What is this?

Dog Whistle Dictionary is a phrase that gets less exciting after each word, like ‘Gift Bag Request’ or ‘Free Crab Bisque.’

A dog whistle produces a sound that’s audible to dogs and not to humans. But why a dictionary? Well, it’s simple…and depressing.

A “dog whistle” has come to mean words that some people can ‘hear’. Their secret meaning helps dickheads spread hate through coded language.Thanks to social media, dog whistles have exploded in popularity. Some are new, but the ideas they promote are literally millenia old. What’s changed is how far they spread without being “heard.” Because, if they were heard, they’d likely be rejected and condemned in what historians and scholars call "being ratioed."

Andrew Anglin, incel king and founder of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer, says that “most people are not comfortable with material that comes across as vitriolic, raging, non-ironic hatred.” That’s why the reader of dog whistles “is slowly awakened to reality by continually repeatedly reading the same points.” 

We hope that Dog Whistle Dictionary helps you ‘hear’ those antisemitic undertones before they seep into your subconsciousness or however it works (we’re not psychologists, but we did skim a Malcolm Gladwell book once. Does that count?).

(Note: We’re starting with antisemitism, but there’s no shortage of dog whistles for other marginalized groups. In the future, we’ll be expanding to those too.)

Who we are?

We are people who thought antisemitism was relegated to a small corner of the Internet. We were very, very wrong and now we're very, very scared! AH! HELP!

We’re also designers, researchers, writers, comedians, activists, and concerned individuals. Also one pitbull mix named Tito. He helps too.

Dog Whistle Dictionary is a project of New Approaches, a creative incubator focused on building bridges and combating online hate.

Why are you doing this? 

Call us crazy, but we think that hate is a bad thing. Conspiracy theories? Also bad things. And conspiracy theories that disenfranchise marginalized groups based on their culture, religion, and traditions? Maybe the worst thing? One of the worst? Overall, a bad thing.

As everyone knows, social media incentivizes careful fact-checking shitposting. This includes hate, even if unintentional. That’s why we created Dog Whistle Dictionary: To break down the coded language of conspiracy theories while illuminating their singular, unoriginal, connective tissue. Because at the very core of antisemitism is a fear: That Jews, if they somehow became the dominant class, would treat everyone else the way they’ve historically been treated (marginalized, abused, enslaved, murdered). Which isn’t so different from the fears that guide bigotry against other marginalized groups. And that, also, is a bad thing. Wow, we are good writers.