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  • Writer's pictureLisa DiRado

How do we disarm ‘defund the police’ Dog Whistle? Part II: Defund the Police – a Call for Change

A political Dog Whistle is a racist code that offers politicians cover so they can pretend not to be racist. In 2020, Conservatives built on the longstanding ‘Law & Order’ Dog Whistle and used ‘defund the police’ to stoke fear by suggesting police wouldn’t arrive when needed. Since the 1960s, Conservatives have used Dog Whistles as strategic racism to divide us, win elections, and rig the economy for the wealthy elite.

Extremists reframed the idea of a whole community safety approach and turned ‘defund the police’ into a Dog Whistle attack in order to divide demonstrators. They labeled Democrats as anti-police candidates and many voters bought into the fear of losing protection. Dog Whistles are CODE WORDS - like so-called “Law and Order” - that stir up racist images and feelings while offering politicians cover so that they can pretend not to say racist things. They use them to divide people so small groups - the greedy few - can win elections and create a government that only works for them - not for the people.

Activists who called out the bigotry of the murder had legitimate requests on local spending decisions. That’s democracy in action. But Conservatives reframed ‘defund the police’ into a dog whistle of strategic racism.

Subscribe to make sure you get next week’s blog, Part III: The Left’s response to see that how our response fell short.

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