The Christian Science Monitor has, unbelievably, developed a series of questions they refer to as an “Index of Racist Potential” to be used when analyzing pro-Romney political ads. The factors used to determine racial potential are:
- Does the ad reference racial stereotypes?
- Does the ad show Obama’s image alongside a racial stereotype?
- Are all the people surrounding a Romney white?
- Does the ad create an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ racial contrast?
- Is the audience where the ad runs mostly white?
In the presidential election, it’s not a matter of whether racism will appear in campaign messaging, but when. President Obama is running for reelection with the support of the majority of black and Latino voters. Mitt Romney is challenging Mr. Obama with an almost exclusively white constituency behind him. Both candidates will raise and spend unprecedented amounts of money on political advertisements, as will their respective parties and allied super PACs.
A crucial question is: How will we know when pro-Romney ads are potentially racist? It’s not always so easy to recognize.
Reasonable people will disagree about whether an ad appeals to race in an innocuous or outright racist way. This is why we developed the Index of Racist Potential. It is based on the content of more than 1,000 political advertisements we analyzed that were sponsored by candidates in federal election contests from 1972 through 2006 and that included at least one candidate of color (black or Latino). The index measures the degree that a given ad has the potential to evoke – consciously or unconsciously – voters’ stereotypical attitudes about people of color, regardless of the intent of the candidate or campaign team.
When will the CSM be releasing a similar index for pro-Obama ads? Or is it hands-off to analyze the President for potential racist actions because he is the first African-American president? If so, is that not inherently racist?
Fortunately, we’ve analyzed the President’s actions recently and have determined that his election has not marked a post-racial presidency as advertised, but rather, it has been the most racially polarizing presidency in modern times.
A summary of facts:
- Barack Obama is not a post-racial president, but a racially polarizing president.
- In 2008, the mainstream media did not report that Barack Obama’s mentor Frank Davis, who Obama praises in his memoir Dreams from My Father, was a Communist, Stalin sympathizer, and dismissed the Christian faith as “another White New Hope.”
- The Obama 2012 re-election campaign is using racist-toned overtures for its ad campaigns, a far cry from its 2008 platform of hope, change and unity.
- Obama’s first term in office is replete with inherently racist actions:
- Saying the Cambridge, MApolice “acted stupidly” when an African-American was arrested in his own home and stated theU.S. has “a long history…of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or referred to as Obamacare) is “littered with race-based incentives”
- There are instances where the media has “white-washed” their news coverage, ignoring instances where white Americans have been assaulted by African-Americans.
- Highlights the growing divide between races, of how more Americans feel the country is divided by the issue of race.
- Obama’s comments on Travyon Martin and the media’s burying of the truth surrounding George Zimmerman’s side of the story.
- The Obama administration is using “race training” to protect government programs from budget cuts and the like.
- The Obama administration is pursuing a goal of obtaining illegal votes to ensure re-election, with rampantly disorganized and inaccurate voter registration rolls and fighting state efforts to enact Voter ID laws (which clean up the voter registration rolls).
View all findings and data here…