It’s time we take back our language. We need to be able to call a spade a spade, and we need to be able to utilize language freely in order to create and explain. I believe that the co-opting and changing of our language by the left has led to the inability to adequately converse and describe our experiences with one another, as well as the lack of creativity and wit we see from people who are supposed to be comedians (looking at you late night show hosts, though Jimmy Fallon looks like he’s tired of all the PC bull at times). It has left us (well, those that give in anyway) with inadequate ways to describe our point of view or our world. We should just use the word we want to use, we should use the word that best fits the situation, we still have free speech in this country after all.
Fortunately, we are starting to see this in action. A NY Post article from March 27th tells of a college professor who won a court case against his school that had mandated the use of preferred pronouns for transgender students. The court of appeals upheld the professor’s right to free speech and right to exercise his religion freely with a unanimous decision in his favor, saying that the college had violated both of those rights with its mandate, and subsequent punishment of this professor for refusing the mandate. Then there’s this Federalist article by Maureen Mullarkey who referred to Rachel Levine as a “he” throughout the piece. Absolutely fantastic! Call it as you see it. The left wants to play games with the language, fine, let’s refuse to give in, and work to take back the ground we’ve lost. Speak how you’ve always spoken.
We have to refuse to let the democrats and the left continue to put us in ethnic buckets with their continuous divisive rhetoric and language games. We are all Americans, end of story. There is no German-American, African-American, Irish-American, or Asian-American. You are one or the other, you are either German, or you are American, and being a citizen of the United States means you are an American. All language that continues to bucketize us into various racial groups must be rejected and we must refuse to use it. We just refer to ourselves as Americans, plain and simple. The vast majority of us were born in the United States, and while almost all have lineage going back to other countries, the vast majority of Americans are many generations removed from “the old country”. There are few to no ties back to the country/countries of origin. Continuing to go along with the identity politics games, and allowing the language that comes with it to continue to flow freely only serves to allow politicians to continue to divide the people and solidify their grip on power. The moment we stop using the politician’s language, the moment we stop allowing words to impact our worldview and shape our identity, and the moment we put the rhetoric aside and identify solely as Americans, is the day we send the democrats back to the drawing board for a new marketing campaign. The hyphenated identifiers are only a trick used to divide us, to make us seem like we are radically different from one another. The elected officials, particularly those on the left, use language as a weapon and its time we stood up against it.
We have to stop allowing the redefinition of words. The latest case is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez trying to redefine surge and insurgency as it relates to the border crisis (poorly I might add, as is the case any time she attempts to fire up the ol’ brain). She says by using surge, we are trying to invoke a militaristic frame of reference around the mass of humanity who has flooded our border and overwhelmed our border protection agency. AOC says these people, specifically the kids, are not insurgents. But that is exactly what they are. The use of the word insurgent is not mutually exclusive to a militaristic characterization of something. One of the definitions of insurgent is “surging or rushing in”, which is exactly what is happening at our border. We have had a rush of people, an overwhelming amount of people showing up at our border. It most definitely is a surging of illegal immigrants if you look at the numbers. January and February of 2020 saw roughly 36,600 enforcement encounters with Customs and Border Patrol agents in each month. January and February of this year those encounters have spiked to 78,400 encounters in January and 100,400 encounters in February, doubling and almost tripling the encounters from the prior year in those months. For the fiscal year of 2020, the monthly average of encounters was roughly 38,000 per month, so far for fiscal year 2021, those encounters have more than doubled to 79,000 on average per month. This is the very definition of a surge or an insurgency. Our country is being over-run at our southern border. Let’s describe it as it is, it’s a surge.
Another one of the word games being played right now is using equality and equity as interchangeable ideas and terms. They are not, and we must not allow for it to continue. Equality defined is “the state or quality of being equal”. Equity can be defined a few ways, the one most applicable to our conversation here is “something that is fair and just”. Equality is something we all have as a right ensured to us by the Constitution. We have equal opportunity to pursue any path we choose, but what we aren’t guaranteed is an equal outcome. The outcome is sometimes determined by what we are willing to put into that opportunity in order to achieve our desired result, and is sometimes determined by the happenstance of a particular situation. Two people start roughly identical businesses, one succeeds and one fails. Did both individuals have the same opportunity to start a business? Yes, they did. But there’s no guarantee of equal outcomes, and that happens for a variety of reasons, market conditions, lack of effort, competition, etc. Do all kids have equal opportunity to succeed in school and go on to college if they wish? Yes, all start out with the same opportunity in front of them, but again there are a host of factors that contribute to the unequal outcomes. Life isn’t fair, equal effort isn’t always going to equal outcome.
To achieve the “equity” that democrats are peddling means that something will be taken from Person A and given to Person B with no exchange of anything of value, i.e. work in exchange for a wage. That seems neither fair nor just. Now, if I take something from you and give it to someone else, we would call that stealing, even if I am giving it away and not keeping it for myself. Somehow, the government doing it is supposed to make it better and we are supposed to just accept it in the name of “equity”. It’s still stealing, it doesn’t matter if it’s a person or the government doing it. This is not a sustainable model for putting people on equal footing. It does nothing to promote equality. People will grow tired of this Robin Hood economic model and eventually move their assets the government is taking to achieve “equity” somewhere the government can’t touch it, or they will just stop working or expanding their business altogether as they are having to give away the fruits of their labor to someone who didn’t earn it, someone who did not take advantage of the equal opportunity given to them to build their own wealth portfolio. Equality is what we should be promoting, equity should be left to describe investments.
Ludwig Wittgenstein said “the limits of my language means the limits of my world”. This is what is going on with the usurping of our language and the redefining of words. The left is trying to take and limit the words we can use, and they want to make sure words that are left for use are redefined in the way that fits their ideology. They are trying to limit our world to what they have approved as a worldview for everyone, so they redefine words and throw around accusations of “racist” and “xenophobe” if you choose to not comply with their wishes or approved vocabulary list. Also, they throw around the same terms because they have squeezed their accepted terminology down to what seems to be a handful of words, so they do not have the ability to adequately describe a thought or idea with any depth.
Also, because of this shrinking of acceptable use terms, words that used to carry weight and provide some sting when directed at an individual have lost all meaning. Think about the term racist. Does anybody really care about being called a racist anymore? Maybe those on the left gasp and start apologizing profusely when someone calls them a racist, but I don’t, and I think most on the right shrug it off when they are called a racist and go on with life. Really, this is unfortunate that a word such as racist really does not carry any weight anymore once it is uttered. The left has called just about everything and anything racist, and as the old rule goes, if everything is racist, nothing is racist. Another term that has lost all meaning is referring to someone as Hitler. The left had spent five years referring to President Trump as well as anyone who didn’t comply with their ideology as a “Hitler”, causing the comparison to lose all meaning. Truthfully, Hitler should be reserved as a non-use comparison just for the simple fact that his atrocities were so depraved that it does a major disservice to the victims of his regime that had to endure them (and as far as I know, it is still illegal in Germany to name your child Adolf, which tells you all you need to know about how Germans feel about the man). Yet, since the left has taken to calling everyone who goes against their ideology a Hitler, it has had the effect of washing away how awful a human being he actually was. It has diminished the actual horror the people who lived during that time endured under Hitler, as nothing the left has compared to Hitler has even come close to being in the same stratosphere of those atrocities, at least not as it relates to anything that has gone on in the United States.
As I alluded to in the opening, creativity has been killed because of the changing, redefining, and stealing of our language. Comedians, most of whom seems to lean left, no longer have the breadth of language to incorporate into their routines. It has led to declining ratings for the late night shows. Most of those late night shows weren’t funny to begin with since they are either narcissistic schmooze fests or bash fests of conservatives, and you felt your IQ drop 10 points just by watching them. But they would occasionally have a chuckle worthy nugget or two in them. Now they are downright unwatchable. All avenues for creating something funny are being choked out by what the left is deeming acceptable terminology and the threat of the woke mob calling for the cancellation of any show it deems “offensive”. Since the networks and comedians have a leftist slant, they just go along with the collectivist mindset and continue to pump out unoriginal and unfunny material. Comedy used to have a modicum of truth to it, that’s why it was funny. I remember a time when republican and democrat alike would get roasted on these shows. Darrell Hammond had a repertoire of different presidents and vice presidents from both parties he would impersonate on Saturday Night Live. He was spot on in those impressions and the situations had a bit of truth to them, making them funny. Now, comedy is just another propaganda tool, which in turn has left it in a sad state and left us without anything to laugh at.
Non-compliance is the best route at this point. Do not let our language be stolen, do not let words be redefined. We need to be able to call a spade a spade. We need to have the full assortment of words in the language to create and describe. Words need to mean what they have always meant. Keep using terms as you see fit, keep reference to what the actual definitions of words are. Do not let the woke mob redefine words to fit their feelings. It’s the way to fight back against the language thievery. If we are going to have a vibrant and expressive civilization, we need to not have limits placed on our world.
Spot on, and well said. I also refuse to cave into the demands of the woke culture. Call me a racist, or any other type of “phobe” that you want, but it won’t change a thing with the way I express myself.