We often trace misogyny and sexism in far-reaching media like books and movies, but more short-range events like plays can, unfortunately, fly stealth under this radar. It makes sense. New movies are seen on thousands of screens. New books are sold in countless bookstores and online retailers. But new plays open at one theatre, in […]
It was Rosemary Brown who once said: “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.” It seems this message has been lost on the team at CBC Radio’s Day 6 program, whose recent segment focused on whether gender and sexual orientation have turned into non-issues for candidates seeking elected office. To weigh […]
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
1964 was a pivotal year for the rise of modern conservatism. This was, of course, when the Civil Rights Act passed, and outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and ended the racial segregation that had existed for so long in the South. To southerners, this was an enormous betrayal by the Democratic party, especially from President Lyndon Johnson, who was himself a Southern Democrat. The federal government had overstepped in many minds, and this was an opening for the small government conservatives to once again capture the minds of common working class people.
In a truly opportunistic fashion, the Republican Party decided to exploit the racial fears and prejudices of much of the populace, and the Southern Strategy was born. State’s rights had been trampled on by the federal government, so the thinking went, and in 1964, Barry Goldwater ran an election based on anti-New Deal and states’ rights policies. His coded racism was successful, and it earned the votes from five southern states and his own, though he lost every other state to Johnson. Though not as aggressively conservative as Goldwater, Richard Nixon pursued a similar strategy 1968, and won all of the former confederate states, turning the south into the solid Republican territory that it remains today.
Reagan followed similar dog-whistle strategies when he ran, preaching states’ rights at the Neshoba County Fair, just miles from where three civil rights activists had been murdered in 1964, and declaring a rhetorical war on the safety net, adding “welfare queen” to the American lexicon. Today, many benefactors of social welfare programs protest those same programs, some unaware of the racial dynamic that has influenced the current animosity.
Of course, this racial force is more unconscious today than it was when the Southern Strategy began, just as the language has changed over the years. In a candid and originally anonymous interview, Reagan’s 1984 campaign director Lee Atwater described how racial language became more coded over the years:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “n***er, n***er, n***er,” Said Atwater, “[But] by 1968 you can’t say ‘n***er’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
Written by Septembre Anderson This week, Australian mother and university grad Jacci Sharkey skyrocketed to Internet fame when a picture of her breastfeeding her 11-month-old son went viral. The mother of two, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Human […]
Olivia Chow is running a strong LAST amongst the tree major contenders for the job of Mayor of Toronto today…………, and she’s NOT happy! What has made her even more disgruntled is a political cartoon published by the Toronto Sun over the weekend. They poked fun at poor Olivia in a way that is either […]