Socially Engineering Racial Conflict

I said many years ago that I didn’t use the term “African-American” and that I never would. It is part of the Lexicon of the Left, and, as the old book the Tyranny of Words points out, the side that defines the vocabulary of a debate, wins the debate. But what really is the problem with the term in question?

Addressing a large panel of black conservatives on Hannity last night, host Sean Hannity asked whether “African-American” was the correct label for black people. Thankfully, a vast majority of the panelists quite passionately agreed it was not, mainly making the point that we shouldn’t hyphenate ourselves. This is true, but it still doesn’t get at the heart of the matter.

I said many years ago that I didn’t use the term “African-American” and that I never would. It is part of the Lexicon of the Left, and, as the old book the Tyranny of Words points out, the side that defines the vocabulary of a debate, wins the debate. But what really is the problem with the term in question?

Many terms have been used to describe blacks over the years, from Negro to colored, from the innocuous to the pejorative. But they all had one thing in common: they referred only to race. But African-American references a different part of the world. This can only serve to further alienate black folks from America. Is this constructive?

Of course, it’s also silly beyond words. If you want to describe someone’s race, you use a term that references race, not the supposed geographical origin of his remote ancestors. African-American is a term whose literal interpretation tells you nothing at all about race. Not all Africans are black. North Africans are Arabs (who technically are Caucasian), and at one time the region was occupied by the Germanic Vandals, who seized it from the Roman Empire. And, of course, whites have now lived in sub-Saharan Africa for hundreds of years and Indians have occupied the region since the 19th century.

Speaking of which, no one feels compelled to refer to those white Africans as “European-Africans,” and, though the term does exist, nobody takes pains to label me a “European-American.” We’re just white. Likewise, “black” had been a preferred descriptive for blacks for a very long time; note that “Negro” is from the Spanish or Portuguese word negro, which means “black.” And it’s clear to me that “African-American” was adopted for social-engineering purposes.

Nonetheless, conservatives will dutifully use “African-American” along with the rest of the Lexicon of the Left. Some will say here that I have an obligation to call people what they wish, but, actually….

No, I don’t.

If, for instance, someone wants to be called “God,” it’s not incumbent upon me to descend into sacrilege. Other appellative desires are destructive or just plain stupid. And I’m under no obligation to be party to folly.

Conservatives need to stop conserving liberals’ decades-old social victories, and this includes those in the linguistic realm. Would you take your lead from neo-Marxist college professors and Lamestream-media lunkheads? Well, who do you think originates these language innovations?

The invisible hand of Gramsci is everywhere — purge it from your mind, from your heart, and from your lips.                

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1 comment to Socially Engineering Racial Conflict

  • sedonaman

    “Would you take your lead from neo-Marxist college professors and Lamestream-media lunkheads? Well, who do you think originates these language innovations?”

    Right, but no one wants to appear unenlightened, so the influence of professors and lunkheads is hard to resist.

    How do words and phrases get started? Remember when “going down” meant moving from a high place to a lower place? Now it means “happening”. How did it get started? Someone had to be the first to use it in the new way.

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