People trying to argue “context” for these Bloomberg remarks don’t seem to notice that even in-context they are pretty problematic. For one thing, no: he isn’t “quoting someone else”. He starts to quote a hypothetical person in “the middle of the country”—itself a well-defined dog whistle—but then switches the structure of his remark to an observation. In that observation, he refers to transgender people disparagingly, and even if he still means to be using “someone else’s” derogatory language, he does not actually offer an aside that the language is derogatory or inappropriate. This, too, is a dog-whistly attempt not to alienate people who don’t find the language derogatory but simply (and incorrectly) factual. What’s more, he then makes the argument that “most people” just care about things like health care, education, and safety. Again, this construction of “most people” is the same dog-whistle as “real Americans”. These “social issues” like transgender equality, he says, have “little relevance to people who are trying to live in a world that’s changing because of technology”—as if transgender people aren’t in fact included among people trying to live in a world that’s changing because of technology. This is the context which supposedly saves these remarks?

Join the Conversation?

Hello. My name is Bix. @bix