The Hats Didn't Do It, Maybe Sneakers Will!

The Hats Didn't Do It, Maybe Sneakers Will!
Photo by Natilyn Photography / Unsplash

Did you hear the news? Scores of Black voters will soon be jumping ship to vote for Donald Trump!

Why? Well, because of the sneakers he's selling, of course! At least that's what Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo seems to think is going to happen. Y'know, they're going to be such a hit in the 'inner cities'. (Hint: That's a dog whistle! More on that later.)

Yes, in the year of the gods 2023 -and in Black History Month no less- we've been treated to just about the most casually racist comment I've heard on television in years.

With 'Black support eroding for Joe Biden, this (the sneakers) is connecting with Black America - because they love sneakers,' Arroyo said.
'They're into sneakers. This is a big deal, certainly in the inner city,' he continued, adding that Trump, he believes, is reaching the Black community 'on a level that defies and is above politics.'
Fox commentator claims Trump’s sneakers will help win black vote
Fox commentator Raymond Arroyo ruffled feathers over the weekend when he suggested Trump’s new sneaker line is being used to court the black community.

To make the claim that Black voters are going to be brought across the aisle because Trump is selling sneakers is ridiculous on its face, over and above the simple racism of the comment.

After all of the events of Trump's first term in office, the protests against police brutality, the violent response from the police, Trump's own orders and his stunt at Lafayette Square in Washington D.C- on top of all of the general reasons that the average person has for not wanting to see him in office again!

If you don't know about Lafayette Square and what happened there, no worries. I'll pass you along to an American lawyer who has a few things to say about the disgraceful actions of the former President:

If you don't follow LegalEagle already, you should. American citizens ought to be appraised of your rights and how your legal system works.

So, after all of that and all of Trump's other gaffes during his time in office, this Arroyo guy really thinks an ugly set of gold-painted sneakers are going to be enough? That's going to successfully drive support for a racist wannabe dictator-in-chief?

Stereotypes and dog whistles like this aren't a new thing from Fox News, but there are times when I'm still caught off guard by the level of bullshit that they spew out into the world.

They will minimize and excuse anything, any level of depravity and any level of hatred, so long as it gets them what they want.

They are nothing more than a far-right propaganda platform that sheds no tears for the suffering of the average person- so long as they can make a buck off of it.

I shouldn't be shocked to hear things like this from them, and I'm not. I'm just really, really tired.

But there's a reason I'm writing about Fox News and racist dog whistles today.

I'm finally at a point in this project where I feel solid enough that I can talk about it, so here it goes: I'm writing an e-book.

It's not quite finished yet, but I should be done with the first draft of this sucker by the end of the week if all goes well. After that, I've still got a lot of revision and polishing up to do before I put this thing up for sale. Bear with me while I do my thing!

The World-Weary Guide to Dog Whistles will be available on, and it will be up on my Gumroad just as soon as it's ready for release.

As the title implies, it's going to be a handy dandy reference guide for common dog whistles, slogans and symbols of hatred that you might see and hear in modern-day political discourse.

If you wondered what 'inner city' meant in the opening of this email, the guide has you covered.

It's not going to hold every single dog whistle that's ever existed; I don't have that kind of time and energy, and it would be roughly six thousand pages long if I tried. But I am trying to hit on the more popular and common ones that I can find.

Dog whistles like Fox News hosts use allow bigoted people to hide behind innocuous statements like a smokescreen. And to be clear, it isn't just Fox News that uses coded euphemisms to hide their hate in plain sight!

I'm including whistles from multiple subgroups around the political spectrum: everything from Incels to the 'Gender Critical' movement, white nationalists and bigoted religious groups.

I'm even adding in a small section for slogans and terminology used on the left-wing side of the aisle- and I explain why dog whistles are virtually only used by the far-right nowadays.

I'm putting a lot of effort into this thing to try and make it as clear and useful as I possibly can, both to people who write on the subject and to those who just want to be able to analyze problematic sources more easily.

My hope is that the guide will provide my readers with a one-stop-shop reference for learning to recognize dog whistles and read between the lines of what is truly being said.

I'm probably still a couple months away from releasing this bad boy, and I'll be sure to keep giving updates as time goes on.

The more light we can throw on these sneaky little rhetorical tricks, the more we can expose the people who use them for who they are.

Solidarity wins.