CREDIT: The Raw Story
While discussing political and racial discourse in the U.S. last Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the federal government is guilty of a kind of reverse racism, making policy to favor people of color.
“The federal government takes sides and hands out spoils based on skin color,” Carlson claimed while speaking on the radio show of Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist and head of Infowars.com. Carlson expressed his disgust of the country’s previous segregation, and likened present-day “handouts” to the government “[taking] sides based on race” as it did in the past.
Carlson is far from the first conservative to argue that the government goes out of it way to curry favor from people of color, as opposed to just focusing on those most in need. In 2012, for example, presidential candidate Mitt Romney blamed his loss to President Obama on “the gifts the administration had given to blacks, Hispanics and young voters during Obama’s first term.”
Since the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has emphasized the need to appeal to minority voters by changing its messaging. In its Growth & Opportunity Project, a set of recommendations to correct GOP missteps during the election cycle, the RNC stressed that national demographics have transformed and pressed for increased “engagement” of minority voters. Last year, Chairman Reince Priebus launched an outreach campaign worth $10 million to expand the GOP’s message to communities of color.
Priebus explained, “It will include hundreds of people – paid – across the country, from coast-to-coast, in Hispanic, African American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in, going to community events, going to swearing-in ceremonies, being a part of the community on an ongoing basis, paid for by the Republican National Committee, to make the case for our party and our candidates.”
This rebranding effort has not been a great success. Members of the GOP and conservative pundits like Carlson continue to polarize the voters they desperately want to attract, opting for policies that are particularly detrimental to communities of color, and using racially charged words or assertions to try to rally their supporters.