• DOUBLETAKE 08: “Taking a second look at race and racism in the 2008 presidential elections”

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DoubleSpeak Dictionary #5

Hillary Clinton: “Now, like some of you may have been, I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Sen. Obama made about people in small town America. Sen. Obama’s remarks are elitist and they are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know – not the Americans I grew up with, not the Americans I lived with in Arkansas or represent in New York.” (April, 2008)

“Elitist”

Some possible decodings…. by Organizer JP

Elitist:
Used with racist implications to criticize an African American person who dares transgress what the speaker sees as the place of black people in society by running for high office. This use of “elitist” suggests that African Americans 1) should not contradict the racist stereotypes of unemployed males and welfare moms or 2) they can be model middle-class citizens but should never dare attempt to enter the elite ranks of power in U.S. society. Both the Democrats (in the Hillary Clinton campaign) and Republicans have attacked Obama as “an elitist.” What’s factually misleading about attacking Obama as “an elitist” is that he was raised without class privileges and has gone on to modest economic success and to become a social and political leader, thereby fulfilling the American Dream.

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