Dog whistles are coded messages that are understood by a particular group of people but not heard by most people.
Learn to recognize dog whistles to understand what someone really stands for. Use this illustrated guide to practice your skills.
A “dog whistle” is a word or phrase that has subtle or distinctive meaning to a particular audience. Over the years Trump’s racist dog whistles did their part in ensuring a white supremacist base, who turned out in force on Jan. 6.
Other Republicans were more direct in encouraging violence. After another court rejected Trump’s election appeal on Jan. 2, Rep. Louie Gohmert appeared on Newsmax and said, “you have to go to the streets and be …violent.” - Brandeis
Republican dog whistle politics
Dog Whistle Politics
“Dog Whistle Politics” describes that a lot of our political speech is being conducted in code. A dog whistle is something that, when you blow it, humans can’t hear it but dogs can. The metaphor is one in which, in political speech, on one level, some of these coded phrases are silent; and on the other, they’re producing strong racial reactions. So you think about terms like “illegal alien” or “inner city” or “welfare queen.” You can’t find race on the surface, but just below the surface, producing strong reactions. - Chicago Reporter
How dog whistles work
As explained by Lee Atwater, former Republican Party strategist: “You can't say "nigger" – that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now, you're talking about cutting taxes. And all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is that blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me – because obviously sitting around saying, "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." - HandWiki
Stoking aggrieved entitlement
"Since the November election, Trump has found new dog whistles. The phrase “Stop the Steal,” for instance, has special resonance for his followers because for years Trump has stoked the idea that racial minorities are “stealing” from “decent” (white) Americans; that immigrants are pouring in to plunder the nation; that African Americans are garnering jobs and other privileges from “reverse racism,” and so forth.
He’s persuaded his base they have been “stolen from” for a long time, stoking what Sociologist Michael Kimmel calls a sense of “aggrieved entitlement.” Now, Trump had a high-stakes election to attach this grievance to, and it is no coincidence that the votes he has questioned are disproportionately those of minority voters. “Stop the Steal” has special power because it emerges from the broader narrative that unentitled minorities have been “stealing” from what is supposedly rightfully that of Trump’s base.
On Dec. 19, Trump issued several tweets to promote the Jan. 6 event, including: “Big protest in D.C. on Jan. 6. Be there, will be wild!” – a descriptor implying norms would be violated or rules broken. Some of Trump’s supporters evidently took him as enlisting their help, rather like a paramilitary force. On Jan. 1, for instance, a supporter tweeted that “The calvary is coming, Mr. President!” Trump affirmed this as “A great honor!” - Brandeis
Dog Whistle resources
TakeAway: Learn to recognize dog whistles and call it out.
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