LETTER FROM AMERICA: The war on language!

LETTER FROM AMERICA: The war on language!
Former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans AssociationFormer war veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa

Former war veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa

MAJOR newspapers in the United States, such as the New York Times, employ lexicographers; people who study the dictionary (meanings of words) to a tee, even deciding whether the word Negro should be spelt with a capital N.
Like my illustrious Philistine brother, Chris Mutsvangwa, they realised a long time ago that if meanings of words can be twisted towards new ideas, those words have been “weaponised.”
The US has been going through seismic social shifts for a very long time. Progressives realised, long before the conservatives did, that words should be calibrated to separate them from their original meanings.
Former president Barack Obama was a master in “calibrating” (his favourite word) and infusing old words with new meaning.
Conservatives, who generally send their children to religious schools, and held on to dictionary meanings, constantly fell into word traps set for them by progressives.
Progressives have conflated racism, differentiation, and religious hierarchies with discrimination. Thus, the church is accused of maintaining discriminatory practices by adhering to female–male differences.
A teacher who addresses a school assembly as “boys and girls” is accused of “differentiation” and gender assignment. Pupils can decide the gender which best fits them, and the sport which best develops their personalities.
In the new lexicon, sports cannot be “exclusive” of one gender.
A school principal who fails to adapt can find himself before the school board for offences that include “assigning gender roles to students and engaging in exclusivity, girls being limited to basketball.”
Lawrence Summers, treasury secretary in the Bill Clinton administration, saw his dream fulfilled when he returned to Harvard University as president in 2001. During a seminar, he exhorted his audience to give consideration to certain factors which he had confronted in raising his two pre-teen daughters.
In trying to raise his daughters in a non-gender atmosphere, he had come up against a wall from the girls themselves. He kindly suggested, according to The New York Times, “the reasonable theory that innate male-female differences might possibly help explain why so many mathematics, engineering, and hard-science faculties remain so heavily male.”
Summers pointed out to high school reports suggested that boys have many more high mathematics scores than girls.
Reaction was swift. A cultural vigilante, biology professor Nancy Hopkins told a press conference that she was “going to be sick… my heart was pounding and my breath was shallow. I would have blacked out or thrown up.”
The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Atlantic Magazine all agreed that Summers may have been near the truth in his words. But, he should have known that those words were now unacceptable and that it was insensitive for him to say them.
The cultural prosecutors also act as judges. By 2005, Summers found that the issue was still burning. “I looked at the extent of the rancour that emerged…I had personally become a large issue.” He gave this as the reason for leaving Harvard.
James Daramore, an executive with Google, earning a six-figure income, had finally found his niche in the tech world, except for a minor misfortune attributed to him. Asked to contribute to an upcoming in-house pow-wow about gender inequality, he wrote down some thoughts in professorial style with “bullets” (markers).
The stupid man wrote his honest thoughts, oblivious to the reality that certain thoughts are now forbidden, and unaware that greater men than he had been dismissed from their jobs for similar thoughts.
Oh, my God, have mercy on the stupid man. “On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways,” the Neanderthal wrote. “These differences aren’t just socially constructed because they are universal across human nature. They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone.”
The stupidity to which men go never ceases to surprise me. “Women generally have a stronger interest in people rather than in things, relative to me, interpreted as empathizing versus systemizing”, he continued.” A gopher in his office leaked the memo to The New York Times.
Two days later, when news correspondents called, they were told that Daramore had been dismissed; no hearing, no trial, no due procedure, “no nothing”. (sic)
Often blacks are forced into cul-de-sac philosophical situations. Charles Barkley played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association and made a fortune. A news reporter confronted him about statues.
“Does it mean you support slavery?” a stupid white man asked. “Look here,” the brother said, “I am 54-years-old. I have never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people to be honest, they ain’t (sic) thought a day in their life about those stupid statues. What we black people need to do; we need to worry about getting our education, we need to stop killing each other, we need to try to find a way to have more economic opportunity and things like that. I am wasting my time and energy screaming at neo-Nazi.”
To blacks “marriage equality” reminds them of Richard Loving (1965) a white man who received a one-year suspended jail term for marrying Mildred, a black woman. To progressives, the phrase means legalising same sex marriages.
A solid one third (63 million votes) find this new world of ideas baffling and out of tune with their values. The elites refer to them as Trumpkins (brainless) followers of Donald Trump.

  • kwv

    Ah yes, in America I have noticed that many words have different meaning than in the rest of the English speaking world. One that annoys me is Conservative. The actual meaning is resistant to change, slightly old fashioned or in clothing dull colours. When Americans say Conservative the rest of the English speaking world generally understands as Bigot.

    By having different meanings for the same words its no wonder there is a great deal of misunderstanding.

  • Monty

    Comrade Ken. What you are talking about is political correctness. And although I am for it, in some (few) cases it has gone too far. These days, people disseminate every single word in a sentence and reach a conclusion that can shock the originator to such a degree that you may as well resign and save yourself the trouble of ‘splaining ! However, too many generalisations in your writing. Blessings.

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