AWARE-LA is in good company this election season! The Center for Social Inclusion also has a website to document racism in the 2008 election, called Stop Dog Whistle Racism. Collectively lifting our voices, we can cultivate new narratives of racial justice… harnessing the energy and exitement surrdouning the presidential elections and invigorating our grassroots work for change for the long-haul
We commend the Center for Social Inclusion for their work to decode “Dog Whistle Racism” or “symbolic racism. From their blog:
Dog Whistle racism – also known as symbolic racism – is political campaigning or policy-making that uses coded words and themes that appeal to conscious or subconscious racist concepts and frames.
All too often, images, symbols and language are used intentionally and unintentionally in our political elections and policy debates. These trigger unconscious racial stereotypes. The viewer or reader isn’t even aware that he or she is responding to unfounded judgments based on stereotypes rather than facts.
For example, the concepts ‘welfare queen,’ ’states’ rights,’ ‘Islamic terrorist,’ ‘uppity,’ ‘thug,’ ‘tough on crime,’ and ‘illegal alien’ all activate racist concepts that that have already been planted in the public consciousness and now are being activated by purposeful or accidental campaign activities, media coverage, public policy and cultural traditions.
But when symbolic racism is exposed, many people reject it and return to a debate on real issues, not imagined fears. Both research and experience makes clear that when made visible and conscious, symbolic racism loses its power.