Thursday’s episode of MSNBC’s The Cycle featured the cultural critic and author Touré as a guest. While talking about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s remarks about the Obama campaign, Touré asserted that Romney’s use of the words “anger” and “hate” has racial connotations, bringing up images of President Obama as a stereotypical angry black man. In making his claim, Touré called Romney’s strategy the “n**gerization” of Obama’s campaign. Although Touré does make an apt point, his blatant generalization that the entire GOP is racist pretty much overrides anything else he has to say.
After Touré made his brazen statement, conservative cohost S.E. Cupp immediately pounced on the topic, asking how he could call Romney “racist” while VP Joe Biden’s own recent words — telling a heavily black audience that the GOP is "gonna put y’all back in chains" — were in Touré's own view only “divisive.”
Touré said that he never explicitly called anyone a racist, but Cupp responded saying that he was still making those implications in his statement, to which Touré agreed was true.
By associating Obama with hot-button words "anger" and "hate," Romney is (inadvertently) implying that Obama can never understand Americans –– white Americans specifically –– because he is black man. Where Touré went wrong in his argument, however, is when he made gross generalizations about the GOP. He suggested that the party is inherently racist, which is why key words like anger serve as racially-coded “dog whistle.” Even though the GOP has had trouble increasing their number of black voters, they are by no means a party full of racists.
Romney’s camp is already formulating a response, trying to reach out to NBC News President Steve Capus to discuss what went down on Thursday, hoping to squelch this issue before it gets anymore out of hand. But the damage has already been done. If the hubbub surrounding Touré’s remarks continues, than “n**gerization” of the election has really begun.