I know a racist dog whistle when I hear it. Here is why. I am a white person who grew up in Jim Crow eastern Oklahoma who also wondered even as a twelve-year-old what it must be like to have to sit at the back of the bus and only come through the back door of a white person's house. They were those "who knew their place" and any "colored person" who protested was immediately put down as an "uppity" N....? I would have felt very uncomfortable, too, if I were one. I count my early wokeness to my parents, neither of whom grew up in the southern culture, who taught me black people were just as smart and able as white people. They were neither inferior nor were they descended from monkeys any more than white people were. I recall words of advice from my piano teacher when I was phasing out of lessons in middle school in the early 1950's that "colored people" indeed were descended from monkeys so I should never marry one. I was silent out of politeness as befitted my age, but it made a lifelong lasting impression because it flew into the face of what my parents taught me. In short, I recognize dog whistles when I hear them, even when couched in veiled terms and fancy words that sound fair. Among the more upper-class white persons in my town was also a patronizing attitude. Black people were inferior, and they need to be "taken care of".. The N word was not used, so African Americans were called "colored". That passed as being culturally correct. The downsides of slavery were never taught, and colored slaves were depicted in film and fiction as happy people who sang beautiful "spirituals" which we also sang without understanding the real message of protest hidden within them. I was shocked when I visited Mt. Vernon and came face to face with the huts and shacks where slaves lived and I was even more shocked when I went to college in Evanston, Ill. and took the "L" line to the Chicago Loop getting an eyeful of urban poverty and slums where "colored people" lived. I wondered how uncomfortable they felt even though they were not relegated to the back of the elevated rail cars. I was made uncomfortable because this means the beauty of American democracy and its ideals, I was taught to honor was not extended to them.
These memories reflect the pre-civil rights movements of the 1960's, and they may serve as a base line to gauge how far we have come and individuals or how far we have to go. If these racist references are still whispered among those with which you associate, it is certainly an indication of mentalities frozen in time. If you share them, it is time for some self-awareness. If they make you uncomfortable, you are not children, you are adults, and you can voice an opinion or should.
Freedom from discomfort or a knowledge ban? 'Individual freedom' bill covering schools, businesses moves in House (floridapolitics.com) Legislation like this is not even a subtle toot It is an ear-splitting foghorn.
When Biden announced he would stand by his campaign promise to fill a Supreme Court vacancy with an African American woman, and listed at least three potential nominees, the outcry from some in the GOP was that they would oppose any African American woman regardless of experience and credentials. This opposition is a racist dog whistle mixed with fear of the replacement of one liberal justice with a more liberal justice. The inference is either/or/and both that Black women are de facto and inherently inferior to any male, and in particular Black ones, especially if they harbor views held by most Black people. Merit and ability have little to do with their opposition., particularly since they fear any Black women could bring with the overwhelming cultural and ideological viewpoints. Instead, they charge reverse "affirmative action" causing a prejudice against white men, as if affirmative action and "inclusiveness" are dirty words. The Court does not need to be and look like America. The Cour, it appears to them needs to remain overwhelmingly white or extremely conservative as it has been historically. This is a most subtle racist dog whistle because it is mixed up with ideology. Justice Clarence Thomas. an African American, is the most dependently conservative member of the Court and is not representative of views of most African Americans and women of any color. The women issue on the court has long been laid to rest since the Regan administration with Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination/appointment. Since any Biden appointee is replacing a seat held by a liberal, the Court balance as tilted to the right by Trump, remains. This even brings into question the importance of ideological impact of Biden's pick. That leaves racism as the more important factor influencing some of the GOP opposition of any Black woman, regardless of merit and in advance of Biden even designating his nominee. Those in the GOP who prematurely and in advance of Biden's a designated nominee were so quick to rise in blanket opposition to any black woman Biden nominated it appears to me were dog whistling to racists in their party. Others in the Senate GOP have been quick to endorse a "highly qualified" African American woman to insulate themselves from charges of racism. They must have perceived the dog whistling,, too.
The Spotify Joe Rogan controversy over his spreading misinformation over COVID shots also was expanded to his multi use of the uncoded N word and for referring to a Philadelphia Black neighborhood as the Planet of the Apes. This in 2022 sadly is evidence we have not come very far. It appears to have gone without public outrage until now. The difference between my childhood years and the current flap is this was not just uttered among those in private conversations but blasted over a public platform with a large audience and he was forced to make an apology. In the olden days such slurs were socially acceptable among the white folks. Apologies were never in order. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/05/media/joe-rogan-racial-slur-apology-india-arie/index.html
Per PEW, about 25% of African Americans Democrats consider themselves conservatives; the rest identify as moderate or liberal. 5 facts about black Democrats | Pew Research Center