Avery Anapol, The Hill, August 29, 2018
Dictionary.com on Wednesday categorized as a “blatant” dog whistle comments from Florida GOP governor candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis, following his primary victory the night before.
DeSantis has come under fire after warning voters not to “monkey this up” by electing progressive Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor who would be the state’s first black governor.
“When the words ‘monkey this up’ are used to refer to electing a man of color, that would be a blatant…,” the Dictionary.com Twitter account wrote, linking to the definition of “dog whistle.”
The Dictionary.com definition of the phrase is: “A political strategy, statement, slogan, etc., that conveys a controversial, secondary message understood only by those who support the message.”
Democrats were quick to condemn the comments from DeSantis, who seeks to succeed the term-limited Gov. Rick Scott (R).
DeSantis’s campaign has defended the comments, calling it “absurd” to characterize them as racist.
“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd,” his communications director Stephen Lawson said in a statement to The Hill.