Liberals have overused the word “racist” so much that the adjective now lacks any commonly agreed upon definition, and that’s a shame because we need words — especially that word — to mean something.
Conservatives have now done the same thing with the phrase “fake news.”
And we need to stop.
Are there racists? Of course, and where they are found, the label should indeed apply. The Alt-Right’s Richard Spencer is a racist. So is Jared Taylor.
But you’re not a racist if you believe our country should have borders. Or if you support law enforcement. Or if you believe in school choice.
Calling you a racist for supporting those things is the left’s attempt at shutting off debate and banishing those who advocate for such ideas.
Is there fake news? Of course, and just like the word “racist,” when it’s found, the label should apply. Dan Rather’s infamous story about George W. Bush’s record in the Air National Guard is a perfect example. It wasn’t true.
But news isn’t fake if it’s simply something you don’t like or would rather not hear. Or if it challenges your perspectives. Or if it, heaven forbid, says something unflattering about the president.
A racist is someone who actually hates people of another color and wishes them ill. Most people called ‘racist’ today are nothing of the sort.
Fake news means the story is a total fabrication. A lie. Complete fiction. Most stories called ‘fake news’ are also nothing of the sort.
In both cases, people making the charge simply want to delegitimize their opponent’s argument rather than make the mental and emotional effort to challenge their ideas.
The casualty of such total weakness is not just words, but thought itself.
As our fellow Alabamian Helen Keller wrote in her memoir, she wasn’t able to really think until words entered her mind that day at the water pump.
Words opened Helen Keller’s mind.
Don’t allow words to close yours.