Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America

book cover for Merge Left
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
12:00pm to 1:30pm
119 Moses Hall (Harris Room)
UC Berkeley

Please join us for the first meeting of the Fall 2019 Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Colloquium. Berkeley Law professor Ian Haney Lopez will give a talk on his new book, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (New Press, Fall 2019). 

Ian Haney López is a law professor and commentator on coded racism in American politics. His most recent book Merge Left builds on his previous book, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class (2014). That book anticipated the political tactics of Donald Trump by tracking the fifty-year history of politicians helping the new oligarchs through a strategy of racial divide-and-conquer.

Merge Left explains how the political exploitation of coded racism has evolved under Trump—and outlines an evidence-based approach on how to beat it. The evidence comes from the two-year race-class narrative research project involving focus groups and national polling. The main takeaway from the extensive research is that naming racism as a weapon of the rich and calling for coming together across racial lines proved to be the most effective way to defang the Right’s racial fear narratives and to build broad cross-racial support for racial justice as well as for economic populism.

This event is open to all members of the campus community.  A light lunch will be provided.

For more information contact Christian Hosam: chosam [at]

The Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Colloquium invites speakers from the Berkeley campus and other institutions to report on research touching on various aspects of race, ethnicity, and immigration. One important theme explored by the colloquium is the changing shape of ethnic politics in the country. A second, closely related theme is the impact of immigration on the nation and on California's political and economic life. Recent censuses show important changes in the country's ethnic make-up: large increases in the Latino population, the emergence of a group of residents who prefer to identify themselves as bi-racial, and changing patterns of naturalization among the various immigrant groups. These changes have altered the meaning of the civil rights revolution and have important implications for public opinion, electoral outcomes and government policy.