Forget The Dog Whistles

This political season, the racism is blatant and unembarrassed. For those of us who had naively thought America was emerging from that particular form of mental illness, the willingness to appeal for votes on the basis of bias–the number of MAGA political commercials identifying the candidate as an “out and proud” bigot–has been astounding.

And heartbreaking.

Here in Indiana, gubernatorial candidates have accused each other of–gasp!–sympathy for Black Lives Matter, which they insist has called for the killing of police. That accusation has been repeatedly debunked–but interestingly, none of the rebuttal ads have defended the organization. Mike Braun, who has been the target of most of those accusations has responded with ads highlighting his support from law enforcement organizations–not by defending the organization against a nasty and purposeful lie. The linked article from the BBC traces the origin of that lie to (where else?) Fox News, and reports on the response from Black Lives Matter:

“We’re targeting the brutal system of policing, not individual police,” the statement reads. “We seek a world in which ALL Black lives matter, and racial hierarchy no longer organizes our lives or yours. This is a vision of love. As Black survivors of White supremacy, our hearts go out to all victims of violence.”

Attacks on Black Lives Matter are, rather obviously, thinly-veiled efforts to paint all Black folks as murderous beasts–and a message to bigoted voters that the candidate making the accusation is one of them. But it isn’t simply the sudden willingness of MAGA candidates to shed any pretense of civility and/or anti-racism. It’s also the creepy identities of those providing the candidates with funds and other support.

Turning Point USA has been in the news several times; it is a far Right advocacy organization that has most recently been identified as a major supporter of Bernie Moreno, the MAGA nominee for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

Moreno wrote that he was “honored to be endorsed by Charlie Kirk and Turning Point Action.” Moreno said that “[f]ew have done more to fight back against the radical left than they have,” and he looks “forward to working with them to defend for our America First conservative values in the US Senate.”

In 2023, Kirk repeatedly featured Moreno as a guest on his popular podcast and consistently promoted Moreno’s candidacy to his 2.9 million followers on X. At the end of 2023, Kirk donated the maximum legal amount of $5,000 to Moreno’s campaign through the Turning Point PAC.

At the same time, Kirk, known for his embrace of fringe views and conspiracy theories, launched a sustained attack on Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. At a December 2023 convention hosted by Turning Point USA, Kirk said that King “was awful” and “not a good person.” Kirk’s critique extended not just to King himself but to the civil rights movement itself. “We made a huge mistake when we passed the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s,” Kirk declared, trashing the legislation that outlawed segregation in public places and many businesses.

In his convention speech, Kirk blasted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an effort to “re-found the county” and “get rid of the First Amendment.” He criticized courts for enforcing the law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. “Federal courts just yield to the Civil Rights Act as if it’s the actual American Constitution,” Kirk complained.

The article continue with a description of Kirk’s continued and highly publicized crusade against King, against the MLK holiday, and against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And this is the man and organization from which Moreno “proudly” accepted endorsement.

Turning Point’s crusade against King and the civil rights movement did not appear to impact his relationship with Moreno. On March 14, 2024, Turning Point Action donated $100,000 to the Buckeye Values PAC, Moreno’s Super PAC.

Nor is there any remaining question of Moreno’s own racial opinions:

Moreno himself has also had controversies involving racial issues. When he launched his campaign for Senate, Moreno floated the idea of reparations for white descendants of Union soldiers that were killed during the Civil War. “They talk about reparations. Where are the reparations for the people, for the North, who died to save the lives of Black people?” Moreno said. “I know it’s not politically correct to say that, but you know what, we’ve got to stop being politically correct.”

Bottom line: Every voter casting a ballot for a MAGA Republican this year is either explicitly endorsing racism or indicating that the voter does not consider the “out and proud” racism of the MAGA movement to be disqualifying.

They’re no longer hiding behind dog whistles.


  1. At the height of the “Black Lives Matter” issue, I was unfriended by someone because I supported both “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter”. Can’t remember who unfriended me so haven’t missed them. I have both Black and Brown family members; blood relation and in-law relation along with LGBTQs, members of “Me Too” and a few sane Republicans. The MAGAs simply have NO disqualifying issues for any of their candidates and now we must hold our breaths till the MAGA foundation of SCOTUS decides Yea or Nay regarding only Trump’s Presidential Immunity issue as he enters and leaves the court room defying another Gag Order with “Dog Whistles” directed to SCOTUS.

    I have been starting my days the past few months watching reruns of “Any Day Now” series from the 1990s which begins with a disclaimer regarding the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s contained in the series. The only difference today is the lack of police using firehoses, billy clubs and vicious dogs as shown in the 1960s newsreels in the program which has been replaced by the mass shootings and Trump’s continuing open threats after being indicted for rape, sedition and treason (using lower level legal charges) during his ongoing trials.

    “They’re no longer hiding behind dog whistles.” Is the Justice System using dog whistles with the lower level of charges they are using against Trump?

  2. Of course the Republican far right candidates are spewing racism these days. They have NOTHING else to offer the masses than hatred and anger. When they do offer a sane idea here or there it is drowned out by their craziness. Those citizens who are buying into their lies are the same folk who weekly bought and read the National Inquirer for years. It is a sad commentary on the state of the mid-west Republican Party.

  3. “JUDGE TO RULE AT LATER TIME ON WHETHER TRUMP VIOLATED GAG ORDER.” Evidently he considers Trump’s unending voice and printed violations as ex parte contacts.

  4. Liberal democracy demands informed voters who are free to express their choices at regularly scheduled times, whose votes have the same value, and whose votes are reliably counted.

    Propaganda misinforms voters. The whole house of cards collapses.

    Why, lawyers, is it not the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater when you know there is none?

  5. I’m glad I’m not Judge Marchon. It’s clear that 45 has violated his gag order every day, but it’s also clear that 45 would love to be sent to jail for anything. Think of that image! His followers would bankrupt themselves to provide their orange Jesus with the funds to fight the crucifixion of their idol. They might even be moved to rescue him and starting that civil war they keep hoping for.

    Looks like fines are the rational punishment, but they are limited to $1,000. per violation. That’s $10,000. total at the moment. That’s like a rounding error when you think of the fines he’s already accumulated. He will continue to violate the gag orders. He knows he’s got the judge over a barrel. Rule of law means nothing to him.

    Who woulda thunk that there were so many racists in the good ole US of A?

  6. Sharon; or could this entire situation be a gag? A most unfunny gag!

    Trump’s public words of warning to the nation and invitation to his militant followers to “Stand back and stand by!” were ignored by the nation and obeyed by his militant followers and they carried out the successful January 6th Insurrection. It ended, probably as planned, when Trump held off calling for the end long enough to be as successful as hoped for by his MAGAs and Freedom Caucus members. He has given the nation repeated warnings with his unending threats against any and all with any family or staff connection to the justice system hosting his trials. Do we want to know if they have prepared protection for any of his threats to be carried out AGAIN? His militant supporters are “standing back and standing by” to carry out his threats of bloodshed when he gives the word and points the way.

    They no longer need dog whistles.

  7. I say call his bluff and jail the bastard! He’s on his way downhill and just doesn’t have the sense to know it yet. If his followers are idiotic enough to start a war they will be crushed. Actually, I think they know that but their attempts to intimidate us are working. What works against bullies? Standing up to them!

  8. Sharon; we are in sync, I stated the same yesterday and today asking if anyone is prepared for the action…if there is action behind the words. That pile of papers he is waving, but not showing, is a stage prop; he is still Master of Ceremonies as well as A Legend In His Own Mindless world.

    I need to find something else to do before I become blathering senselessness garble on the Trump level of communication.

  9. As far as Trump’s gag order, no matter what the prosecutors and judges say about keeping your mouth shut, he violates it. But going along with yesterday, it’s a matter of cowardice. Afraid to poke the hornet’s nest. And that’s exactly what needs to be done. It’s like having a gangerness limb, afraid to cut off that limb because it’s painful and wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing! Even though not doing so would kill the entire body. Go figure! Easy, is Andy and Barney, allowing Otis to lock himself up when he’s drunk, Barney keeping his bullet, one bullet, in his pocket, his gun empty. That’s about as easy as easy can get. It’s just not life in this current world. It represents fantasy.

    And just like fantasy, black lives matter is really fantasy. It’s hypocritical, And it doesn’t gibe up with real life. You shouldn’t be afraid to call out BS when that’s exactly what it is and takes. But again, cowardice!

    Jahmal Cole founder and operator of “My Block My Hood My City” does much more for the community than Black lives matter ever thought about. And He doesn’t allow hypocrisy in his organization. Hangs with Barack Obama and, Oprah Winfrey. And of course people have their own opinions about Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, but, they do work to provide a voice to the black community. And they absolutely help fund Jahmal’s movement and organization. I’ve known Jahmal since he was a kid, a preteen, along with his brother Jasper, and sister Taylor. All very successful in their lives because of the values their mother taught them. Our families have always been close.

    BLM claims that they only work towards calling out police brutality! They’re an organization steeped in mismanagement, financial shenanigans, and hypocrisy. Instead of using their political capital to stop inner-city violence, the looting of stores and carjackings and shootings and food deserts and lack of educational opportunities and jobs, they disappear when they need to have the rubber hit the road. BLM leadership is highly questionable, and they’ve been caught with their hand in the cookie jar too many times. BLM is nothing but self-glorification of their brand. That brings in money. And the money does not trickle down! So where does it all go? That’s the question. Definitely not to provide opportunities!

    Reparations are great, but what good are reparations if there are no changes in the hierarchy of society? Cities and governments need to invest in the communities, not keep them walled off. Throwing money at something just so it eases The collective conscience, never works. It just opens the door for more corruption. But hey, a conscience is a pesky thing isn’t it? Look at the work these two organizations do, BLM is a self-serving failure!

    As far as white folks getting reparations, well, if all things are equal, why not? Except all things are not equal. White folks do not suffer the same way black folks do. A lot of that has to do with government and cowardice. Society is broken, it’s decaying at a level not seeing since the Roman empire. Unfortunately most people cannot see the forest because the trees are in the way. And they’re in the process of cutting down all those pesky trees to find the forest. Doesn’t quite work does it? Organizations that actually do good will never be recognized because they don’t link up with The usual suspects.

    MLK was a man, and as a man he was flawed. Nobody is perfect! But he did much more good than anything else. The same with Abraham Lincoln! What happened to these men? They lost their lives because they went against the status quo. They were never allowed to live their lives as advocates for those without a voice. When you look at organizations, make sure you know what they stand for, if you look for examples, make sure you know what they stood for. Don’t jump on the bandwagon before you know where that bandwagon is going. Otherwise, it just lumps you in with all of the others providing lip service for consciences sake.

  10. There was an interesting conversation today questioning when Obama would come out and speak to college kids about all the protests on campus nationwide against the genocide and BDS movement at Columbia.

    The backdrop was the Ivy League presidents, who were figureheads or fundraisers for the campus. They were testifying to Congress and told that any protest of Israel was anti-Semitic speech. This is, of course, ludicrous. However, they all acknowledged that the anti-Semitic kids must be stopped.

    This is why the ADL had heartburn over the TikTok app. Too many of the kids were anti-genocide and pro-Palestine versus pro-Israel. It’s the classic oppressor-oppressed language taught by Paulo Freire, which got his books banned in many countries around the globe.

    Do Americans honestly believe Obama was anti-establishment? He may have been a mover and shaker while in college, but once he became POTUS, he became more pro-establishment than any before him. It was a major disappointment. I already know what he will tell the students before he steps behind the podium.

    By the way, Charlie Kirk is lightweight compared to the far right today. Charlie doesn’t have a prison record, which seems to be a bonus for the followers of right-wing ideology. Every good right-winger knows that Trump is a victim of the Biden Justice Department. His so-called “gag orders” violate Trump’s free speech rights. 😉

  11. Per the comment about those starting a war and being crushed, watch the MAGA candidates ads, filled with police officers in uniform appearing as supporters of those same candidates who embrace a man who is under 92 indictments. Will those officers in law enforcement, especially sheriffs, and military personnel obey their oaths of office or the orders of an insurrectionist? Just following orders? Sounds familiar.

  12. If BLM were not already in evidence to provide a new target, racists would invent it. Sociology and politcal science are irretrievably intertwined, as our history demonstrates, and as White Nationalists wish “their” majority status future to continue, all when change is coming whatever they wish. Thus whites will reach minority status in year 2034, and that should not make any difference, but it will, and because it is whites who have set the norms for measurement by race. If there were no racism, it would not make any difference if green humans outnumbered all others since, ideally, human rights and privileges are to be accorded to all in a democratic society under the rule of law. It says here. . .

    So how does such democratic idealism here suggested work out in the real world? It doesn’t as of now, and why? Racism is ingrained via emotion and the sense of the hoi polloi that there is a need to have somebody inferior to them in social status to denigrate. So will racism as it is now practiced continue after 2034? Of course, but if we otherwise survive the current and interim exterior and interior threats to our democracy I think such racial views will necessarily fade as the race tans out, a date few if any readers of this blog will be around to note.

  13. JD. Any large group will be diverse so you could probably find a few people in law enforcement and the military to claim the Earth is flat. I am confident that the vast majority of police and military personnel will be on the side of the rule of law. I’m basing that partly on what I saw on January 6 but also on the people I know. Is anything certain? No, but knuckling under to intimidation produces really bad results.

  14. Sheila didn’t mention the endless and disgusting campaign commercials with the dog whistles for all the republican candidates in Indiana. They all are apparently as disgusted with their opponents as much as everyone else is with the entire cast of candidates. They all seem to be running on protecting the border and gun ownership and pointing out what a colossal failure the republican controlled legislature and administration has been for the past 20 years. Why would anyone waste a vote on any of them?

  15. The constant regurgitant bombardment of these truly terrible political ads has to make people wonder where is all this money coming from? Even if there was true transparency I am sure it would make little difference as these creeps all say they bow to Trump and are big supporters of law enforcement yet apparently it is not the same law enforcement that was pepper sprayed and violently attacked by Trumps minions in DC on January 6. That apparently is water over the dam, at least until he can get his “hostages” released.

    God help us if the Orange one gets his hands on the nuclear codes with these sycophantic followers backing him through gerrymandered red states, congress and worst of all his handpicked supremely corrupt court.

  16. I do believe that if tfg gets jailed he will proclaim that he is following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, a blasphemy if I ever saw one! But, his acolytes would eat it up.
    Yes, the MAGA crowd has nothing to show for itself except bigotry, hatred and fear, and too many people are susceptible to this BS.

  17. The best thing I can say about Charlie Kirk is that he is as dumb as a rock that’s been repeatedly hit about the head by another bigger rock. Also, happily, the places where he has applied his support recently (as he’s supposed to be in touch with the youth vote) have ended in embarrassing shambles.

    On Moreno, it’s odd to me that he complained about political correctness. Hasn’t he seen the memo? He’s supposed to use “woke” now. Rookie mistake.

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