Racial Politics Project

The Haas Institute's new Racial Politics project, directed by Berkeley Law professor Ian Haney López, focuses on how coded racism both pervades electoral politics and is widely used to incite popular hostility toward liberal governance.

The project work will be built in part from Haney López's book Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, which examines how politicians have used racial pandering to garner votes and pass policies which favor the most wealthy. Haney López will also update his "dog whistle" analysis as current developments warrant, such as analyzing the 2016 presidential campaign, in order to engage in a wide-ranging public conversation about the role of coded racial appeals among the candidates and the public. 

A key programmatic focus will be to develop and release educational tools that provide teachers, students, and audiences outside of academia with strategies and resources for piercing racial rhetoric, as well as promoting an analysis of the various ways racism is used in American politics to divide and control. One project will be to develop a video series that will focus on connecting racial justice with economic and other forms of justice, such as gender equality and immigrant rights.