From every Internet niche comes a native shorthand, so we should not be surprised that includes putrescent swampy niches from the putrescent swamps of Twitter. New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman shared his war story in the paper:
The first tweet arrived as cryptic code, a signal to the army of the “alt-right” that I barely knew existed: “Hello ((Weisman)).” @CyberTrump was responding to my recent tweet of an essay by Robert Kagan on the emergence of fascism in the United States.
“Care to explain?” I answered, intuiting that my last name in brackets denoted my Jewish faith.
“What, ho, the vaunted Ashkenazi intelligence, hahaha!” CyberTrump came back. “It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.”
Truly though ((those brackets)) are not ultrasonically subtle enough to qualify as a dog whistle and not heroic enough to conjure Aesop’s image of belling the cat. Let’s call the construction the Jewish cowbell. The cowbell is a series of parentheses, anywhere from one to three, around the name of a Jewish person, to signal Jewishness. It proliferates in the dank margins of online conservative discourse, where anti-Semitism glows like a weird mold; tweets exhort Jews to follow trails of dollar bills into ovens and warn readers, via photographs of goose-stepping Nazis, not to “piss off the white boys.”