Dana Bash: Talking About America’s Heritage Is a Racist Dog Whistle!

4 mins read


On Wednesday’s CNN Newsroom, Dana Bash expanded the definition of racism to include talking about the nation’s heritage, claiming that phrase to be a well-known dog whistle.

Bash’s comments came in a segment where host John King was discussing a Republican press conference from the last hour in which they laid out their police reform bill entitled the JUSTICE Act. King noted how the tone was different from Trump’s announcement a day earlier of an executive order: “But that’s a very different tone than Tim Scott and the Republican senators who say ‘look, we need strong police forces, but we need police forces that have trust in the community and it’s our job to try to figure out how to bridge that divide.'”

 

 

Bash also noticed a different tone and then made the awful claim about expressing affinity for America being racist: “You didn’t hear Tim Scott or any of the Republicans in that press conference this morning talking about our nation’s heritage which historically has been a dog whistle for racism.”

Not only did she equate “talking about nation’s heritage” with a dog whistle, she accused Trump of blowing that whistle on Tuesday: “And that is the term and the phrase that the president of the United States used in the Rose Garden just yesterday even as he was signing this executive order. Tone matters.”

Trump’s remarks were not exactly racially-tinged: “To go forward we must seek cooperation not confrontation. We must build upon our heritage, not tear it down. And we must cherish the principles of America’s founding as we strive to deliver safe, beautiful, elegant justice and liberty for all.”

Bash added that the Republican bill looked like a typical Republican bill and the Democratic bill could be expected too look like a typical Democratic bill. The question will be whether they can reconcile those differences as they have done, “on so many pieces of legislation, but the will has to be there and even though things are so highly charged right now, I’m not sure that will is there.” 

Here is the relevant transcript:

CNN Newsroom
June 17, 2020
11:10 AM ET

JOHN KING: He’s reading from the prompter there yesterday, but that’s a very different tone than Tim Scott and the Republican senators who say, “look, we need strong police forces, but we need police forces that have trust in the community and it’s our job to try to figure out how to bridge that divide.”

DANA BASH: Yeah. You didn’t hear Tim Scott or any of the Republicans in that press conference this morning talking about our nation’s heritage, which historically has been a dog whistle for racism, and that is the term and the phrase that the President of the United States used in the Rose Garden just yesterday even as he was signing this executive order. Tone matters. But — but I think you raise an important points which is as much as people say that they want to get things done when you kind of peel it back, what the Democrats want is much more in line with their philosophy which is federal mandate and what Republicans want is much more in line with their philosophy which is incentive, but not a mandate, and the question is whether they can find a way to thread that needle. It is doable. It has been done before on so many pieces of legislation, but the will has to be there and even though things are so highly charged right now, I’m not sure that will is there. 



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