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Based on Chapters 5-9 of Ian Haney López's Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class: What was the Obama food stamp cartoon?

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In Chapter 6, "Getting Away with Racism," the author explains that during the 2008 Presidential campaign, a group of Republicans in California put out a newsletter with the statement that if Obama were elected, his image would appear on food stamps instead of on dollar bills (page 127). The cartoon included a fake $10 bill, and it was labeled "ten dollars Obama bucks" in each corner. In the middle of the bill, there was a picture of a grinning Obama imposed on the figure of a donkey. Over Obama appeared the words, "the United States food stamps," and there were pictures of a watermelon, ribs, a pitcher of Kool Aid, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket.

The person in the group who decided to publish the cartoon said that it could not be deemed as racist; however, there was clearly a connection between Obama, the nation's first Black President, and welfare, as well as a connection between a Black man and stereotypically Black foods, such as watermelon and fried chicken. Newt Gingrich also called Obama "the most successful food stamp President in American history" (page 131). Gingrich denied the racism behind his remarks, which connected a Black man with a welfare program in terms that denigrated Obama's race and that contained coded racial remarks.

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