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Does Jew-baiting Work?

Ta-Nehisi Coates says no--and argues that the aforementioned Nikki Tinker ad against Steve Cohen in Memphis was just a case of race-baiting:

Jew-baiting against a white Jewish guy in a majority black district, is like attempting a 360 dunk. Why go through all that when the the plain-old race-baiting layup will suffice?

Who knows what Tinker was going for with this specific ad, but it's not as if Cohen's religion hasn't been an issue in this race. From the WaPo in February:

"Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the JEWS HATE Jesus," blares the flier, which Cohen himself received in the mail -- inducing gasps -- last week.

Circulated by an African-American minister from Murfreesboro Tenn., which isn't even in Cohen's district, the literature encourages other black leaders in Memphis to "see to it that one and ONLY one black Christian faces this opponent of Christ and Christianity in the 2008 election."

Then again, maybe this particular African-American minister is the Vince Carter of the black church.

--Jason Zengerle