The headline reads like it belongs on a clickbait site.
"Donald Trump turns up the racially charged rhetoric with three simple words," a Washington Post headline reads.
Wow. Trump certainly does have a habit of putting his foot in his mouth; so what'd he say this time?
The Washington Post is glad you asked.
"We have to bring law and order back to this country," Trump said during a July 18 appearance on Fox News.
Okay, but where's the "racially charged rhetoric"? Not in the next paragraph, or the one after that. Did you read the entire story? Did you find the "racially charged rhetoric"? No?
Apparently, Trump is a racist for using the phrase "law and order." That's it. That's the basis for the loaded clickbait headline and the 642-word article below it, charging Trump with using an "especially divisive" phrase in his never-ending quest to "manipulate white voters' racial anxieties" and "exploit their unconscious biases."
Helpfully, Washington Post writer Max Ehrenfreund is here to tell us when it's okay to use the phrase "law and order." When Trump uses the phrase, it's racially coded language deployed by a Hitlerian mastermind using his evil thought control device -- and probably cackling, "Muahahaha!" while he brainwashes the masses.
But when uttered from the mouth of a Democrat, like former President Bill Clinton or hopeful Hillary Clinton, the phrase "law and order" evokes images of racial unity, of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, of an America free from the influence of vile Republican Sith Lords and their racist mind tricks.
"Some law-and-order policies, such as the crime legislation President Bill Clinton signed in 1994, have had support from black voters who hoped that policing and strict punishments for criminals would control violent crime in their neighborhoods," Ehrenfreund explains.
That just so happens to be the same crime bill -- 1994's Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act -- that more than doubled the number of federal prison inmates, introduced the notorious "three strikes" sentencing law, stripped away funding for educating inmates, contributed to an epidemic of prison overcrowding, and earmarked almost $10 billion for the construction of new prisons to house even more inmates.
The same crime bill that was written by then-Sen. Joe Biden, signed by then-President Bill Clinton, and pushed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton with her now-infamous "superpredators" line.
So it's simple, really. Ehrenfreund and the Washington Post want people to know that when Trump uses the words "law and order," he's using racially divisive language designed to stir up hatred. But when the Clintons use the phrase to push a law that put an entire generation of black men behind bars, it's actually a boon for the black community.
This is the kind of unhinged bias that fuels the belief that Republicans are the party of white people only, and that any self-respecting minority wouldn't be caught dead voting for a Republican like Trump.
It's also the kind of bias that has its own racial element when white, hyper-educated liberals condescend to minority voters who have the gall to make up their own minds. They'll claim minorities don't know what they're doing by supporting Republican candidates, or that somehow they've been tricked by Republicans and would never actually support them if they only knew better. Because that's totally not racist.
"While this bunch has welcomed minorities into the workplace through affirmative action and other opportunity programs, it has also established unwritten rules on how they must behave and limits on how far they can go," nationally syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote back in 2011. "They prefer to use minorities to serve their own interests rather than empowering them as equals. And then, if those minorities start to think for themselves, their liberal benefactors will pull the rug out from underneath them by reminding them that without their support, they'd be picking peaches or parking cars."
Picking peaches or parking cars. Or, as Bill Clinton said of President Barack Obama, “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”
That same condescending attitude is on full display this week during the Republican convention. Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke is a “sellout” and an “Uncle Tom" for speaking at the convention, according to a New York Daily News writer. Minorities who attend GOP conventions are dressing in "blackface," a Washington Post writer says, quoting an earlier New York Times op-ed.
Talking heads will tell viewers that black politicians like Ben Carson and Herman Cain simply don't know what they're doing, and the same writers who blast the GOP for not having enough black delegates will rip into the party for trying to reach out to the black community.
In a way, black folks who dare to separate from the political party they're told to support are publicly shamed, like the naked woman photographed in a gym shower by a sneering Playboy playmate earlier this month. They're told there's something wrong with them. They're called ugly names associated with slavery. They have their intelligence, integrity and even their racial identity questioned. All of that from the same people, the same ideological group, that claims to love them.