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'Concealing her Bigotry' 


I'm pleased to see that Thadeus Greenson understands the concept of a dog whistle and how the white supremacists and other right wing movements use those tactics as an insidious recruitment tool ("Dog Whistles and Racists Among Us," July 18). However, when I reached his final paragraph of that article, I was disappointed that he failed to identify the insidious dog whistles being blown in our own left wing.

Representative Ilhan Omar is different from the other three recently elected women of color who were lumped together in that editorial. Others, like Ocasio-Cortez, champion human rights by decrying the concentration camps used to torture refugees from across our southern border. In contrast, Omar supports and is supported by Louis Farrakhan, who publicly idolizes Hitler and dehumanizes Jews in much the same ways that white supremacists do. When Thadeus defends Omar's "criticizing Israel," as he called it in his gross understatement, thereby concealing her bigotry, he is helping her to blow one of the oldest dog whistles in history, anti Semitism.

So how does one detect the difference between legitimate criticism and anti Semitism in journalism and in political rhetoric? Start with "the three D's:" double standards, demonization and delegitimization. We on the left have become numb to and accepting of these three D's in our own journalism, as anyone who has heard "Democracy Now" regurgitating Palestinian propaganda can attest. The dog whistles on our side of the aisle have become so pervasive that even American Jews are succumbing to its shrill without questioning its source because we don't want to distance ourselves from the progressive political movements we often lead. This is the worst kind of dog whistle because it provides a fig leaf for closet anti Semites who practice their bigotry with impunity under the guise of "progressive values," and causes internalized anti Semitism among progressive Jews so that we become our own worst enemies. 

— Sabra Schwartzburd, Arcata

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