I know other folks have talked about this but I just heard most of the interview with the author of Dog Whistle Politics on the Bill Moyer’s show.
Two things struck me, This:
And, it’s important, because dog whistling is not about bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of stereotypes.
The triumph of the civil rights movement is to teach us, to teach Americans that we’re all human, we’re all in this together.
It occurred to me that today’s conservative might not believe that we’re all human (I am only half after all.) But they clearly don’t believe we’re all in this together. Reagan, Rush, Ryan and the Randians keep saying that we are NOT all in this together.
The right can attack liberals 24/7, and they do. They don’t even have to dog whistle! I’ve read a couple of stories in Salon about people who felt they lost their parent to Fox News. That the parent attacked them for their ‘liberal values’
The author Ian Haney López points out how Reagan and his followers coupled the government with helping lazy black people. With dog whistle politics people vote against government because they are voting against racial stereotypes. Fox News watchers get to hate stereotypes of liberals in place of racial stereotypes and they can say they aren’t racist. If those liberals happen to be their own children, well too bad for them.
Right wing media is divisive. It is one of their main selling points. As the kids say “Haters gonna hate.”
What’s the opposite of “Haters gonna hate?” or the conservative “I’ve got mine, pull up the ladder?” Check out this video.
One of the things we have found out recently is that overt racism is still a career killer. The good news is that homophobia might be bad for your career too. Sexism is still okay, unless you get caught. But luckily for the racists, homophobes and sexists the progressives and liberals are there to fill the void.
One of my big triumphs in life was helping corporate advertisers see that they should not associate with right wing radio and TV hosts, that their violent rhetoric, bigotry, homophobia and sexism tainted their brand. I had to point out to advertisers that just because the bile was directed at liberals didn’t make it okay. We sent a message to the corporations and to the syndicaters of these shows that it isn’t profitable for consumer goods sellers to get behind that kind of invective. Did the bile go underground? No, but they had to go to other sources of funding. To people who were fine with the attacks. The same kind of groups that like to send dog whistles.
Right now I’m trying to figure out a way to get corporations and trade groups to see that we’re all human, we’re all in this together, and that no matter what your race, religion, gender or political view we all have to eat safe food, drink safe water and breath clean air. How do I convince the humans inside the corporation that a corporate persons’ desires should not trump human life and health?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ian Haney López was here for Book Salon.