The same researcher responsible for revealing Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks, James Carter IV, has dug up an entire forty-two minute interview with Lee Atwater from 1981 detailing the Republican strategy for winning the vote of racists without appearing to be racist themselves.
Yesterday, The Nation presented this exclusive new piece entitled Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy.
“It has become, for liberals and leftists enraged by the way Republicans never suffer the consequences for turning electoral politics into a cesspool, a kind of smoking gun. The late, legendarily brutal campaign consultant Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”