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Tipsheet

New York Times Attacks 'Republicans of Color' in Racist Rant Against 'the American Dream'

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

It's not uncommon for Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media to engage in racist attacks, including and especially when it comes to minorities who dare to vote Republican. One recent example comes from  Jazmine Ulloa, who on Sunday writing for The New York Times went on the attack against "Republicans of color" for having "distorted" the phrase "the American dream."

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The article, titled "How a Storied Phrase Became a Partisan Battleground," is part of the outlet's Midterms 2022 Daily Briefing. Included before the text is a video, slightly over four minutes, "(Re)Defining the American Dream."

Ulloa wastes no time, as she begins her piece by going after Juan Ciscomani, a Republican and son of a Mexican immigrant, who is running in Arizona's 6th Congressional District, and has made the American dream a focal point of his campaign. She later goes on to reference Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) and Yesli Vega, the Republican challenger to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (R-VA).

We can't have a piece from a mainstream media outlet ranting against Republicans without mentioning their boogeyman that is former President Donald Trump:

Now, a new crop of Republican candidates and elected officials are using the phrase in a different way, invoking the same promise but arguing in speeches, ads and mailings that the American dream is dying or in danger, threatened by what they see as rampant crime, unchecked illegal immigration, burdensome government regulations and liberal social policies. Many of these Republicans are people of color — including immigrants and the children of immigrants, for whom the phrase first popularized in 1931 has a deep resonance.

To politicians of old, “the American dream” was a supremely optimistic rhetorical device, albeit one that often obscured the economic and racial barriers that made achieving it impossible for many. To the Republican candidates embracing it today, the phrase has taken on an ominous and more pessimistic tone, echoing the party’s leader, former President Donald J. Trump, who said in 2015 that “the American dream is dead.” In the same way that many Trump supporters have tried to turn the American flag into an emblem of the right, so too have these Republicans sought to claim the phrase as their own, repurposing it as a spinoff of the Make America Great Again slogan.

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And, further on her piece she references those "critics" a tweet advertising the article teases:

The Republicans relying on the phrase show the extent to which the party is diversifying its ranks and recruiting candidates with powerful come-from-behind stories. But historians and other scholars warn that  some Republicans are distorting a defining American idea and turning it into an exclusionary political message.

“The Republican Party is using it as a dog whistle,” said Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. “They are saying here is the potential of what you can have, if we can exclude others from ‘stealing it’ from you.”

It is not until the end of the piece that Ulloa acknowledges the Republicans she attacks may have a point, and that they're not the only ones saying as much. It's the American people as a whole:

The politicization of the phrase comes as studies show the American public has become more pessimistic about achieving the American dream. Historians say that in recent years Republicans have been using the phrase far more frequently than Democrats in ads and speeches. While more than a dozen Republican candidates across the country cite the phrase in their TV ads this midterm season, only four Democrats have done so, according to AdImpact.

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She ends her piece by referencing a Democratic candidate, Gabe Vasquez, who makes the same exact point that demonized Republican candidates and office holders do. Vasquez is running against Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican who represents New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District. 

Ulloa's last paragraph of her rather lengthy piece quotes Vasquez as saying "That American dream is becoming a hallucination."

The paragraph before that reads:

Yet even Democrats find themselves speaking of the dream as pessimistically as Republicans. Just as Republicans blame Democrats for destroying the American dream, Democrats believe the fault lies with Republicans. They say Republicans are making it harder to obtain by attacking the social safety net and blocking efforts to raise the minimum wage, and that they have co-opted the symbols of patriotism — including words like patriot — and turned them into partisan weapons.

As our friends at Twitchy highlighted, many took to call out The New York Times for harping on "Republicans of color," as well as for relying on so-called critics, who are barely mentioned in the lengthy piece. 

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Not only is the piece racist for going after Republicans of color, but it also fails to acknowledge that the idea of the American dream can be subjective, and something embraced by anyone and everyone. It can also be destroyed by anyone, as these Republican candidates make the case when reminding voters of the damage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Joe Biden have done. 

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