ON THE RECORD: Mar 28, 2014: Ian Haney Lopez, in an article titled "So, IS Paul Ryan a Racist?" pontificates about whether or not the discussion about Paul Ryan being a racist is justified or not. Moyers assumes "expertise" because he recently wrote a book about race-baiting and he penned the Politico article "Is Paul Ryan Racist" on Mar 16, which he blames Politico editors for putting the title on it. In the end, Lopez feels the debate is good and summarizes by saying: "And that means that arguing about whether Paul Ryan is a racist is a very good thing." I might agree except that it comes at the expense of a persons reputation. The real question that needs to be debated is what the word "racist: means today, as I believe it has shifted from what it used to mean. THEN, it could be clear whether or not Ryan can be fit in that category. As it is, "Racism," very much like the word "homophobe" are simply shiny things that distract the conversation from the real issues. Comments can be made here: The Issue is NOT whether Paul Ryan is Racist; It's What Does the Word "Racist" Mean?
Ian Haney López is the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He works in the area of racial justice in American law. Haney López has published his newest book Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. The book traces the role of racial demagoguery in American politics in creating hostility towards liberalism and in facilitating the return of U.S. robber baron era policies. In 2011 and 2012 Haney Lopez gave a series of talks on this topic in Oregon and New York. Sherrilyn Ifill, currently head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, named Haney Lopez's New York talk as the "Best lecture on race and the law" for 2011.