Sunday, November 27, 2016

Enemies of Language

by Victor Davis Hanson

What would happen if conservatives started to change the words we use for political ends? Throughout history, revolutionaries of all stripes have warped the meaning of words to subvert reality. And now here we go again, with another effort — spearheaded by the media and universities — to use any linguistic means necessary to achieve political ends. “Sanctuary city” is a euphemism for the local and state nullification of federal law — a subversive tactic that dates back to the nullification crises during the Andrew Jackson administration and, later, in the years leading up to the Civil War.........

Campus “safe space” is another vocabulary distortion. Such places are often set-aside spots that actually discriminate on the basis of race or gender......college “theme houses” often admit residents on the basis of segregation by ethnicity or race........

“Microaggression” is certainly not aggression as usually defined. Instead, the term seeks to stifle free expression on the principle that one can still be dubbed a racist or sexist by saying something that normally would not offend anyone — at least not without arcane academic inventions of bias.....

“Trigger warning”..... this one-sided term only applies to material — from Roman elegiac poetry to the works of Mark Twain — deemed potentially hurtful or unfair by 21st century progressive standards of race, class, and gender. No one on campus is given a trigger warning before reading the left-wing manifestos of Eldridge Cleaver or Malcolm X, despite their calls for violence.........Read more

 

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