Palin's Racial Dog Whistle.


Yeah, I would call this racially charged:

Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people.

This is an excerpt from Sarah Palin's upcoming book, and it's mostly a rehash of the right-wing line on Wright from the 2008 campaign, nearly verbatim. The problem is that the right-wing line on Wright was pretty racially tinged; to equate Wright's entire career with a single sermon -- and then to call that sermon a "rant against America and white people" -- is to say, implicitly, that these are the things that consume black people when they are away from polite society. Barack and Michelle Obama might look like lovely people, but behind closed doors, they are plotting to take wealth away from Americans -- white people -- and give it out as reparations to the undeserving.

Among the conservative rank and file, there seems to be a deep and abiding fear of black retribution; in their minds, black people are simmering with anger that will spill over into violence or "payback" at any moment. Palin's rehash of the Jeremiah Wright controversy is a clear dog whistle to this fear, and the kind of thing you hear regularly from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the usual assortment of right-wing demagogues and agitators. These conservatives might not be "racists" -- whatever that means anymore -- but they are obviously consumed by a heavy racial paranoia.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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