“You’re a racist. No, YOU'RE a racist.”
Social media is filled with examples of personal attacks about being a racist or bigot. Bigotry is a conscious hatred of other races. Let’s be clear about the differences between bigotry and Political Racism. Many politicians win elections using Dog Whistles in a racist way and yet, they may not consciously hate people for the color of their skin. Dog Whistle politics has been a very effective ‘ends justifies the means’ campaign strategy for conservatives for decades. The objective has always been to make sure the powerful elite control government policies and lawmaking. So, while we’ve been calling each other racist, the powerful elites, like the Koch brothers, chip away at policies that protect Americans so they can relish in greed.
Bigotry is not the problem. We are the problem.
Research shows that calling out bigotry does not work. Ignoring race does not work. Both strategies divide a multi-racial majority further into segments. In the past, we’ve been choosing a ‘political identity’ where we retreat into corners. Divided into ‘political homes’ we waste energy arguing with people with whom we share values. This weakens the power of the majority and leaves space for Dog Whistle campaigns to dominate the airwaves.
The Race-Class approach offers the multi-racial majority a way to message a vision for our future so that we can return political power to the people instead of the powerful elites. By joining forces, we disarm divisive Dog Whistles and make space for a conversation about a new America. A country where Black, Brown, and White are represented at all levels of government and laws support social and business systems that enable prosperity for every American. Our children have hope for a healthy life and a secure future. A time when public and private sectors work together to protect us from worldwide threats like pandemics and climate disasters. Where communities rise up to face neighborhood challenges and we all take responsibility for the choices that brought us to today. With a Race-Class approach to messaging and the hope of a Vision for America, we can do this. Our kids are depending on us.
To get started, stop calling out bigotry and start calling out Political Racism. Stop repeating their Dog Whistle story and start telling your version of the story with disqualifiers that neutralize coded weapons intended to divide us and a look to the future.
Learn more about disarming Dog Whistles that divide us by joining an upcoming three-part discussion series: Message Vision Not Division brought to you by Liberal Leadership League with content from the Race-Class-Academy: https://www.liberalleadershipleague.org/messagevision