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March 06, 2013 10:05 AM UTC

Oops Or Racist Dog Whistle? You Decide

  • by: Colorado Pols

A fundraising email we received from the Colorado Senate Conservatives Fund this morning via Sen. Owen Hill seeks to cash in on Sen. Evie Hudak's recent gaffe in testimony regarding concealed weapons on college campuses. Most of what's in here is boilerplate versions of the arguments in favor of concealed weapons on campus, sprinkled with condemnation for Sen. Hudak's statement, further elaborated here, that the "statistics are not on your side" in regards to women successfully defending themselves with a gun.

Let me be bold to state: this is a TRUE War on Women…

Whether our 2nd amendment rights or an amendment on religious freedom within the civil unions bill, the views of Colorado Senate Democrats rest firmly out of touch with Coloradans. The worst part, as seen above, they simply do not care they don’t reflect the state they purport to represent.
I am more convinced than ever; we need to change the composition of our State Senate. Will you join me in contributing $20 or more to the Colorado Senate Conservatives Fund?

What struck about this fundraising email, however, wasn't so much the text but the graphic banner at the top:


So the message is from "a woman's perspective," and it's all about women being able to defend themselves.

Makes you wonder what the young black man is doing in the banner, doesn't it?

Now we imagine it's possible that this graphic was made to be used in a number of such "from my perspective" Senate Conservatives Fund appeals, and some of them would not be from "a woman's perspective." Who knows? Perhaps one of them will be from "a young black man's perspective." Probably not, though, since the whole controversy over the bill in question has revolved around womens' need to pack heat "defend themselves."

Until we get that fundraising email, this looks rather bad for the Senate Conservatives Fund.


75 thoughts on “Oops Or Racist Dog Whistle? You Decide

  1. The GOrP gets no leeway. It's a racist dog whistle.

    It's also a measure of how much their war on women hurt them. Turnabout is fair play ONLY when it's true, and this is not.

    1. Obama was speaking off the cuff. While proofreading errors happen, they're less excusable. (And I'm not sure what you call it when it comes to layouts, but I don't think it's proofreading. It's easy to get a word wrong, but someone took time to place that photograph just so.)

        1. I suppose they are. But the GOrP has been playing this game for decades, so I'm back to my original post: They get no leeway when judging their communications. The assumption is that they did it on purpose. They have written off the African American vote, Condoleeza Rice notwithstanding, so they don't care.

            1. Aristotle is correct.  The intellectual roots for this rests with the National Review which lead the conservative attack on Brown v. Board of Education.  William F. Buckley's magazine supported the upholding of Jim Crow laws. That was the beginning of the Right's push to capture the Southern white vote.

              The thoughts set forth by the National Review blossomed into a  political strategy when Goldwater was the Republican nominee in 1964 and then was fully deployed in 1968 when Nixon ran for President. At that time it was known as the Republican's "Southern Strategy" and its purpose was to attract the white voters of the South disaffected by the civil rights revolution, specifically those who didn't like the 1954 Brown decision and the new laws enacted in the mid-60's to give African Americans the right to vote, buy a house and other statutes. The Republicans in the 1960's, like many of them today in relation to women's rights and gays, were perfectly happy with racial prejudice and bigotry because they saw the Civil Rights movement as one aimed at upsetting the traditional American society. From the Republican perspective of the 1960's, preserving traditional American values, including bigotry and all its consequences, was preferrable to insuring every individual has the opportuinty to live a full life in our country. Hence their play for the Southern white vote. Republicans in those days were saying to the southern bigots, its ok to hold bigoted beliefs because that is the traditional American attitude. The Republicans defined traditional views as good regardless of the consequences to specific individuals or groups. Their preferred solution was to let society change gradually which of course there was no guarantee it would, and more importantly, Republicans were quite willing to guarantee African Americans would continue to be suppressed with little or no chance of enjoying the benefits and opportunities America had to offer. African Americans have never forgotten what the Democrats did for them by opening American society to them.

              What is ironic about all of this is the Republican view, especially the religious conservatives, that they stand for Christianity and yet they were for a system that suppressed millions of their fellow citizens even in the face of Chrit's teaching that we should love our neighbor as ourself.

              1. My father, as far as I know, has always been a Conservative, and still is. He's a Christian, and has never supported bigotry or discrimination. He used to be a Republican. He can't bring himself to vote Democratic.

                He'll tell anyone who asks what his core beliefs are, but if you ask him what party he belongs to, he simply shakes his head and says, "I don't know anymore".   I think, deep down, he's hoping they'll pull their heads out and stop acting so damn crazy.

              2. Was Buckley's criticism of Brown that ended racism or that the Court's reasoning in that decision was not all that strong? 

                As for the GOP's play for bigotry, do you have specific examples of policies enshrining racism that the GOP supported for that specific purpose?  And I don't think your Goldwater example fits such a metric as Goldwater didn't oppose the Civil Rights act on policy grounds, he opposed it on structure of gov't grounds (i.e. he felt the feds were overreaching).  

                1. With respect to your first question, what are you trying to compare? Based on what you wrote, Buckley had no intention of ending racism. The Court's reasoning was strong because it began the dismantling of the notion that the Consitutional only protects the minority viewpoint. The Brown decision stands for the proposition that we all have certain rights whether we are a member of a minority group or our opinions happen to be less than popular.

                  I do have specific examples. Goldwater and other "conservatives" were agaisnt the civil right acts in the 1960's because, ostensibly, they thought the legislation violated property rights. Goldwater specifically said President Kennedy's dispatch of federal troops tot he Univeristy of Mississippi to desgregated that school was unconstitutional. Amazing someone thought an African American should pay taxes but not be allowed to attend the public univeristy he supports with those taxes because of his race. When Goldwater was in local politics in Phoenix, he vociferously supported local discriminaiton ordiances as morally imperative.

                  On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Goldwater described Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act meant "the loss of our God-given liberties." In other words, Goldwater supported the God given liberty to act upon bigotry.You say he opposed it on the grounds that the federal government was overreaching but that was only a facade. At bottom, it meant African americans could not possible have the advantages America offers. His position meant that the same group would continue to be treated as inferiors and therefore legitimized the notion that suppression was part of the American firmament. 

                  The Republican Party never came out and openly admitted it was supporting bigotry or racism but it certainly supported policies that would have left African Americans without any remedy or mechanism to break out of the suppression they were under until the civil rights laws were passed.

              3. Thank you. That was much more detailed than I would have cared to go, myself. (I used to enjoy making demonstrations like this, but what's the point if someone won't even stop arguing when you do?)

            2. Care to stop playing dumb?  if you really need elaboration google Willie Hornton, Reagan and his welfare queens and continue down through all the most famous racist cartoons featuring the Obamas that Rs sent each other back in 2008  and  more recently to Romne 'and other R's numerous statements about minorities naturally voting for Obama because, you know, they want stuff and he promoses them stuff..  And don't ask us for links.  It's your homework assignment, for a change. 

              1. I remember laughing boy used to do what fladen's pulling now.

                You'll never be able to give him a "real" example of the methodology behind republican racism, because he's not wired to accept it.

                You can cite plays by lee atwater all day, you can remind the unwilling of the "welfare queen" campaign. The attempts to suppress the Democratic leaning "underclass" , as former California CR Tom Davis calls the lower income voters in 37 States will carroom off the tin shell like hail stones.

                I find more than one characteristic in fladen very similar to that of laughing boy.

                The pedantic, the miring in details, obscuring or even changing the subject from tha actual topic.

                The self victimization.

                It goes on and on. But in the end, after the window dressing is stripped away, what's left is a cynical jokester, flush with self aggrandizing, petulantly arguing everything, while completely intellectually dishonest.

                A shorter description is fladen's just jerking peoples' chains.

                With him, it's just not worth it.

              2. BlueCat,
                You are going to find people that did dumb things in both major parties (like the late Sen. Byrd as an example).  Its one thing to have a few isolated instances of racism and another to have systematic racism in a party. 

                1. This just made my point.

                  Even the apples to oranges comparisons, but never an admission of the other person's point.

                  It's a cynical game that he plays.

                  The never ending circular argument that obscures the original topic.

                  It's a waste of time. You tend to be thorough Bluecat. Your points salient. Data and events accurate. When that fails to win the day, it's not you.

                2. Elliot – 

                  If you're serious about understanding the roots of the Southern strategy and how it reflected inherent Republican racism, read Before the Storm by Rick Perlstein. It had the effect of crushing my libertarian belief that Goldwater et al were about States Rights. It just wasn't so, and efforts to rewrite the history to that effect are just plain wrong.


                3. Instead of responding to the tired old false equivalency argument, Elliot, I'll respond to your remarks about my hiding my identity. 

                  Back when I started participating here years ago I was a very minor party official at the HD level. We were under certain restraints in making public statements that could be taken as reflecting an official party position. This meant that being able to express my own personal views as freely as I wished in a forum like this without having to make sure that nothing I said might interfere with basic HD goals such as supporting the election of Dem candidates required the discretion of anonymity. I'm no longer in that position but I'd just as soon keep it that way in the blogosphere.

                  I do, however, write letters to the editor under my own name and they often make it into print.  In that forum I am perfectly fine with being known but   getting a letter published without having it edited  in ways I don't like requires a great deal of disciplined self editing so it's nice to be able to escape some of those restraints in a forum like this.

                  I attach my name to my views not only in letters to the editor but in letters to Reps, Senators, and others all the time. I don't ever send anyone an anonymous letter or e-mail.

                  Anonymity is a perfectly acceptable component of the blogging world, though, so I suggest you get off your high horse about it.

                  1. No, I think using good ol' Sen Byrd is an oranges to oranges comparison. But it's comparing one solitary orange to a convoy of trucks, each carrying two TONS of oranges.

                    But, counting individually, an orange is an orange.

                    And they're racists.

                    1. So, we can agree, at least, by your reckoning that Byrd when he was in the KKK is the same as the GOP is currently.

                      As for Birtherism not being Racism, where were the conspiracies arising from John McCain's place of birth?

                      Seriously, do you have a rock-bottom as to what slimeball GOP tactics you'll blithely defend, or is that depth yet to be explored?

                    1. Don't be disingenuous. You can't possibly be that stupid, or that deluded.

                      Do you want the knee-slapper "Watermelons on the White House Lawn" emails from GOP party officials, or the always reliable "I Don't Know Where the President was Born" crap? It's not like examples are hard to find.

                    2. What the others have said. Before you can ask for further examples, please go back and address every single one that has already been listed.

                      As far as your one mayor goes, it's a decent example. But it doesn't appear to really negate the institutional racism of the GOP.

                    3. Aristotle, 
                      The only real example I see left was Goldwater.  Goldwater was not talking about propriety of discrimination, he was talking about the distribution of state/federal power. 

                      Have anything that is actually on point?


                    4. @ Elliot, the reply button below, following your exchange with Ari, is missing. Elliot, one does not have to introduce a bill titled In Order to Purposely Discriminate Against African Americans to be engaging in this behavior. Not only Byrd, but Hugo Black and even Truman had sworn "oaths of fealty" to the Klan. All repented either directly or over a long career. Those who questioned President Obama's birthplace, releigion and loyalty to America have done nothing to redeem themselves. Every act to attempt to restrict the ability of African Americans, carried out by R politicians in states too numerous to name was likewise discriminatory. I remember you claim to be registered L. Unfortunately the L philosophy and practices, exemplified by R Paul also amplify and seek to institutioalize racism

                    5. Curmudgeon, 
                      It seems that you are resorting to the following as trying to show "racism": "philosophy and practices, exemplified by R Paul also amplify and seek to institutioalize [sic] racism"

                      What philosophy and practices are you talking about?  It seems that you are trying to argue that believing in limited government power is itself racist.  If that is in fact your argument, you are going far afield from what racism is considered to be. 

                    6. Elliot, no, these are all collective proof of GOP racism as an electioneering tactic.

                      Let me ask you a question. Do you accept the "Final Solution" document as proof of the Nazis intent to exterminate the Jews in Europe, or do you find it too vague to prove that the Holocaust was organized and ordered from the highest levels of the Nazi administration?

                      (Please note that I'm not implying Holocaust denial on your part. I'm just wondering how you interpret the lack of explicit instruction.)

                    7. I think it is pretty clear, especially with their explicit statements, the Nuremberg laws, Kristalnacht, and the placement of Jews in concentration camps, that the Nazis intended the Final Solution document to be aimed at Jews based on race.  

                      Although I don't have the document in front of me, I also find it hard to believe that the Final Solution document, standing alone, would not be racist. 

                      How does that relate to any of this?  

                    8. My point in mentioning it that you seem to require smoking-gun evidence on the matter of GOP racism.

                      I thought of the "Final Solution" document because it was the closest to smoking gun evidence that the Holocaust was an order to exterminate the Jews. It falls short because all it mentions is that they want to bring about a "final solution" to the "Jewish question." IIRC it was sent by Göring to Heydrich, so it wasn't even something with Hitler's signature on it. It's the sort of thing Holocaust denier fix upon to prove that ol' Adolf didn't really try to wipe Jews and Judaism from the face of the earth.

                      Now, bringing up the Nazis is a touchy subject online, so I want to make it crystal clear that I'm not accusing you, Elliot Fladen, of having even one thing in common with Nazis or Holocaust denial. And I'm not trying to draw a parallel with GOP racism, either.

                      To me, one of the most fascinating things about the "Final Solution" order is the way it illustrates how people will do horrible things, but something in their conscious prevents them from openly admitting what they're doing, even amongst themselves. The Nazi archives comprise some of the most complete records available from a fallen regime (thanks, Germans, for being such studious record keepers), but as far as I know, there is nothing written anywhere that does more than allude to the exterminations. It's a useful lesson about human nature.

                      Tying that back to the GOP, I don't think you'll find anything explicitly laying out a strategy of racism. I think Lee Atwater admitted to it before he died, but I don't think anyone else has.

                    9. Aristotle:
                      To put it bluntly, the problem isn't that your proferred evidence of racism is too circumstantial, the problem is that your proferred evidence of racism isn't actually evidence of racism. 

                      Putting people in forced labor camps then executing them for the specific purpose of advancing racial superiority = racism

                      Cutting the growth rate of gov't programs and wishing to treate people equal under the law (i.e. rejecting affirmative action) =/= racism.

                      So again, I don't see what kind of smoking gun evidence you got.  Even your so-called 1964 civil rights vote from Goldwater doesn't fit within that metric because unlike the Nazi stuff it wasn't done to advance racial superiority – it was done for federal/state power distribution reasons.  


                    10. Oh, Elliot. You couldn't be further off the mark if you had physically turned around when you wrote that.

                      The Holocaust isn't evidence of racism. It's evidence of genocide. Slight difference there.

                      The rest of your arguments only demonstrate to me that you're in need of a good study of the history of the black experience in America. When I have the time, I'll assemble a bibliography for you.

    2. Wow, equating the ol' "57 States" gaffe with putting a young black male (the scariest type, I hear……just ask George Zimmerman) front and center in an ad titled "A Woman's Perspective".

      I'll allow that if could be a mistake (like, that could be Heidi Klum knocking at my door, wanting a backrub….), if you'll allow that yours is the lamest, limpest defense of a GOP misstep that has ever been mounted. I'm surprised it wasn't all in lower case.

      1. Curmudgeon,
        Its an obvious proofreading/layout error.  There was a screwup and I (and probably you too) would be shocked if you found any evidence suggesting otherwise. 

        1. If you'll recall, I stated quite clearly it could have been an error.

          It could also be a racsit dog whistle, designed to fire up their core constituency without having the guts to own up to it.

          There's a ton of anecdotal evidence to tip the scales in favor of the latter analysis; I expect you have an equal amount of "Golly, Gee! That was another goofy mistake by the lovable oafs of the GOP" evidence in favor of the former?


          1. So, are you seriously suggesting that the GOP intentionally inserted an african american male into that poster to stir up racial hatred?  

            1. To stir up racial hatred? No, not at all.

              To make use of some of their core constituency's fear of young black males, under the "Right to Defend Ourselves" banner?

              Could be.

              1. Before even getting into the merits of opinions concerning this particular case, it's well to bear in mind that even in the most blatant cases, argung with righties about the perfectly obvious and blatant existence of regular, long standing and frequent use of the race dog whistle in GOP politics for which there really isn't anything like equivalency on the left in terms of quantity or frequency (though  they can always find a few Johnny does it too examples) is a pointless exercise. 

                Gathering and presenting evidence to them is as much a waste of time and effort as presenting evidence to birthers that Obama was born in Hawaii or to conspiracy theorists that astronauts really did land on the moon.  

                I suggest not bothering. Elliot  is never satisfied with any evidence provided anyway. He  just keeps assigning more homework no matter how many "assignments" one has already turned in.  Pretty sure I can anticipate what his next assignment will be right now.

                Fun fact: In a poll conducted in the aftermath of Obama's re-election, 49% of Republicans polled believed that the election was stolen for him by ACORN.  Interesting since AC0RN had been defunct for quite some time by the time  that election took place.  This is the kind of thing that logic and the world of factual information is up against in  the minds of righties.

                  1. I always support my statements.  You always ignore the support and, as in this response, never address any of my statements directly or with support of your own .  Snicker all you want.

                    1. I'll point out in the future when you make the same mistake as above, however the you was being used  in the sense of "one" – i.e. third, not second, person. 

                  2. Don't do it Bluecat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    It's not going to matter. Southern Strategy, present day voter poll taxes, the offensive posters at the teabag rallies, the recorded voices of the rally goers, the youtube videos of the McCain rally at the Natl. Western in Oct of '08, the very example of what we're talking about clearly depicted in HBO's "Right America, feeling Wronged", the remarks by Scalia about "racial entirlement", the fox/WND/Daily Caller/Drudge references to Kenyan/Marxist roots, the claims of the President being "lazy" by the admitted racist Sununu, as well as Ailes, for that matter, are all dog whistle calls to the very racist, bigoted white base of the republican party.

                    Either this guy knows that, and is jerking chains, or he's so clueless it's mind boggling.

                    Both are bad options.

        2. Obvious?

          Interesting that you can take one look at a mailer that was assembled and approved without your consultation, and yet find that all those decisions are "obvious," while finding trouble with the much more solid evidence being presented before you on this thread.

          Are you claiming to be psychic? If not, what makes this obvious?

    1. what does "generally" mean? Are you being miltaristic? Shouldn't you have said "sergeantly"?

      What does "excusable" mean? Did someone fart in here?

  2. What a pathetic attempt to deflect from Sen. Hudak's horrible contempt for victims who want the right of self defense. More bottom of the barrel behavior from Democrats and their mouthpieces. It's not going to work.

    1. Give it a rest. Your usual tactics aren't well suited for this conversation. There actually ARE some moderates on gun issues who would like to be on your "side" here but won't becasue they don't want to be associated with wingnuttery.

      1. Defend ArapaGOP all you like.

        I don't have a problem with guns. Used to carry one quite a bit in my former line of work. Lots of my friends own them. I choose not to.

        I have a problem with people lying about the bills being proposed.

        As for my tactics, I suppose I'll have to live with your disapproval.


          1. Oh! Well, a humble and heartfelt apology, right back atcha. I've been known to speak too large, and have on more than one occasion been told to rein it in. Okay, many more times than one…..I am married, after all.

        1. The wingnuttery of changing every subject back to "NO U!" 

          This is a post about a GOP mailer that gave at least some people the wrong impression. There are umpteen other posts about Hudak. Your refusal to discuss anything that makes your side look even the teensiest bad–and I don't even think this mailer is a problem–turns gun-moderates like me off. I'd like to be able to say in political spaces that I disagree with some (not all) of the gun bills. But I don't, because people like you have gone so off the rails and become so outright NASTY about the gun bills that I don't want to be associated with gun advocates. I don't need to say my piece badly enough that I'm willing to risk being lumped in with y'all.

    2. Do you agree with many of your conservative brethren that the reason you need assault weaponry and high capacity clips is so you can off a few government employees when the time comes? 

        1. Crickets.  I guess the message boys haven't gotten back to the Bot yet on how to deflect from the crazy, and get back on message about protecting the wimmin folk. 

  3. Sorry, but I'm on neither team here. Men can be victims of sexual assault, too. There seems to also be an old white man in the bottom right with a cowboy hat. Looks like they did the standard thing of collaging together some stock photos of people of different genders, ages, and races to have a "diverse" image of a bunch of different people.


    PS. Anyone have his number? Cute.

    1. Well, if PCG finds him cute then this purportedly very threatening picture of an african american male isn't really all that threatening now, is it?  FWIW I agree with PCG – this is obviously a stock photo.

      Curmudgeon, I think your narrative is failing here. 

      1. Unless, of course, someone were to point out that the little white cowboy looks small and unable to defend the white wimmens against the probable assault from the much bigger African American male…

        Hey, if you can hide behind "Your argument is invalid because PCG thinks someone's cute", I can respond with a little symbolism.

        1. Come on Curmudgeon – that guy doesn't look all that muscular.  I pick the cowboy in a fight by a landslide.  Dude is a cowboy for goodness sakes. 

          /slight sarcasm

    2. No mailer would ever do anything to mention that men can also be sexually assaulted. That said, you may be on to something, but it still raises eyebrows that a young African American mail is featured in the most prominent spot of the mailer. And given the GOrP's record, it's simply begs credibility to accept innocent explantions over intentional ones.

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