In this week’s episode of Moyers & Company, Bill asks Ian Haney López, author of Dog Whistle Politics, whether Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment could be construed as racially coded language. “I think it was,” Haney López says.
Bill wonders if Romney really knew what he was saying and asks Haney López “is it possible he didn’t think of that as a dog whistle?”
Haney López responds, “He’s pretty clear that he thinks it’s the narrative that his audience wants to hear.”
“[D]og whistle politics doesn’t come out of animus at all. It doesn’t come out of some desire to hurt minorities. It comes out of a desire to win votes. And in that sense, I want to start using the term strategic racism. It’s racism as a strategy. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s considered, it’s the decision to achieve one’s own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity. And… that’s the decision that Mitt Romney made.”