Saying Without Saying

The use of coded language which gives the speaker a cover similar to plausible deniability — Definition – is an old trick in politics.  It gives the speaker the ability to use language, often derogatory towards minority groups, and then later claim that no derogatory intent was present. It’s a sort of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more — as in the Monty Python skit — technique.  Recently, Paul LePage, the Tea Party-like governor of Maine, refereed to drug dealers as guys with names like D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty who then flee home after “they impregnate a young, white girl.”

Governor LePage’s spokespeople said  “The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare …”

You may recall Louise Day Hicks who ran for mayor of Boston in the late 1960’s with the coded slogan:  “You know where I stand.”, meaning for segreated schools in Boston and opposition to court mandated bussing to integrate the schools.

Do you really think neither of these statements  are not about race?





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