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Democrats Discover Race Baiting

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Actually the Democrats have been race baiting for decades. And it’s not going away. Using fear and race-polarizing agitation to drive minority voters to the polls is going to be the increasingly overt face of the Democratic Party. They can’t win any other way.


What’s new is that the mainstream media has suddenly discovered all of this.

Through the years, these same news outlets have wasted no time at all in spotting anything that even hints of Republican race baiting.

Take the presidential campaign of 1988.

Willie Horton was a black murder convict who raped a white woman and stabbed her boyfriend while on weekend furlough from a Massachusetts prison at the time Michael Dukakis was governor. In the campaign, supporters of George Bush ran a TV commercial highlighting the event and accusing Dukakis of being soft on crime.

The Maryland Republican Party went further. A fundraising letter warned, ''You, your spouse, your children and your friends can have the opportunity to receive a visit from someone like Willie Horton if Mike Dukakis becomes President.''

The New York Times editorial page was outraged. “The anti-Dukakis TV commercial [is] playing on fears of black criminals,” the paper said. The commercial and “the scurrilous fund-raising letter” were funded by a “flow of sewer money,” the editorial added.

Democrats were convinced that the commercial and another anti-crime ad (the revolving door commercial) were the reason they lost the election. Said Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich:

The symbolism was very powerful...you can't find a stronger metaphor, intended or not, for racial hatred in this country than a black man raping a white woman....I talked to people afterward....Women said they couldn't help it, but it scared the living daylights out of them.


Never mind that the Willie Horton issue was first raised by Dukakis’s Democratic primary opponent Al Gore. Race baiting by Republicans is a sin the liberal medial cannot forgive.

Flash forward to 2014. What do we find? Race baiting by Democrats on a scale never envisioned by the most imaginative Republican ad creators of old. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Washington Timesreported:

  • Harry Reid’s Super PAC ran ads on black radio that accused Republicans of supporting the type of gun law that “caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”
  • A flyer from Democrats in Georgia pictured black toddlers holding signs that read “Don’t Shoot.” Produced by the state Democratic Party, the flyer urged people to vote to “prevent another Ferguson.”
  • At a black church in Fayetteville, NC, leaflets with a grainy image of a lynching appeared, warning voters that if Democratic senatorial candidate Kay Hagan lost, President Obama would be impeached.
  • In Alabama, campaign materials aimed at getting out the black vote featured references to lynchings, Jim Crow-era signs, racial unrest and the Ku Klux Klan.

Black columnist Jesse Lee Peterson has more examples:

  • In battleground states, desperate Democrats shamelessly lied, exploited racial stereotypes and played on the fears of blacks in an attempt to scare them to the polls.
  • In Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu accused her own state and the entire South of being against Barack Obama because of his race.
  • Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., compared members of the GOP to Confederates from the Civil War era who “believe that slavery isn’t over.”

Even the First Lady was in on the act:

Monday on TV One, a cable channel who's programming is geared for African-American adults, first lady Michelle Obama told Roland Martin the candidate on the ballot and what they say or do should not matter to African-Americans because voting for a straight Democratic ticket best serves their communities. (Breitbart)

So what have liberal commentators had to say about these tactics?

  • On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera dismissed any concerns, saying “no one remembers after an election how the candidate got elected.” Earth to Geraldo: the White House race baiting campaign does not just emerge a few days before an election and then vanish. It’s ongoing, year round.
  • New York Times columnist, Charles Blowwrote an entire editorial about the desire of Democrats to energize black voters without ever once saying how they have been trying to do that.
  • Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinsonsaid both parties were pushing fear and resentment, rather than solutions. Sorry Gene, there is no moral equivalence here.
  • And near the tail end of a column about the Japanese economy, New York Times columnistPaul Krugmanonce again managed to slip in the charge that conservatives are racists. Conservatives? Maybe he doesn’t read the rest of his own newspaper.

And what did The New York Times editorial page (the same page that was so outraged at the Willie Horton ads) say about Democratic race baiting that was described so vividly on the paper’s front gage? Not one word. It did find the space to attack Republican campaign tactics, however, under the heading, “Negativity Wins the Senate.” What would their heading have been if the Democrats had won?


If Laura Bush, during her First Lady years, had called on white voters to go to the polls and protect their interests, do you think The New York Times editorial page would have commented on that?

You betcha.

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