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Play the Race Card at Your Own Peril

Citation

Publication Date: 
February 17, 2008
Format: 
Op-Ed or News Article
Bibliography: Richard Thompson Ford, Play the Race Card at Your Own Peril, Washington Post, February 17, 2007, pg. B1.

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It's conventional wisdom that American racism is an inexhaustible well that cynical politicians can always dip into if they want to sink their opponents in a campaign. That's what Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Hispanic pollster, Sergio Bendixen, seemed to be doing when he told a reporter last month that Latino voters haven't generally "shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates."

But modern racism isn't like the water in a well. It's more like the scum in a pond: It might settle to the bottom if left alone, but it can also be whipped up into a froth. And that's what Bendixen was really doing...