Meant to post this a few days back, but forgot
There are plenty of things going on in the world, but we shouldn’t forget the dog whistles of racism that Jeff Goldberg finds in the race for the US Presidency:
“Dog-whistling — the use of coded, ambiguous language to appeal to the prejudices of certain subsets of voters — is one of the darkest political arts. In this race, Newt Gingrich is streets ahead of his nearest competitor in its use. In addition to his comments about black children working as janitors, he has repeatedly referred to Obama as the country’s “food-stamp president.”
The genius of dog-whistling is its deniability. It would be difficult for a figure such as Rush Limbaugh to run for public office, given his record of fairly straightforward race-baiting. (Limbaugh, who in the words of Harvard Law School’s Randall Kennedy is an “excellent entrepreneur of racial resentment,” has been on a tear lately. He has accused Obama — who he says “talks honky” around white people — and the first lady of abusing public funds as payback for the ill-treatment afforded their ancestors.)
But “food-stamp president” is just indirect enough that Gingrich is protected from detrimental blowback, at least during the largely white Republican primaries.
Kennedy, who studies the role of race in national elections, told me last week of a rule he uses to measure whether a candidate’s appeal to prejudice will succeed: If it takes more than two sentences for a critic to explain why a dog-whistle is a dog-whistle, the whistler wins. Gingrich seems to understand this, and so, despite criticism from blacks, has made the term “food-stamp president” a staple of his stump speeches.”
Elsewhere Celebrity Deathmatch: Who Has More Celebrity Endorsements? makes strange reading, Ron Paul is rather popular.
The ADL’s Center on Extremism and Research’s blog is worth a read, with a fine post entitled Racists and Bigots to Descend on CPAC Conference in Washington, DC
“The February 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual event that features a wide variety of speakers from conservative circles, will host a session on “the failure of multiculturalism” that will include racist Peter Brimelow as a speaker. “
It exposes Pamela Geller’s latest activities:
“The latest outgrowth of the trans-Atlantic cooperation between anti-Muslim activists was announced on January 17 by Pamela Geller, head of Stop Islamization of American (SIOA). Geller announced on her blog that SIOA, an organization that promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam, is joining forces with its sister organization in Denmark, Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), whose campaigns against Islam in Europe have influenced Geller’s campaigns in the U.S.”
Keith Kahn-Harris’s reviewed Gilad Atzmon’s recent book:
“The book is a peculiar mix of polemic, philosophising and personal narrative which creates a veneer of radicalism and up to date thinking. But, beneath it all, Atzmon is more conventional that he thinks he is. Ultimately, The Wandering Who? boils down to a number of hoary old anti-semitic tropes:
When Jews appear to be assimilating, they are really infiltrating and subverting.
When Jews identify themselves as Jews, they are primitive separatists.
Jews are obsessively concerned with attaining power and influence.
Jews are responsible for the hatred they attract.
The holocaust myth is simply a Jewish strategy to gain power through the world’s guilt. The Wandering Who? is an anti-Semitic book certainly, but is it a dangerous book? So ludicrous are his arguments and so pompous is his tone that it is tempting to dismiss Atzmon as a crank.
More genuinely disturbing is the fact that this book was published at all. Zero Books is a small company that has published some excellent quirky philosophy and intellectually rigorous criticism; they should have seen the book for what it was. (The book is endorsed by figures like Richard Falk, John Mearsheimer and Karl Sabbagh who, while strong critics of Israel and Zionism, should have heard alarm bells ringing when they saw the chapter entitled ‘Swindler’s List’). Ironically, it is precisely Atzmon’s Jewish background that gains him this platform, providing an alibi for his antisemitism. “
Surely, that should be ‘their’ not ‘his’, not bad but too charitable toward Atzmon’s allies.
On a related theme, Germany’s old problem, neo-Nazi gangs into focus.
News International and phone hacking is unlikely to die down as the Police have been given access to Data Pool 3.
Belatedly the Guardian admits mistakes, probably printed on page 52, bottom column in small print.
How Afghanistan boys walked to Europe.
At the Debate Link, the tale of rigging the system so your opponents can’t get on the ballot.
Finally, this depressing piece from the JC, Fogel murderer’s family praises ‘hero’ killer.