The Illusion of Dog-Whistle Racism

You’ve probably heard of the GOP’s dog-whistle racism. It refers to any untraceable nod to a voter base’s racial prejudices. It is a political signal of agreement with socially unacceptable or politically incorrect imbalances that is always small or innocent enough to have plausible deniability. Like a dog whistle, it can be heard by the racists, but it doesn’t need to be apologized for by the GOP. The dog-whistle political signal is akin to a “micro-aggression.” It’s a large enough action to be noted, but not so large as to require a retraction or full-blown apology.

So, does dog-whistle politics exist? It’s hard to say. Some of the examples of dog-whistle politics include bringing up states’ rights, talking about the problems with the welfare system, talking about cutting taxes, or using the terms “illegal aliens,” “law and order,” or “shariah law.”

So basically the only way the GOP could avoid being or seeming racist is to talk about nothing at all that has even the slightest connection to people of other races. What’s hilarious is that the GOP is almost exclusively criticized for racism, when Democrats regularly say ridiculously racist things with little comment from the media. And these aren’t dog-whistle racist remarks. I’m talking fog-horn racist remarks. Like pretty much any of the examples you can find at this link.

Part of the problem with liberal anti-racism is that it must still stereotype even in its supposed compassion. And liberal stereotypes are oftentimes uglier than any that racists have concocted. It’s as if leftists say to black culture: “You’re underprivileged, uncivilized, uneducated, criminal, poor, broken, and unpleasant. But don’t worry. We’ll still love you. We’re that tolerant.”

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No. Give me dog-whistle politics, whatever that is, over leftist condescension any day. But can’t we just try, all of us, to expand our categories a bit? I expect little children to need superficialities in order to make distinctions. But this tendency in fully grown adults is most disappointing.


from Last Resistance

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