The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama

Hughey, Matthew W. & . New York Univ. 2014. 240p. notes. ISBN 9780814760543. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780814789247. POL SCI
The future of the Republican Party in a diversifying country "looks bleak," conclude Hughey (sociology, Univ. of Connecticut) and Parks (law, Wake Forest Univ., NC), if the right does not end its dependence on a sometimes coded and sometimes explicit antiblack rhetoric. The authors provide many examples, from Donald Trump and other "Birthers" who dispute the country of President Barack Obama's birth to Fox News commentary and remarks by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Hughey and Parks attempt to demonstrate that in a supposedly "post-racial" society, our politics are permeated in both conscious and unconscious ways by the message that only whiteness equates to authentic Americanism. While it is hard to argue with most of what the authors have to say, it's also difficult to read their book, which is filled with awkward phrases, repetition, and social science jargon.
VERDICT Readers will be happier with any of the better books making similar arguments, such as Tali Mendelberg's The Race Card, Donald R. Kinder's The End of Race??, Adia Harvey-Wingfield and Joe R. Feagin's Yes We Can??, and Ian Haney López's Dog Whistle Politics.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing