|If you cross me this is what will become of your reputation|
Okay, fine, he stole my girlfriend, but it doesn't matter I'm being totally objective. This guy is a racist and you should hate him.
Each of these examples taken individually can be interpreted as racist or not racist. Everybody knows that you don't have to be racist to vote for Donald Trump. Being "noticeably uncomfortable" next to black people is an interpretation that may have more to do with me than him. And maybe he didn't like Black Panther because of it's godawful SGI fight at the end.
But when you build a reputation out of a pattern of examples, each individual example goes from probably not racist to probably a dog whistle. As the list grows longer, the benefit of the doubt lowers for each subsequent example. If you already have a backdrop of alleged racism in mind, even the most innocuous innocent act can be perceived as racist.
This doesn't seem so bad if you think you can only find patterns of racism in racists, but humans are prone to see patterns in randomness, especially when they want to. Life is so big that you can invent a pattern of dog whistles, especially if you have access to someone's long history through social media or life in the public eye. If you're always sniffing for racism so you can earn credit for calling someone out or you strongly dislike someone for their politics, it's easy to corrupt their reputation by uncovering a pattern of dog whistles. Once they're in the grinder, they can't escape. Their reputation is baked into the cycle, and all they can do is make excuses for their sin or repent.
This post is about the Self-Reinforcing Dog Whistle Machine, the cyclical phenomenon of using dog-whistles to undermine one's reputation, and using reputation to prove the dog whistles. For more posts like this see: