Book Review: Dog Whistle Politics by Ian Haney Lope

Published: 2021-06-29
612 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Book review
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Dog Whistle Politics is an exciting book written by a well-respected political writer by the name Ian Haney Lopez. It speaks about how people talk about race without talking about race. In-depth meaning, the book is about the victories of the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s that aimed to wipe away the menace of racism. Initially, people were discriminated on the basis of their races, and the people of color were mostly the victims of racial discriminations. They were denied the freedom of worship, the right to vote, the right to justice, and other basic needs. The main perpetrators of Dog Whistles were the Republicans and the Democrats, and they did so with the aim of hiding their mean attitudes towards the minor ethnic groups. The Dog Whistles were contained coded messages ranging from religious affiliations, ethnicity, and race. The careful selection of gestures and phrases were used to transfer subtle signals to diverse audiences. An example of a Dog Whistle phrase is the Dark Magic which Lopez uses to explain how the people of color were seduced to vote for against their economic interests unawares.

Ian Haney Lopez is considered as a pioneer of antiracism activism in the US and has evolved in the nation since the Civil Rights Movements era. This trait puts him in a better position to write on the issue of racism and dog whistles since he has had a first-hand experience on the issue. He is also a law professor at UC Berkeley and has worked with distinguished organizations such as the New York Times. He has completed various researches about racism and emphasized on the need to erase ethnic divisions to make the world a better place for all. Ian advocates for equality in the US through fair distribution of wealth and resources. He is of the white race hence making him appropriate to persuade his fellow whites on the importance of doing away with discriminations against the minority ethnic groups.

The content of the book is well-researched thus making it factual and not biased as compared to other books in its genre. Therefore, most people who want to read nothing but the real facts about the politics of dog whistle are recommended to find the book. Ian explains the campaign trail of former President Ronald Reagan in the year 1980 and how he managed to win the election by use of dog whistle phrases. He tapped into an ancient political tradition that was propelled by George Wallace and Richard Nixon. Hence, Ian had a vast understanding of the history of dog whistle politics and did his best to educate the readers on the same. Been an anti-racism activist, Ian was the suitable person to reach out to the diverse racial groups and unite them as a people of one nation, Americans.

Apart from the author and the content, both the cover page and the title of the book are attractive to the eyes of potential readers. The picture of the dog with raised ears portrays an eager person who is striving to hear whistles and low voices from the immediate conversations. The image can be used to demonstrate inattentive and ignorant people who are quick to accept unsustainable promises from rogue politicians and have regrets afterward. The title is also creative and creates a feeling of suspense to potential readers; thus, making them eager to understand more about the phrase "Dog Whistles." The book was inspired by actual happenings on the ground; hence, the readers get a real touch of events that often takes center stage in the US political arena. This makes it more appropriate than the other books in the political genre.

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