Last modified on 21 September 2020, at 23:48

Dogwhistle

A dog whistle or code words is a communication strategy that sends a message which the general population will take one meaning from, but a certain group "in the know" will take away another secret, intended message, often involving racism. For example, during the 2020 Presidential election, Democrat nominee Joe Biden dog whistled white privilege to the vital "suburban" demographic vote necessary to win election:

"You know what is actually threatening our suburbs? Wildfires are burning the suburbs of the west. Floods are wiping out suburban neighborhoods in the Midwest. Hurricanes are imperiling suburban life along our coast. If we have four more years of Trump's climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?"[1]

When de-coded, the message actually reads:

"You know what is actually threatening our white privilege? Wildfires are burning the white neighborhoods of the west. Floods are wiping out white neighborhoods in the Midwest. Hurricanes are imperiling white privilege along our coast. If we have four more years of Trump's climate denial, how many white neighborhoods will be burned in wildfires? How many white neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many white neighborhoods will have been blown away in superstorms?"

Sometimes a dog whistle can be delivered with a gesture. For example, during the 2008 Democrat primaries between a black man, Barack Obama, and a white woman, Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife said "John McCain is a fine man" holding a thumbs up,[2] implying to the audience of Democrats to favor the white candidate in the primary or general election, should his wife lose the nomination to Barack Obama.

List of common dogwhistles

See also

References