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'Racist' And Other Labels No Longer Mean What They Used To

Which means there's no shame, even for bigots, when human label-bots drop pejoratives like pinatas and candy

Two fingers in the dark pointing at each other
"I'm a Nazi, you're a Nazi, he's a Nazi, she's a Nazi, wouldn't you like to be a Nazi too?" CC0 Public domain image by George Hodan

The snippet alleged ‘dog whistle racism’ in the post…I couldn’t see the rest. NextDoor’s email notifications only include maybe 7-8 words to pique one’s interest. But when I clicked on View comment, it ‘couldn’t load’.

Pretty sure it was my post someone had responded to.

I made a good-faith effort to find it, but the whole post and thread had disappeared. I could load no part of it, so I suspect either the original poster had deleted theirs, or maybe someone complained, and NextDoor ended it.

What I’d done is respond, unemotionally, to the OP who'd lamented the end of affirmative action in the U.S. I stated some arguments in favor of the decision by paraphrasing earlier discussions by American black intellectuals I’ve been reading this year, specifically Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele, both of whom make a case (decades ago!) for how affirmative action policies perpetuate the racist notion that blacks aren’t good enough to get into prestigious schools on their own merits, that some may not be psychologically and behaviourally prepared to get into an Ivy League school with a very good SAT score, when their Asian and white counterparts have to score much higher to be considered.

And also, that affirmative action never helped poor black people.

I was straightforward and honest. Perhaps what may have gotten up people’s nose is that I said blacks might have to work a little harder - not because of racism but to get the same high SAT scores expected of others.

I relayed uncomfortable observations from these two authors - one of whom noted that “Asian Americans who benefited from the end of racially discriminatory policies are now criticized for being 'white supremacist' [i.e., 'acting white' - brackets mine] rather than lauded for being the grand academic and economic successes they are.”

Although I can’t be certain, I’d bet the ‘dog whistle racism’ comment was meant for me. After all, white people aren’t supposed to challenge marginalized groups. Not even when they quote smart black people.

It didn’t bother me. Had I been able to respond, it would have begun, “Stop it already with the dog-whistle racism. I’m not racist just because you don’t agree with me.”

It didn’t bother me that perhaps, for a few hours, I was publicly labeled a racist. The label doesn’t mean much anymore. Neither do any of the other pejorative labels the left and right hurl at each other. Nazi, homophobe, transphobe, misogynist, misandrist, hater, fascist, woke, TERF, troon, blackface, womanface. They all mean only one thing: “I disagree.”

Them’s not fightin’ words

I don’t understand why some get so easily triggered, still, when someone pastes an irrelevant label on them. I know I’m not a racist, so if someone called me a racist because I summarized what two black intellectuals said decades ago and added I agree, and hey, isn’t it weird how Asian-Americans who succeed are now accused of being ‘white supremacist’, so what? People with brains who aren’t prone to ideological extremism can see the accuser for what they are.

Especially if they’re a coward hiding behind an anonymous profile, with a gray head for a profile photo, and a careless-sounding name like empene19404636, the hallmark of someone whose account gets shut down fast, a lot.

The sad fact is racism and white supremacy are real, words for very serious political and social cancers, that used to carry a lot of punch, but now land with the power of a baby’s fist.

‘White supremacy’ is a once-powerful epithet that should only have ever been applied to genuine white supremacists, rather than everyone who doesn’t agree with the Critical Race Theory narrative.

When antiracists defined it more broadly, and claimed it was ‘baked into’ everything, they unintentionally normalized it. Since it’s everywhere, but we don’t see it, how bad can it be, right?

Real racists are the KKK or the Nation of Islam. Both believe their respective races are superior to another and will not allow that ‘inferior’ race to join. One is more violent than the other, and I won’t say neither is better than the other (although I can say a few good things about the Nation) but they’re both racial supremacists.

On the feminist front, rape, as Matt Damon pointed out quite rightly, is very different from a butt grab but Minnie Driver and Alyssa Milano #MeToo’d him right off Twitter by sparking a flame war because they didn’t know the difference.

And of course ‘TERF’ means ‘feminist’ since there’s nothing the slightest bit radical about pointing out simple biology: You can’t change your sex, and women need to be protected from certain male bodies and psyches. ‘TERF’ is just a silly word that never meant anything substantial anyway; invented by men to marginalize feminists who stand up to them and continue to tell them, ‘No’.

Attack of the Nazi-bots

I got added to another ‘Nazi sympathizer’ list the other day on Twitter. It was compiled by what looked like some young (of course) guy. So I blocked him. I have no patience with these people. Oh yeah, that sure showed me.

There’s a whole army of human Nazi-bots on Twitter who toss the word at others like apes flinging their feces. Don’t like someone? Call them a Nazi, or just throw your poo.

Most of these little social justice sparkies wouldn’t know a real Nazi if one goose-stepped into their living room and Jahwohl-ed them while they watched Queer Eye. And I’m quite certain they’d never fight actual Nazis, they’d quiver in their closets like frightened kittens.

‘Nazi’ used to mean real-world Nazis.

First photo: Screaming Nazis at the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally. Second photo: Men carrying Confederate flags and a swastika flag
Anthony Crider; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:37, 9 April 2018 (UTC) - Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally (Wikipedia)

Nazism, and genuine white supremacy, are as serious as a nuclear war. Both are dangerously close to achieving real power as so many have in governments around the world. Genuine Nazis and racial supremacists (they’re not always white, depending on the country) are never good for those who aren’t born with the Chosen Ones’ skin color.

Careless use robs critically important words of their power. Now there’s no shame in being called a Nazi because everyone can write them off as just another hysterical ‘woke’.

Or an idiot MAGA, since Nazi Tourette’s Syndrome isn’t just an ailment of the left. Politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene compare face masks to WWII Jewish stars, and for decades anti-abortion activists have compared the practice to the Holocaust. In fact, many people lose the argument the moment they open their mouths - or set fingertips to keyboard - if one invokes Godwin’s Law that the first person to compare their opponent to Hitler or the Nazis loses the argument.

“You know, Nazis were the National Socialist Party,” Greene said. “Just like the Democrats are now a National Socialist Party.”

Nazis to the left of me, Nazis to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with Jews!

Even if one is anti-Semitic, that doesn’t make them a Nazi. Historical footnote: Anti-Semitism long predates Hitler’s Reich.

I doubt the Charlottesville Nazis - real Nazis, carting the schwag and the swastika that defines those who clearly hew to Nazi values - give a rat’s patoot what people call them.

It’s okay now. It’s been normalized. It’s a joint effort by the left and right to make Nazism okay again.

Special kudos to the post-modernist left’s efforts to erase word meanings: Not only do we not know what a real man or woman is, we also can’t tell a fake Nazi from a real one.

Or Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Do the work

Impugning ugly motives to one’s opponents isn’t just a way to ignore genuine grievances; it can also be used to avoid uncomfortable self-examination if one belongs to a marginalized group.

Let’s return to ‘dog whistle racism’, which often crops up in marginalized groups’ speech who’d rather not self-examine too deeply.

The point I’d made on NextDoor was that not everyone believed affirmative action was a good idea, or was perhaps a good idea past its expiry date, and now held many back, and that I was hardly alone in noting American blacks may need to develop themselves more. Some black students got into good schools on their own merits because they did score highly, thanks to immigrant parents who didn’t schlep the entire family to the Promised Land in the U.S. so their kids could wear their jeans around their hips, spout shit about cops and pretend that black authenticity is dying young and profoundly ignorant in a street gang shootout.

Maybe black parents could push their kids harder, like middle-class and upper-class white parents do.

This is an opinion shared by many on the left, not just the right. And not just white liberals, either.

Personal responsibility. It’s a concept despised by those who prefer victimhood to power.

I reminded NextDoor how women, like blacks, were once considered ineducable, and how we hyperventilated decades ago about the lower numbers of women completing college and whether they could compete with men and now—we’re graduating in higher numbers than men.

If the chickie-boo girlies can do it, so can American blacks. Not all lefties subscribe to the soft bigotry of low expectations, nor do all black antiracists.

So I smiled when I saw ‘dog whistle racism’, because I might have struck a nerve.

There’s nothing unthinkable about what I, Sowell, Steele, and many others of all colors, and partisanship, have said already. Black Americans need to compete on their own merits, just as women have had to do.

It’s hardly racist to suggest they can do the work. It’s not implying the old stereotype they’re ‘lazy’; I see the same fear holding them back that hold back many women. The other day I was in a Zoom brainstorming session with a friend who’s trying to establish her European-based business in Canada helping companies train the right women to be leaders; she shared with us how women resist leadership training because of Imposter Syndrome; fear that they can’t compete with men; and that no one would listen to them. She said male managers have shared their frustration with her that good, strong, female candidates reject the idea because they themselves don’t believe they’re ‘leadership material’ regardless of what anyone else thinks.

That’s one big freakin’ honkin’ reason why we don’t see more female leaders, but you’ll never hear that from the victimhood feminist brigade.

And similarly, some black Americans are unwilling to relinquish the training wheels the Supreme Court just removed.

Pejorative labels applied to those whose speech one doesn’t like, because it threatens one’s self-worth, or highlights internalized feelings of inferiority and group Imposter Syndrome, are a psychic Bandaid. They make you feel better but you’re still as sick as you always were.

Or self-defeating.

Add ‘dog whistle racism’ to the lexicon of words that no longer mean anything anymore.

Yay, teams MAGA and woke. No one any longer knows what an actual racist or Nazi looks like.

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a post!

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