Author Ian Haney López Decodes Dog Whistle Racism

April 30, 2015 | | Colorado Independent |

Blow into a dog whistle, and most people won’t hear a thing. But dogs do. And they come running. That’s how strategic, coded racism works, writes law professor Ian Haney López, in Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class.

When Haney López, who will be lecturing at History Colorado tonight, talks about dog whistle politics, he’s referring to the racist messages politicians use – without mentioning race – to distract middle class people from political projects he believes are destroying their lives and building power and wealth for a few.

“They are part of an effort to convince voters that the biggest threat in their lives comes from the relatively marginal and disempowered poor minorities and women seeking abortion rather than from the largest corporations and the richest individuals,” Haney López told The Colorado Independent.