A familiar technique amongst hate mongers, and frequently employed in communications is what’s called “dog whistle” language. The term refers to a high pitched whistle sound which dogs can hear but whose frequency is too high for humans. The dog whistle sound is conditioned into the dog’s behavior so when the whistle is sounded, the dog performs as trained.
We may no be seeing the advent of the “Trump Whistle”. Over the weekend, the Trump Administration issued two executive orders which seemed analogous to dog whistle statements. First, the 3 month ban on US entry from any non-citizen coming from one of nine countries and the second was a statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The three month ban was sited as a defense against terrorism even though all previous Muslim terrorists came from other countries and there were no recent incidents prompting this type of response.
The Holocaust statement omitted any mention of the 6 million Jews who died during this period. The statement instead talked about all the people who perished as if the Holocaust happened and some Jewish people just happened to get caught up in a bigger problem. Hmmm.
Many individuals, organizations, and news media pundits have reacted to these two orders calling into question whether they are valid. Some argue that Country X should not be on the list, or this type of traveler should not be covered. The Holocaust statement has been denounced as insensitive and out of step with past precedents.
Hmmm, so what, that’s not the point.
Any thinking person knows that since 9/11, there have been no deaths or destruction caused by non-US persons within our borders. While that does not preclude a potential future terrorist event, there is scant evidence that current security measures are insufficient. And why the US Government which is planning to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would omit connecting the Holocaust to Jewish people is unfathomable, unless…
The Trump Whistle is a communication device intended to send a message to certain groups of Americans on one hand, and on the other hand to distract the bulk of Americans, as if they didn’t hear the real message.
Some conservative Christians are only too delighted to see the heathen Muslims called out as different and of course somehow lesser humans. And Holocaust deniers were glad to see President Trump remembered their dislike for Jews.
So while mainstream America was shocked at the two unnecessary executive orders, there is a group of Trump supporters who smiled and said, that’s our man in the White House.