Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The “Woke” Approach To Racial Politics Is A Dead End. Here’s What Democrats Should Do.

Lots of pundits have lots of thoughts and feelings about how to fix the Democrats’ messaging problems. A recent Jacobin study charted one path forward, “Shorism” offers another. This week, Briahna Joy Gray spoke to Professor Ian Haney López, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkeley, and the author of Merge Left: Fusing Race & Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America, as well as Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. Unlike many other prognosticators, Professor López real-world studies to confirm that a race-class message works best on persuadable voters. Briahna and Professor López unpack the merits of a race-class message, the risks of using academic descriptive terms like “whiteness” that read as reductive to the average ear, the merits of “defund the police” as a slogan, and more. This conversation picks up where Brie’s spring chat with Heather McGhee left off. It’s a must listen from one of the best messaging minds in the business.

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