[Ads-l] dog whistle politics

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 29 22:29:39 EST 2017


> On Dec 29, 2017, at 9:20 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> A "dog-whistle" is P.C. racist code. One of the older examples is _the
> undeserving poor_ for "black people.”

How about “urban” for ‘black'?  Or, earlier and from different sources (well, not necessarily the same ones, anyway) “cosmopolitan” for 'Jewish'

LH

> A couple of others are
> "sexually-active teenagers," "welfare-recipients," "inner-city dwellers,"
> etc. Possibly the current most-common example is _undocumented aliens_ for
> "Hispanic people who are poor and/or have sallow complexions."
> 
> Of course, the overwhelming majority of these terms are two days older than
> water. Well, at least as old as the the era of Ronald "The Great
> Communicator" Reagan and his tales of Cadillac-driving 'welfare queens' and
> 'strapping young bucks' buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. During the
> same era, a candidate for mayor of Boston used a variant as a slogan: "You
> Know Where I Stand!" In the words of the Shangri-Las in their song, The
> Leader of the Pack: "Yes, we do." What's new is this tactic's being
> recognized for what it is and being given a name.
> 
> Every time that I hear that 1971 jam by Lee Michaels, Do You Know What I
> Mean?, I can't avoid being reminded of the political tactic now called a
> "dog-whistle."
> 
> Dog-whistle politics - Wikipedia
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics
> Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that
> appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional,
> different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.
> 
> 
> On Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 7:23 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> Dog Whistle:  Anything a "conservative" says that isn't clearly racist,
>> sexist or X-ist, so characterized by "liberals" as to avoid responding to a
>> substantive policy argument, instead tainting the comments with racism,
>> sexism or other X-ism for cheap political advantage among their base for
>> whom (ironically) calling out a conservative "dog whistle" frequently acts
>> as a liberal "dog whistle" in its own right.
>> ________________________________
>> From: David K. Barnhart<mailto:dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>> Sent: ‎12/‎29/‎2017 13:07
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Subject: dog whistle politics
>> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "David K. Barnhart" <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>> Subject:      dog whistle politics
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> -------------------
>> 
>> I came across this term a couple of days ago.  And, this is what I had
>> (more
>> coming as the weekend passes):
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> dog-whistle politics, {w}  Also written dog whistle politics.  See the
>> quotations for description.  Compare alt-right and lipstick on a pig.
>> Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially with party politics
>> throughout the English-speaking world; frequency?)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The deputy leader said the Lib Dem's pro-EU stance had helped them recover
>> from a crushing defeat after five years of coalition government, and
>> achieve
>> the party's highest ever membership.
>> 
>> Ms Swinson said her party fought against "racist, dog-whistle" politics in
>> defeating the former Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith in
>> a byelection in 2016, and continued to stand against "rabble-rousing,
>> hate-stoking" populism. "Jo Swinson: Dems are the Chumbawamba' party,"
>> Scotsman (Nexis), Sept. 16, 2017, p not given
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Palmerston North political candidates are divided over proposed measures to
>> deal with the scourge of methamphetamine, with one describing them as
>> "dog-whistle politics".
>> 
>> Deputy Prime Minister and Police Minister Paula Bennett announced a raft of
>> measures against both gangs and methamphetamine, also known as P, as
>> National continued election campaigning on Sunday. Jono Galuszka,
>> "Politicians sparring over Nat's meth plan," Manawatu Standard [New
>> Zealand]
>> (Nexis), Sept. 5, 2017, p 3
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> President Trump has deplored the violence that occurred in Charlottesville.
>> 
>> To claim that he has a "role in the resurgence of far-right violence" and
>> indulges in "dog-whistle politics of hate" is not only wild nonsense but
>> suggests that Mr Amery has succumbed to the fake news and views that
>> proliferate in sections of the media.
>> 
>> This is indicated by his attempt to denounce what he calls "alternative
>> facts" which obviously clash with his views. "Distorting facts to serve an
>> opinion," The Mercury [South Africa] (Nexis), Aug. 28, 2017, p 6
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Republicans have also employed so-called "dog whistle" politics: coded
>> words, policies and imagery that preserve deniability while speaking with
>> implicit clarity to white racial and cultural fears. From the Willie Horton
>> ad that helped George H.W. Bush become president to the suggestive white
>> woman ad that helped sink a black candidate's Senate bid in Tennessee, from
>> photo ID voter suppression to birther conspiracies, from Newt Gingrich
>> condemning a "food stamp president" to Paul Ryan's complaining about "a
>> tailspin of culture in our inner cities," the GOP has seldom missed a
>> chance
>> to lay out the welcome mat for white supremacists. Leonard Pitts, Jr.,
>> "Charlottesville didn't spring from nowhere," Spokesman Review [Spokane,
>> Wash.] (Nexis), Aug. 21, 2017, p 003
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> [1995] 1997.  Composite (compound): formed, with semantic shifting, from
>> dog
>> whistle (eOED: 1801), meaning "a whistle for calling a dog, especially such
>> a whistle with a hig-frequency sound inaudible to people" (WBD), + politics
>> (OED: 1638), as in message politics.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Happy New Year and Happy Wording,
>> 
>> David Barnhart
>> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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