The Dangers of Being Misunderstood
From TPM Reader LF ...
I know that your headline that it's easy to be "misunderstood" is supposed to be facetious. But it really is easy not to be misunderstood as a racist. To start with--don't be a racist.
Yes, issues of poverty invariably collide with issues of race. But I completely disagree with your altogether serious statement that "[d]iscussing urban poverty, policy responses and race ain't easy." Jack Kemp was a dyed-in-the-wool, movement conservative, supply-side, Reagan Republican. I disagreed with him on most issues, as did most Democrats, and most leaders in the African American community disagreed with him on most issues (83% of African Americans voted for Clinton-Gore over Dole-Kemp in 1996), including how to solve inner-city poverty.
But no one ever "misunderstood" Jack Kemp to be a racist. Because he simply did not do or say racist things. And he never had that problem.