Some liberals would have you believe that just because you can’t see it on the surface, Mitt Romney’s campaign ads are brimming with racism. What’s funny about this analysis, if you could call it one, is that it seeks to combat racism by being racist. It’s like the Voter ID narrative the left is pushing in the media. Liberals feel that blacks and minorities are incapable of obtaining a non-driving government issued ID, yet conservatives are the racist ones.
Witness a July 23 column published at the Christian Science Monitor website by Charlton McIlwain and Stephen M, Caliendo in which our helpful liberal guides explain that, “in the presidential election, it’s not a matter of whether racism will appear in campaign messaging, but when”:
President Obama is running for reelection with the support of the majority of black and Latino voters. Mitt Romney is challenging Mr. Obama with an almost exclusively white constituency behind him… A crucial question is: How will we know when pro-Romney ads are potentially racist? It’s not always so easy to recognize.”
Perhaps the reason could be there hasn’t been a scintilla of racism in this campaign. Ah, but no, Caliendo and McIlwain insist, going on to give five ways you can discern if Romney’s ads are in fact racist.
Caliendo and McIlwain claim that “A recent ad from the Romney campaign, for instance, has the effect of presenting the untrustworthiness stereotype, calling Obama’s statements “not true,” and “misleading.” Then the ad goes a step beyond, by saying, “but that’s Barack Obama,” that is, the kind of person who misleads and says things that are not true.”
They explain that ”charges of criminality, untrustworthiness, and the like are standard attacks on white candidates, there is no stereotype associating whites, as a group, with criminality, untrustworthiness, freeloading, or laziness, so the potential effect is not the same.” You’re right. It’s not a stereotype. It’s an actual fact within the human condition that transcends all races, creeds, and ethnicities. What’s more, politicians, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and anyone else standing for office is going to be critiqued on their honesty and trustworthiness. It goes with the territory of being… a politician.
Caliendo and McIlwain also claim “in the same ad mentioned in question No. 1, while featuring the image of a smiling Obama, the announcer says, he also attacked Hillary Clinton with vicious lies.” This provides the opportunity to make the association: Obama, who is black, with “lying,” not to mention the descriptors “attacked” and “viciousness,” which also conjure the association with stereotypes of black aggression.”
Yeah, I’m sure the typical American family, who is suffering economically, doesn’t care that such words are falsely associated with “black aggression.” Does anyone know what that means?
And what about Obama’s attack on Romney for being a felon? That’s a strong attack, but not racist because “there is no historical association between whites – as a group – and criminality. That association is present with respect to blacks, however. Thus, the message functions as a stereotype, not merely a criticism of one individual.” Yes, you read that. When you think black guy, you think criminal, the columnists write, and yet it’s Romney who is supposedly the racist!
CSM also has a problem with the people featured in Romney’s ads because they’re all white. Apparently, “having people surrounding a candidate in a political ad sends the message that those people are whom the candidate ostensibly represents. Featuring an all-white cast of supporters alongside a white candidate makes an inherent critical contrast. It says that “we” whites, represented by Mitt Romney, are different than “those” people.” So if Obama had only non-white rally goers in his ads, would that be called diversity?
The inanity goes on and on about how to spot “us” vs. “them” dichotomies and where the ad is being disseminated. This is critical because then we can get a sense as to what demographic is being targeted. It’s totally top secret. However, CSM admits that “determining the audience for an ad run in presidential contests can be complicated (we rarely know where an ad is being run).” So then, why speculate when if the criteria is de minimis at best.
However, “were the ad mentioned earlier (“we good and decent Americas”) aired in a place like Iowa, “us” in the ad could likely be interpreted by viewers – consciously or not – as “whites” in a racial context, given that the vast majority of the population there is white.”
However, this racist anti-racist analysis of how Romney could be surreptitiously using race to win the election is beyond absurd.