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Dog-whistle racism in UK politics

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Dog-whistle racism in UK politics

Post by Georgeanna » August 7th, 2018, 4:08 am

Yesterday I posted a clip from Ch4 News in response to questions about how to respond to extreme posters: ignore, mock or engage.

Having just viewed the 4 minute interview, where Boris Johnson was accused of dog-whistling racism, I wrote that all bigotry should be called out. Sometimes easier said than done.

I had not heard the term before. Wiki explains:

It is worthwhile watching this clip since it also covers how current American political tactics are being copied here and throughout Europe.
Boris Johnson is seen as a mini-me Trump and potential Tory leader.

Political parties, left and right have to address issues of racism.
However, it seems not to be called out by leaders. We hear more of Labour's anti-semitism than of the Tory's anti-Muslim tactics:

From above wiki article:
' In the 2016 London Mayoral Election, Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith was accused of running a dog-whistle campaign against Labour's Sadiq Khan, playing on Khan's Muslim faith by suggesting he would target Hindus and Sikhs with a "jewellery tax" and attempting to link him to extremists.[21][22]'

Anyway, here's the Ch4 clip:

https://www.channel4.com/news/baroness- ... d-etonians

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Re: Dog-whistle racism in UK politics

Post by Steve3007 » August 7th, 2018, 5:16 am

No doubt the dog-whistle phenomenon is a real thing. No doubt some people really do knowingly and deliberately provide cover for extremists with comments that are superficially more moderate. But I think we have to be careful whenever we accuse a person of saying Y when what they actually, literally said was X. We have to be careful when we condemn people for the way in which their words are perceived by others. If we're not careful, we reach a situation where it's not possible to be taken literally any more. We see it on this website a lot. Some people like to place other people in metaphorical boxes with metaphorical labels on them, which often, on closer inspection, don't accurately summarise what they've actually said, but simply describe the kind of person they're perceived to be by the labeller.

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Re: Dog-whistle racism in UK politics

Post by Georgeanna » August 7th, 2018, 5:38 am

I agree about the need for extreme care when it comes to hurling accusations about. It is easy to stoke up resentment by misrepresentation, whether done intentionally or not.

I don't particularly like the term ' dog-whistling' in that it seems too vague and can probably be attached to anyone without it meaning very much.

However, bigoted politicians who use racism, even while they deny they are racist, to sow division, hatred and fear among the public seem to be gaining in popularity.

Given their level of power and influence, such behaviour should not be condoned. Our values and standards seem to be slipping.

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