David Kirkpatrick

January 31, 2008

More Clinton misinformation

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:05 am

You know that meme going around? The conventional wisdom being repeated all across every type of media that Latinos won’t support black candidates? Hold your horses — it might not be correct. In fact it may merely be an ongoing spin fabricated in the bowels of the Clinton campaign.

The above link goes to a Gregory Rodriguez Los Angeles Times column. Rodriguez cites hard numbers showing Latino voters having no qualms supporting black politicians. He goes on to break down how Clinton’s campaign could even inject the idea into the media.

From the column:

So, given all this evidence, why did this notion get repeated so nonchalantly? For one, despite the focus on demographic changes in America, journalists’ ignorance of the aspirations of Latino America is pretty remarkable. They just don’t know much about the biggest minority in the nation. And two, no Latino organizations function in the way that, say, the Anti-Defamation League does for Jewish Americans. In other words, you can pretty much say whatever you want about Latinos without suffering any political repercussions.

This political strategy of the Clinton camp might have longer legs than just this campaign if Rodriguez is correct.

He writes:

But the social costs of the Clintons’ strategy might end up being higher than the country is willing to pay. According to Stanford Law professor Richard Thompson Ford, who just published “The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse,” such political stunts can be “self-fulfilling prophecies.”

“It could make black voters more hostile to Latinos,” he said. “And Latinos who hear it might think that they somehow ought to be at odds with blacks. These kinds of statements generate interracial tensions.”

(Hat tip: Daily Kos)

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