Juan Williams: ‘Constitution’, ‘Founding Fathers’ and Other Racial Code Words

Note: This excerpt from Juan Williams’ column is Sheila Jackson Lee approved

So what word or words in the English language should the GOP candidates never utter this year in order to avoid being accused of being either overt or covert racists? Pretty much any of them:

Race is always a trigger in politics, but now a third of the nation are people of color — and their numbers are growing. With those minorities solidly in the Democratic camp and behind the first black president, the scene is set for a bonanza of racial politics.

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

The funniest thing about this is that Juan Williams was fired from NPR for basically not being liberal enough.

Anyway, Williams has a point. Read the following quote from one of the candidates and you might agree that it just drips of racism of because of those code words at the end:

“These days, a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren’t rewarded, and a lot of folks who aren’t doing the right thing are rewarded,” he said. “And that’s going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond until people feel like once again we’re getting back to some old-fashioned American values.”

Calm down, Juan — actually, Barack Obama said those things, but of course that’s fine.

It should be a fun election year watching a Republican try to win the presidency with half the dictionary tied behind his back.