port of harlem magazine
sweeter hue
Getting Ready for 2020 Dog Whistles and White Identity Politics
December 6 – December 18, 2018
cindy hyde-smith

Demos, a public policy organization that believes that “racial and economic harms are intertwined,” has been testing ways candidates should talk about race and class to effectively counter racist “dog whistles,” says Adam Lioz of Demos. 

One of Demos’ projects is the Race-Class Narrative project. The goal of the project is to develop stories and talking points to counter racially and economically divisive tactics that use racism as a strategy to divide working people and poor people from one another. “This narrative must help people envision a multiracial country in which everyone has economic opportunity,” Lioz said.

Some people think that talking about race means that you may gain Black votes and lose an equal number of White votes, he continued. However, race is infused in almost every election “through White identity politics,” he affirmed at an Investment and Engagement in Communities of Color: The Story of the 2018 Midterm Elections press conference in Washington, DC.

Condemning dog whistles, Clarissa Martinez De Castro of UnidosUS added, “They leave us empty with solutions.” Other participants included representatives from Latino Decisions, the NAACP, and Faith in Action.

When it comes to immigration “the issue has become neutralized,” among Whites said Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions. However, among the children of the formerly enslaved, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans, statistics show immigrants are welcomed, he continued.

Jamel Wallace of the NAACP spoke of developing a “culture of voting.” Alvin Herring of Faith in Action warned that activists should focus on “mining” potential voters closest to the pain instead depending upon suburban White voters to vote progressively.
However, race is infused in almost every election “through White identity politics.”
Another group, Swing Left, has declared that is it targeting eight states to flip from Republican to Democratic to win back the Senate:  Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, and Texas.  Democrats need to flip four seats to win back the Senate, which has the power to confirm judicial nominations.

A Pew Research report shows that the current President has appointed, with Senate approval, 67 judges. Only one has been of African descent. 

Of the 382 racial or ethnic minorities who have ever served as federal judges, 268, or 70%, were appointed by Democrats. And 73% of the 202 currently active judges who are racial or ethnic minorities were appointed by Democrats.

Of the current Presidents successful appointments, 28 percent has been women compared to the 42 percent appointments President Obama made. Historically, nearly two-thirds (66%) of the 427 women who have ever served as federal judges were appointed by Democrats.
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