When the Ku Klux Klan adopted the slogan “Keep America American” back in the 1920s, the Washington Post reports, it was to rally Anglo-Saxon Caucasians against black Americans, gay people, Catholics and Jews. Now Mitt Romney has adopted a slogan that, nearly one hundred years later, sounds eerily similar to the KKK’s.

Romney, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, said that as president that he pledges to “’Keep America America’ with the principles that made us the greatest nation on earth.”

Question is, what does Romney mean when he says “keep America America”? And to whom or what was Romney implying as not being “America”?

As beloved President Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said, “nothing in politics happens by accident.” If we are to use FDR’s words as a benchmark, then the Romney campaign team purposely used this phrase for a specific reason and to accomplish a particular goal. Was it to further imply that Obama and Mexican immigrants are not truly Americans?

President Obama laughs heartily at yet another question about his birthplace

We already know that Romney said before his supporters in his Michigan hometown that they know where he was born, which incited a thunderous applause and cheers from the nearly all-white fan base. So is this slogan another subtle and sinister swipe at Obama, who has been hounded relentlessly by birthers who claim that Obama was born in another nation, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

And check this out: Long before the KKK picked up the slogan “Keep America American,” it was used in the 1850s by members of the “Know Nothing Party,” the Post states, which was an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic nativist party. Interesting. So that means that this slogan, or variations of it, has never been a positive phrase as far as minorities have been concerned. Perhaps there is reason to be concerned if you are a non-white citizen or even an illegal immigrant living in America.

So what do you think about Romney’s campaign slogan?

  • zobop republic

    Republicans have been saying how they are going to “take back America”. From whom or what is the question.

    • Conservitive teen

      We are taking back from the moms with five kids and 3 dads, the illegal immigrants using someone else’s socialscuity number, the secularist teaching our youth, the man abusing the system a couple that doesnt get married to get more government help. Giving it back to the mom who works three jobs, the dad who goes to an interview everyday, the small business owner whom works 90 hour weeks, the family that lives paycheck to paycheck, the wealthy man having everyone nipping at his pocket, the wrongly accused christian who does the right things and has his character attacked. We are stoping this courty from becoming a welfare state. We are keeping it away from socalist.

      • MiddleRoadRealist

        Well, Conservative Teen…

        1. Separation of church and state is valid and no matter what my religious belief is, I don’t want anyone teaching my children doctrine as science. So, I will GLADLY take the secularist teaching my children in the PUBLIC schools. If you want to teach your children doctrine “truths” only, homeschool them or send them to a private school.

        2. What is wrong with the woman who had 5 children by 3 different men? Do you know her? How did she, in particular, “ruin” America? At least she didn’t have that “evil, evil” abortion! Shouldn’t you be thanking her?

        3. What man that is abusing the system? Or the couple? Just one man? Just one couple? Wow. I didn’t know America was on such a steep decline that that ONE person was ruining America!

        4. If you think, for even ONE MOMENT, that anything that is “taken back” from these “horrible, horrible socialists” is going to the mom who works three jobs or the man going to an interview every day, then you’re wearing blinders so thick you can’t see the end of your own nose.
        4a. Actually, it’s those people that the Left is trying to help, by making healthcare affordable and making public assistance more accessible to them.

        5. When Christians do as their beloved book states, and simply loves others and helps others, then they won’t get their character attacked. Jesus said to take care of the poor, the orphans, and the widows. He said NOTHING about attacking gays, protesting outside of Planned Parenthood clinics, or actively doing business to hurt those who don’t follow his beliefs. Again with the blinders… that really is a problem for you. You should watch that! Actually, it was the religiously arrogant people (pharisees… you should look into that) that Jesus was angry with. I wonder how he’d feel about all these “Christians” today?

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a book of doctrine is not a legal document and has no place in creating our laws.

        • common sense

          You radicals always skew that verbiage of separation of church and state to your own view. Just because a person is in govt and has moral and religious values does not mean we have to follow his religion. He is not teaching his religion, that is what a dictator society would be=- socialist are anti god people. It is my opinion, if you continually take form those who have and give more away, eventually there will be nothing to take. That is what is happening in california. I believe in TEMP help like programs like food stamps and welfare, but it should not be a way of life. Once they reach retirement age (from what if they never worked) they will not have any social security, there meaning us few working people(thank god, yes I said it, thank god) will have support all the people on these neverending programs. It is more important to teach people skills and incentive to work and earn their own living. That is how american was built, on hard work not hand outs. If your mother had an abortion you would not be here to have an opinion. It is nice to be able to have an opinion, you wont if this county turns comminist socialism. gold bless you

          • BCS

            MiddleRoadRealist, well stated. Thank you!

          • utlass

            That is so the truth. People who haven’t actually read the Constitution take words that are meant to provide freedom for all of us to have our religions and try to make it mean no religion can cross our lips in a public place. Drives me crazy.

          • Educated Student

            The Constitution can be interpreted different ways. That’s how our fore fathers wanted it. Stop trying to make other peoples ideas and opinions into evil slurs.

        • Garden

          Thank you, thank you for saying like it reallyis. How true. I am so sick of bigots that want to destroy America for everyone else, except rich, white men. They want to take us back to the “bad old days.”

          • utlass

            Aren’t you kind of bigoted against the bigots? Just askin’

      • ConcernedAboutOurFuture

        It’s hard to take a “conservitive” who can’t even spell the word conservative very seriously. Just saying. Also, what’s your plan for all these people you have identified as those who took our country away, once you take it back from them? Im curious, How in the world did a woman with 5 children, that happen to have different fathers, take the country?

      • OpenYourMind

        Aside from the many grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors, you my dear are merely regurgitating judgmental opinions your parents have taught you to think. I doubt you have met, let alone a friendship with, any of the people you have listed above. Yes, people abuse the system but they are a minority. Oh and by the way, I am a couple who does not get married so we can get government help. We also both work and live paycheck to paycheck. At one point, my boyfriend went out everyday on an interview until he found a better job. We have Medicaid for our young son. If we are married, we don’t qualify for the healthcare. Where do I fit into your close-minded world?

      • AreYouSerious

        My mom has 5 children by 3 different men. She’s a fully disabled veteran. I am having a hard time seeing how she is ruining America. She PROTECTED America.

      • common sense

        Well said

      • http://www.facebook.com/terence.mckenzie.7 Terence Mckenzie

        What if the mom has three baby dads because they manipulated her sort of like your father manipulated your mom to get you here? What about the angry Black man that gets turned away from a job countless times while everyone else just tell them they arent trying hard enouph? What about the poor Black man that gets fired from a job for absolutely nothing? What about the poor man that has a degree and still cannot find work? What about the sick and disabled? What about the Black man that tries to support his family and has his character attacked every time he walkes into a store or even get on an elevater with an upidy white woman. I have no problem with working smart guy, in fact i wish i had a career. You want to know what my problem is? I am a black man and proud of it. Therefore i get denied jobs and opportunities. My parants didnt walk me through life. I was put out the house at 10 years old and still graduated highschool. Ive been beat up by my own kind because they’re brainwashed to hate me just as much as you do. What about that time i worked 90 hours a week and got fired because i put my head down on break? What about the black women that was burned alive by people who think the exact same way as you? What about the innocent people of 9-11 who lost their lives to the very same people whos trying to get back at americans just like you only? You are a white man and no one will discriminate against you in your life. If you dont get the job then it will be because there really wasnt an opening. Which makes it easy for you to say things like this. You will never know what its like to be me. Yes i have had food stamps and government assistance. ive been to food pantries to feed my family and children. Ive done time in jail for petty angry crimes. Because i am angry. And if you ever whore my shoes then you would be too. Youre just a spoiled person whos had inheritances all your life long. Your dad bought you a car after highschool. Your dad left you his business. My dad left me. I scratch every single day to survive. I am a surviver. It aint easy being who we are in america man. Who are you to down poor people when we are the reason you are rich! We are the ones buying your crap with our welfare money. I speak for my people and you too because i love all people and the life i live supports that statement. I speak for every woman on welfare and every man that has no job. Every black man that has to sell drugs and want to change but just has not been given the opportunity. Just tell me man. What America are you taking back because we sure in the hell dont have it!

        • Poor White Guy

          I find the part of your comment funny about the poor black man…. Where is this poor black man. Because in my experience in where i live in the real world, That same “Poor Black Man” Gets special treatment, he wont get fired for being lazy, He gets hired everywhere because companies want to look culturally diverse. I have experienced this before in different work environments i have been in.

      • BCS

        this is horrible. you’re taking the country away from me – worked all my life, always paid taxes, never received a penny of government aid….to what??? take away secular teaching? you mean science and reality…..and instead teaching them the lies and myths YOU choose to believe in? You represent the WORST america has to offer and you’re proud to do it. This is why America is at the low end on education, and healthcare, yet we soar in crime and people in prison. You’re are the old way, the failed way. Now, get out of our way while WE fix things!

  • Frank

    “So what do you think about Romney’s campaign slogan?”

    I think you’re an idiot. His campaign slogan is “We believe in America”, check his website. This is piss poor journalism. Making something out of nothing.

    -An Obama voter

    • Terry

      Thank you for your response Frank. But respected national newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post reported on this. I’m simply quoting from them. You are, in essence, calling the LA Times and Post poor journalists. Oh … okay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.schaapveld Tony Schaapveld

    the poor should rule this nation not the rich so share the wealth!!!

  • zobop republic

    Uh, wow! What a response!
    “One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich.”

  • Renee

    I just don’t understand why any college students would want this man in office! It’s your futures that are going to be affected Seriously I am an African American female college student and this slogan hurts me actually because how can he just blatenly just use that at all in any way!! He won’t get any African American votes and that is a fact! Oh except Condoleeza! Last night a point was made about mitt Romney and it said he doesn’t know anything about hard times because he’s been given everything! His life was an easy one! So he doesn’t know how the woman with 5 kids is living and he doesn’t know the black man highly qualified getting denied of a job just because his skin color. He doesn’t know the struggle of growing up without a textbook. Obama has been there and knows what it was like. Yes he’s successful now but he understands the hardships of citizens around the country. I feel like he exemplifies what an American is. Side note the audience at the DNC made me feel like that’s how America is: mixed with all types of different people and on the other hand the RNC was mostly ALL white! I’m sorry but mitt Romney is not for the minorities in this country! #Obama2012

    • http://www.facebook.com/collean.wilson Collean Wilson

      Mitt Romney is not for anyone other than himself and his rich buddies. Let’s tell them that America is not for sale. If you are not registered to vote, get registered….. take a friend with you. If you are already registered….. check again to make sure you haven’t been purged. When it’s time to cast your ballot…… call your neighbors and make sure they have a ride to the polls. Every vote counts folks. Let give the liars and cheaters a run for their billions. They can buy ads filled with lies, but they can’t buy us if we don’t let them.

      • Real Business guy

        Im sorry, At first you were saying that you were against Romney but then you started describing Obama and how you want to give the liars and cheaters a run for their money… Funny how you think having money and being a success makes you evil… Last time i checked this country was built on successful business’s. But I get that you might not understand that having never owned your own business.

    • common sense

      Not ture, you are wrong, stop using the race card, that is old. He earned everything he has, how about you!

      • http://www.facebook.com/erielhonan Drew Danielson

        Yeah, claiming that ignorant crackers and rich white bigots use intimidation and economic isolation to create an environment where black folks and other minorities are disadvantaged and more prone to poverty, crime, addiction, and straight-up, in-your-face hatred is so last week!

        The best part – people who say ‘don’t use the race card’ are 1,000% more likely to also say ‘call a spade a spade’. It’s a proven fact that I just completely made up!

      • angie

        Who are u talking about ?Obama or mitt because if u are talking about mitt u r ignorant n need to pick up a history book. I’m Africa American which means I am an immigrant I was brought here n I plan on taking all the resources I can get Africa is destroyed because of this country I wk hard but am going to use the government for all he’s got

  • Cindy

    It’s not his slogan, but he has been captured in numerous videos saying, “Keep America America”. So this is all still relevant.

    • Donna Casas

      What about Obamas slogan Forward. That has a Marxist, socialist meaning and I am supposed to be happy about that?

      • http://www.facebook.com/erielhonan Drew Danielson

        Definition of FORWARD
        1a : near, being at, or belonging to the forepart of the Marxist socialist revolutionb : situated in advance of the Marxist socialist revolution

        Straight from Merriam-Webster, so you know it’s true!

        • Bibliophile

          Please tell me what Merriam-Webster you’re using because when I look up Forward, I get the real definition. It’s cute how you try to justify your views with what you believe is fact. But when people look up the word forward, they get the top five most coomon uses for the word. Which have nothing to do with political parties or ideas. So, quit using the republican arsenal of half-truths and outright lies, call the wizard of ozone and get your brain and try thinking like an intelligent human being for once in your life.

  • Karen

    I guarantee you that the majority of white supremacists are very, very well aware of the historical use of this slogan. You are absolutely correct that the repeated use of this phrase is intentional dog-whistle politics. Thanks for bring it out into the open.

    For your conservative readers consider the refusal of John McCain to use racial overtones in his campaign. He said that he believed it was wrong and was letting a tiger out of a bag – meaning once you’ve stoked that kind of ugliness in people it may go bad for EVERYONE and FAST.

    Too many people are too willing to engage in blaming those different from themselves for their own troubles – KKK membership always goes on the rise when the economy is bad… I am trying to view our time within the historical picture so I won’t be so upset by the bigoted and social authoritarian platform of the Republicans this year. I hope it will be the way it’s been since even before the “Do Nothing Party” you mention – the economy will improve and the casual bigots won’t be so easily stoked by the hard core white supremacist machinery.

    As for now – it is disgusting.

  • Nicci

    His slogan is We believe in America. Not that I support him, but if you are going to bash at least have the facts rights.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653542040 Neil Goolsby

    Conservatives Please vote on Nov 6, There is a threat of rain and thunder so Dems we have moved your voting time to Nov 7.

  • http://twitter.com/yeahbuddyx McLovin.ッ

    Do you guys actually think that your vote matters? hahaha.
    Mitt Romney will not be president.
    Thank god, but please do some research guys.
    Your government is corrupt beyond believe.

  • Donna Casas

    Anyone who believes that Romney used Keep America America in a speech is because it relates to a KKK slogan is really stretching it. Even the Times backed off that idea. You need to look at what Obama is really doing to destroy this country rather than some innocent comment Romney made.

    • busbus

      Explain with FACTS, not OPINIONS, just what is President Obama doing to destroy this country!

      • Informed Citizen

        We could go on all day about Obamas faults. And frankly you should already know them all if you decide to vote for him, And if you dont then you are the ignorant one. Just like half the country who believes CNN and MSNBC is real political news and now just Obamas fluffers!!!

        • Educated Student

          I like how you just defected the question toward liberal news channels and saying “you’re ignorant if you don’t know.”

  • Nathan

    ““-keep America America”? And to whom or what was Romney implying as not being “America”?-“Terry Shropshire

    So do you think just asking leading questions and letting people make assumptions (a psychological tactic) is a good basis for this argument?

    “keep America America”,with the principles that made us the greatest nation on earth.” is what Mitt Romney said

    Last time I checked racism never made any country the greatest nation on Earth so we can check that off the list of real talking points. Socialism never made a country great either so perhaps Mitt was alluding to the fact that socialism destroys the dignity and freedom of the individual and has no place in principles that make the greatest nation on earth. Perhaps he is making a statement that he will not “fundamentally transform” America into something it was never meant to be.

    Another annoyance I have with this piece is about the writer.

    People can read! America and American aren’t the same word(I point this out for the writers benefit and any kool-aid drinkers out there)

    The change completely alters the scope from talking about people(American) as in, the kkk slogan, to talking about what Romney was really talking about the principles that make this country(America) the greatest. That is a non-oppressive government, where are freedoms are not suppressed, where you can still make your own destiny and by right cannot have it ripped away from you by “elites” who “know how to run your life, and other peoples lives, better than you”

    Just posing a question on race: When the day finally comes that a non-white candidate is on the republican ticket for president. Will the argument from the left shift to how the candidate is just a show dog, house n-word or whatever else the racists on the left come up with to describe the candidate. Then they move on to accusations of betraying his race or saying the candidate isn’t (insert non white race here) enough. Then they will just class warfare them right out of the election. Just a prediction, but I believe it to be an accurate one. Because I don’t expect much more from democrats than more of the same, that is, taking every statement and lofty vision for America that a republican puts forth and reducing into a race issue and class warfare.

  • kate

    Language has become such a big deal….distorted….remember when the word “gay” meant happy. Now you cannot use that word without it being in reference to a same sex direction. A lot of other words have gotten perverted. Since the Jones massacre “koolaid” is not just a cheap drink for children anymore. America means a diverse nation of people from many cultures with freedom for all. I think Romney was talking about the very blatant socialism within this nation and the reduction of our rights.

  • Tom Ash

    Can’t wait for Obama to ruin this racist little hypocrite.

  • commonsense

    you are sore loosers, Romney gave great debate. Take back american for the unemployment line and govt grip over business. This country is so broke, spending money on failed green companys that has no intention of paying back that tax payer money.

  • Garden

    Romney is clearly racistist. His religion is racist and his Mormon culture is racist. Check out Mormon history to find out the truth.

  • Anon

    Except Romney’s slogan has been and still is “Believe in America”. His reported words were misunderstood and taken incredibly and egregiously out of context. Keep America America in referring to how certain law makers had been trying to make America into something similar to an European styled nation and that instead we should hold on to what makes us as Americans unique. Is it a gaffe? depends on who you ask. Was he wrong for saying it? Considering the context, No he wasn’t, however he could have chose his words better. Does this really matter? I think anyone who attempts to pull a racial context out of it can not do so when what Romney said is view in context. http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/slogan.asp

  • Truth Seeker