Part of my job when I speak about politics is to speak up for black people and say things black people need said. This mission has rarely felt so necessary as it has when racial code words recently entered the Presidential election. These code words are ancient racial stereotypes in slick, modern gear. They are linguistic mustard gas, sliding in covertly, aiming to kill black political viability by allowing white politicians to say ‘Don’t vote for the black guy’ in socially-acceptable language. Sometimes the code comes directly out of a candidate’s mouth. Sometimes it comes from supporters, or can be found in advertisements.
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