Constitution’” are coded racism, says Williams. This ingenuous tactic allows the left to infuse racism into every word that issues forth from the mouth of a white conservative (or a black one, for that matter, since leftists don’t consider black conservatives to be truly black). Through this patently false narrative they can maintain a perpetual accusation of racism where it doesn’t exist.

“Anger”? That’s racial coding to inspire fear of the angry black man stereotype. Therefore conservatives aren’t allowed to accurately identify the tone of Obama’s campaign. “Food stamps”? That’s racial coding for, as Jimmy Carter put it, “welfare mammies.” Carter and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who couldn’t be more solidly in the tank for Obama, accused Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail of racial coding when he accurately labeled Obama “the food-stamp president” (O’Brien falsely claimed that there were more food stamp recipients under Bush).

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  • PAthena

    Vice-President Joe Biden showed what a bigoted ignoramus he is when he accused the Republican Mitt Romney of wanting to put American Negroes "back in chains." It was the Republican party which was anti-slavery before the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, and the Republican Party led the fight against slavery and abolished it. It was the Democratic party – the Southern Democrats – which imposed racial segregation by law on the South.

  • Gertrude D. Chityat

    What an incredible skill — to know exactly what people REALLY mean! We're told not to listen to what they say, but to what Touré, Juan Williams, and Soledad O'Brien are sure they really meant. This practice of seeing racism in every word against Obama and his ilk is becoming intolerable.

  • Russ P.

    Tell a big lie often enough and it becomes the "truth." That's the strategy behind Leftism. Just keep repeating for decades that Republicans are racist — and it becomes the "truth." No evidence necessary.

    • Omar

      The big lie method was invented by Joseph Goebbels, right?

      • wsk

        or Vladimir Lenin…

  • oldtimer

    When the going gets tough, the 0's cohorts cry racism.. Divide and conquer, that should be their campaign slogan.

  • kafir4life

    Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy – "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee".
    Harry Reid – [Obama is a] "light-skinned African American with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,"
    Barack Obama (aka BO, aka Stinky) – "…The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person who, uh, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know there’s a reaction that’s been been bred into our experiences that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way and that’s just the nature of race in our society."

    I LOVED Stinky's "uh".

    So Republicans are racist? Really???

    • JoJoJams

      Too true. The comment by Barack regarding his grandmother seeing someone (a person of high melanin content) on the street, and her reaction to that being "bred into our experiences" – coding for being taught racism by our parents – is a rather interesting comment, in light of Jesse Jackson himself stating that he was ashamed to admit it, but when he's walking down the street and sees an oncomig group of young high-melanin content youths coming towards him, that he himself feels "uneasy". D@mn straight!! And with very good reasons that have absolutely NOTHING to do with race! It's called "reality" and statistical facts regarding crime, thuggery and "gangstas". But instead of learning from that and raising "their" children to be productive MEN, he himself plays the race card and blames "whitey". *sigh* "I have a dream, too!! – And it includes you, if you'll include me – And we'll all get their together." ~ JoJoJams

  • Paul

    This politically correct progressivism thing is the best idea Satan has ever had !

    • Spider

      And Obama is the best tool Satan ever had

  • Kevin

    Without the Civil Rights Act of 18964, we would have none of this. That act created the race pimp, the race card, the identity politics, the resentment politics, the victim cult (that is the Democrat Party). The Act became thought control. Now, homosexuals are using the same tactics used since 1964 by blacks. The CRA of 1964 has made us less free, less competitive, more divided and broke.

    • Omar

      Well, the Civil Rights Act was necessary in order to outlaw Jim Crow in public places. The CRA was intended to protect the rights of black Americans (and other minorities) as American citizens as well aswork towards a color-blind society that Dr. King marched for. The identity politics came later when the left tried to destroy the democratic values that make America great. The CRA simply wanted the inclusion of minorities in the American contract.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        No, the CRA was intended to force banks into bad loans.
        If they had intended a color blind society the could have just removed all identifyers from loan applications.

    • JoJoJams

      I agree with Omar. It was needed for the time but, like most any government edit, over time it gets corrupted well beyond its original intent and ends up being tyrannical.

  • Omar

    The left doesn’t care about minorities, period. The left supports racism if it’s directed against black conservatives or any minority conservative. Look what the left did to Herman Cain last year. Many leftists derided him as an “Uncle Tom” because he was a black conservative running for the Republican nomination for U.S. president. Actress Janeane Garofalo stated that Cain was “suffering” from “Stockholm Syndrome”, thus not only insulting prominent conservative figures like Cain, but also insulting people who really suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. Not one leftist has made Garofalo a pariah for her racist and bigoted comments, nor denounced her. Then, when Mr. Cain was leading in the polls for the GOP nomination, the left resorted to one of the worst (and racist) stereotypes used in a long time. The left and its cohorts like Karen Kraushaar (who helped deport Elian Gonzalez to Cuba) falsely accused Cain of “sexual harassment” despite the fact that there was lack of evidence to support the allegation. The racist smear campaign against Herman Cain led to his exit from the presidential race, thus securing the Democrats’ dominance over black voters. The “sexual harassment” smear campaign against Cain is in some ways similar to the Scottsboro case in the 1930s. Conservatives need to expose the left for what it really is: a mafia-like smear machine. Remember this: Karen Kraushaar= Victoria Price.

  • Andy

    I find it hilarious when black racists accuse whites who voted in a black president as racists. Yes, racism has grown dramatically in America since its racist president took office,

  • clarespark

    And college professors have done their best to make "race" not only the most relevant category to understanding U.S. history, but have erased class, substituting "race" in its place. That eliminates the very notion of labor competition from political commentary. I wrote about that here: http://clarespark.com/2012/01/03/the-race-card/. "The Race Card."

    • Omar

      Cornel West is the most notable loon that fits this category of "academics"

  • pagegl

    Anyone, such as Toure, who thinks he can determine my thoughts, movitvations, intentions better than I can is delusional.

  • tagalog

    I haven't been trained to fear the black man, but experience has taught me to be apprehensive of the ANGRY man, be he black or white, since, of men, women, and children, men are largest and more capable of causing damage, while ANGRY men (who can, on average, cause more damage than other humans) are to be avoided whenever possible.

    Experience has also taught me that black men often learn from their own experience that if they act angry, whites will move aside for them. That is also true for white men who act angry.

  • let's get real

    Toure is racist. Juan Williams is racist. Barack Obama is racist.. Eric Holder is racist.

  • tagalog

    Whoever referred to "welfare queens" as "welfare mammies?" When did that happen? The fact that someone makes up the term "welfare mammy" suggests that that person is pretty racist him- or herself, both in equating being on welfare with being black and in using the term "mammy," which is usually said by blacks to be pretty offensive all by itself.

  • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

    The racial paranoia that pervades the Left makes the Red Scare of the 50's and 60's look like an afternoon breeze.

    • Omar

      Joseph McCarthy would be surprise to see how much paranoia is in the American left today.

  • Ozzy

    Then why Don't you talk about the White Poor… .:: ))

  • Ghostwriter

    What Toure said was stupid. Most people aren't angry at Obama because of his skin color. They're angry because his policies haven't worked. We need new leadership.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger


  • Schlomotion

    I think after publishing four books, Touré can call himself whatever he wants, since he is an actual writer, and Mr. Tapson is a blogger.

  • jmz

    ithere is racial code out there. understand this has nothing to do with skin color itself. its the left that associates cultural actions with skin color. remember its the left that says if you vote republcan you are not really black, black rappers glorifying murder, drugs prostitution and using the N word every other second are considered to be 'real black' while those like herman cain, west etc considered uncle toms or not really black. why because real black means you must support and accentuate the victocrat myth at all costs. whitey is evil, period…whitey owes you..period, white republicans demanding you support yourselves are oppressing you…period. you cannot survive without the govt and the democrats period. thats what it means to be black in america today

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Fearing Mullah Obama because he is considered black though he is half white is quite
    idiotic. He is the other white meat but the truth be known Martin Luther King gave us the
    insight, judge him according to the content of his character and then you get it. There
    is plenty to fear and that his being President and ruining the Nation, that is enough.

  • shane

    What a group of pea-brains all of the above are!!!

  • StephenMarks_2

    Racism cuts both ways http://tinyurl.com/9sn62gl

  • Mike Mac

    When I first read this blog article, I actually thought that the article was from the fellow pictured (Toure). The allusion to his use of a single name as like Madonna was cute, but not really instructive. I've heard him before and even though I disagree with him much of the time, he has thoughtful comments even though misguided at times like most of the younger talking heads out there in liberal and conservative media. Money seems to operative here in that we are getting so many 'punks' that often pretend to act like they know what they are talking about from a historical, philosophical and knowledge based point of view (on both sides). However, most of these younger punks in liberal and conservative media are often smart, quick, literate etc…but the they are still punks. The National Journal, the National Review and other liberal and conservative sources are not immune to this. More bluntly, its become more entertainment rather than news and insight.

  • Mike Mac

    Regardless, the attack on Juan WIlliams in this blog seems creepy. He's a regular Fox contributor. albeit liberal, but most that have watched him over the years on either side of the aisle tend to agree that he is thoughtful, often tends to get at the crux of an issue (even though they may disagree with some of his conclusions). And he is not easily pigeon-holed as a liberal when looking at the broad array of his articles and viewpoints on how to deal with poverty issues as well as general dysfunction in the African American community,

    As well, to many of us, we are really taken aback by many of the insulting comments we hear these days. Many say…'…well its not racist for Sununu, or others to say this or that…its really your problem for thinking it was racist'

    Lets look at Sununu for instance. His selection as as a surrogate seems to be no accident. Many of us remember that he was very capable under GOP administration at times, but had problems with ethics and his mouth. So Romney picks him to say such things as Obama is lazy.

    Many African Americans as well as many of us anglos that grew up in the South see that as a codeword for the 'lazy Black guy'– but maybe I have that wrong and it wasn't meant to suggest that Obama was a lazy Black guy that white people should have a disdain for…but it really is an interesting word to use when considering that Obama has not ever been perceived by most as particularly lazy. Why come up with that term (especially after those Ads that said that Obama was 'relaxing' the work requirement for welfare (meant to appeal for those that fear for blacks as lazy pilfering individuals I guess)?

    This of course is not true. The law allowed for these exceptions for the various Staes to come up with improvements and the like. The Obama administration had agreed to hear these waivers and approve them if the waivers produced as a goal a fairly significant increase in work results. Gov Romney asked for this waiver on same basis. So we have 'conservative' New Englanders here accusing Obama of being some liberal socialist returning to a state where Blacks will be incentivized more than ever to be living off ;the dole.' Sounds much like the Southern Strategy that was designed to feed white resentment in the late 60s thru the 70s and portions of the 80s.

    So we are supposed to somehow pretend that this is not occurring (or at least should not be discussed). This just seems naive to me…

    We all get the resentment that many of us whites had when confronted with the 'adjustments' so to speak that the liberal courts visited on us in the 50s to 70s due to the horrendous track record we all had accumulated relative to minorities. Many of us felt it was time to move on.

    So to continue — For Sununu and many others to test the edge of that 'Southern Strategy' recently like when he stated that Colin Powell only sides with Obama because Obama is Black like him (even though Powell worked for Bush Sr and Jr and had no compunction to support the only black GOP candidate this year – why? cause the guy was an idiot)).

    Regardless, many of us look at much of what we here from what appears to be a 'propaganda mill' out of the extremist right media as ugly, unchristian-like and 'borderline racist.

    So lets walk this back a bit and say no racism is involved in anything we have heard. So we walk back the racist charge…what we are left with are many personally insulting character attacks (of which many seem uncharacteristically vicious).

    Why is this type of rhetoric and really anti-chrisitian attitude occurring? Is it because some belligerents in the GOP have become so active to bully the rest of us to acquiescing to such hate; or, is the bubble so huge in some quarters of the electorate that the yellow journalism and hate screeds they hear everyday on talk radio, the yellow side of the internet and on some elements of TV have so polluted their understanding of our recent history, politics, etc that they feel free to just spew crap that is incoherent or is it something else? Perhaps since we have a Black President that everyone now feels free to dance the racist line again? Oh so its not racist you say… WHy then so unbelievably ugly if not racist?

    I really don't know for sure. But a lot of what I see and hear from a certain class of belligerents on the right is really propaganda that often comes out as a screed of hate…which is very anti-christian in its nature and often incoherent to the rest of us that don't live in the bubble of hate that many others seem to reside in.