“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like ‘forced busing, states’ rights,’ and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now [in the Reagan era], you’re talking about ‘cutting taxes,’ and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… ‘We want to cut this’ is much more abstract than even the ‘busing’ thing and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘nigger, nigger.’”
–Lee Atwater (in 1981, speaking of his strategy on how to get southern votes for the Republican Party). Atwater was Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1989 – 1991), and before his death, consultant to Presidents Reagan and Bush I, and Karl Rove’s political partner.
From the Horse’s Mouth: https://www.youtube.com/