CNN Wonders If the Media Have Missed Racist Undertones in the GOP

It has been well documented that the left’s favorite accusation to throw at the right is that all Republicans are racists, and use secret “dog whistles” to communicate that message. But now that the liberal media seems to be in the early stages of panic over Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning, CNN’s Brian Stelter posed the question of, has the media called the right racist enough, during his show Reliable Sources on Sunday.  

For a long time the media has accused Republican policies of having racial undertones, yet while analyzing the media’s explanation for Trump’s rise, “economic anxiety,” Stelter asks the viewers, “But are the talking heads missing something, when they pin it all on the economy? What about racial anxiety as a factor?” Stelter quoted an argument from the leftist website Slate:

Jamelle Bouie has noted, “Among voters, higher levels of racial resentment have been shown to be associated with greater support for Trump.” Jamelle Bouie’s view is that white America backlash to a black president is something that helped to spawn Trump.

And with that, Stelter connected Trump slogan, which was Ronald Reagan’s 1980 slogan, with racist dog whistles. “Now he and others have asserted that “make America great again,” that slogan we see on those signs is really about restoring whites to a preferred position in an increasingly multicultural America,” he hypothesized.

Tom Wise, who is a noted “anti-racism activist,” agreed with Stelter. He demanded to know when was America and who was it great for:

The biggest mistake, how many media folks have actually asked Donald Trump or any of his key supporters, “Hey, what does that hat mean? You're wearing this hat that says “make America great again,” when exactly was America great?” And not just for white people with money, like Donald Trump, but when was it great for people of color? When was it great for LGBT folk? When was it great for women as women?

The host of CNN’s United Shades of America argued that “America was built on racial anxiety,” and had his own reason as to why the liberal media hasn’t talked about racism on the right. “[The] Main stream media, which is in large part owned by white people, is always afraid of an honest and open race conversation,” he theorized. Bell went on the whine about how he was the only black person on his production crew and how awkward it was, but how many conservatives were a part of the crew?

Race has been such a huge part of liberal critiques that they have accused Republicans Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio of not being Hispanic enough. Not to mention accusing President Obama’s opponents of racism at every turn. It’s very disingenuous to assert that the liberal media has somehow missed covert racism in the Republican Party, especially when they have taken very opportunity to claim they have found it. 

Partial transcript below:

CNN
Reliable Sources
May 29, 2016
11:34:58 PM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: Welcome back to reliable sources, I’m Brian Stelter. I don’t know about you but I’ve heard the following phrase about 100 times, economic anxiety. Whenever experts are on TV and they are asked to explain Trump's rise, they seem to say it’s economic anxiety. What they mean are the loss of manufacturing jobs the effects of globalization, the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis. And these are real factor. Trump promises jobs and better days ahead.

But are the talking heads missing something, when they pin it all on the economy? What about racial anxiety as a factor? I think this piece of the Trump story has been overlooked. Maybe because, I mean, less face it, it's a lot more difficult to talk about. But as Slate’s Jamelle Bouie has noted, “Among voters, higher levels of racial resentment have been shown to be associated with greater support for Trump.” Jamelle Bouie’s view is that white America backlash to a black president is something that helped to spawn Trump. And get him to the point where he’s the GOP nominee in a presumptive way.

Now he and others have asserted that “make America great again,” that slogan we see on those signs is really about restoring whites to a preferred position in an increasingly multicultural America. The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has written about this.  Here’s something he said, he said, “many racists are not poor and many poor whites are not racist. But for many voters, race and economics are not separate issues.”

So when reporters and commentators do separate them, aren't they failing to tell the full story of what's going on?

W. KAMAU BELL: I mean you know, America was built on racial anxiety so it’s no surprise it’s still here right now. And I think, the thing we try to with the show is have conversations with people and not just shout slogans at them, the way Trump is doing. And I think, if you get to have a conversation you can sometimes reach a new level of understanding, or at least making more space for the humanity. But Trump is capitalizing on people's most based fears.

STELTER: Why do you think— If that’s the case then let's take that as true for a moment, if you believe it. Why do you think we don't hear it more often, here on television, why don't we read got it more often, why isn't it a more integrated part of the analysis of Trump's rise to the GOP nomination?

Tell the Truth 2016

BELL: America is always afraid of a race conversation. Not all of America, I mean if you read Jamelle Bouie or the root dot com, there's lots of media covering it. But main stream media, which is in large part owned by white people, is always afraid of an honest and open race conversation.

TIM WISE: The biggest mistake, how many media folks have actually asked Donald Trump or any of his key supporters, “Hey, what does that hat mean? You're wearing this hat that says “make America great again,” when exactly was America great?” And not just for white people with money, like Donald Trump, but when was it great for people of color? When was it great for LGBT folk? When was it great for women as women?


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Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily 2016 Presidential CNN Reliable Sources Video Republican Party Brian Stelter Tim Wise W. Kamau Bell Donald Trump