Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Why Should We Stand Firm Against the Grammar Police?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which lists five different freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition the government. Tonight, I will discuss the second freedom: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech….”

            The American Left has been changing the meaning of words for many years. The first meaning that I remember being changed is for the word gay. Once upon a time many years ago, this word meant lighthearted and carefree, but today most people recognize that it refers to homosexuals, usually males. Leftists took a perfectly good word and changed its meaning.

            I next became aware of the leftists changing of words was when I learned that I should not use the term illegal aliens, which refers to people who enter our nation illegally. Some years ago, the leftists told us that we should not use that definition because “no one is illegal.” We were told by the grammar police that we should use the term undocumented immigrant. Both definitions refer to the same group of people, but the first classification is a more accurate one. The word alien refers to a person who “belongs to a foreign country or nation.” The word illegal means something that is “forbidden by law.” So, the term illegal alien describes someone from a foreign country or nation who entered our country against the laws of the nation.

            Now the grammar police are after us to change our words again. This time they are not just changing the meaning or telling us to use different words. They are eliminating words and telling us that we cannot use them because they are racist.

            David Harsanyi at The Daily Signal said that “Attempting to dictate what words we use is another way to exert power over how we think.” The laws of the land do not attempt to control our thoughts, but people who desire control over us do not want us to think freely. It seems that permission to use certain words depends on who is saying them.

Harsanyi explained that President Donald Trump used a “deeply racist” word when he described the rioters in Minneapolis as “thugs.”  He reminded us that President Barack Obama used the same term when speaking about the rioters in Baltimore in 2015. Harsanyi explained that the word does not have a racist connotation because it means “violent person, especially a criminal” and does not refer to any race. The word is perfectly good to describe rioters no matter their race. He admits that there are most likely some rioters who are not violent or criminal, but who are merely looters – defined as “people who steal goods during a riot” – another word that is considered to be racist.

The recent assaults on the English language have consisted largely of euphemisms and pseudoscientific gibberish meant to obscure objective truths – “cisgender,” “heteronormativity” and so on. Now, we’re at the stage of the revolution where completely inoffensive and serviceable words are branded problematic.

CNN, for instance, recently pulled together its own list of words and phrases with racist connotations that have helped bolster systemic racism in America.
Unsuspecting citizens, the piece explains, may not even be aware they are engaging in this linguistic bigotry, because most words are “so entrenched that Americans don’t think twice about using them. But some of these terms are directly rooted in the nation’s history with chattel slavery. Others now evoke racist notions about Black people.”

            What are some of the words that unsuspecting bigots might use? Leftists tell us that we should no longer use the word master – as in master bedroom or to describe a golf tournament – or slave because both words are reminders of the institution of slavery – a worldwide problem that continues in some nations today. Other words that we should not use are peanut gallery, eenie meenie miney moe, gyp, and no can do. It seems that peanut gallery – a term claimed to be “directly rooted” in the history of our nation – refers to the “back sections of theaters” where “poor and black Americans were relegated.” This cliché was not used until after the Civil War had been fought and won to free the slaves. Harsanyi explained why master is a good word.

We should feel no guilt using the word ‘master.’ Her performance was masterful. She mastered her instrument. The score was a masterpiece. The composer was a mastermind.

Even CNN concedes that “while it’s unclear whether the term is rooted in American slavery on plantations, it evokes that history.”

It’s not unclear, at all. The etymology of the word “master” is from the Old English and rooted in the Latin “magister,” which means “chief, director, teacher, or boss.” “Master’s” degrees were first given to university teachers in the 14th century in Europe.

Until a few months ago, the “master bedroom” evoked visions of the larger bedrooms, and the Masters Tournament evoked images of golfing legends like Tiger Woods, winner of four titles.

Simply because the Nazis used the word “master” in their pseudoscientific racial theories – not in the 1840s, but in 1940s – doesn’t mean I am offended by the postmaster general. We’re grown-ups here, and we can comprehend context.

Or we used to be.

            I consider myself to be an adult and capable of choosing my own words. I do not care if illegal aliens are embarrassed by this definition. If they do, they can go back to their country of origin and/or do what is necessary to become legal immigrants. I will continue to use the word master        in describing my bedroom or in any other way that I choose. I will use the words thugs and looters to describe people who fit those definitions. I will even continue to use the phrase eenie meenie miney moe at times when I am unsure of a decision. I encourage all my readers to stand tall against the grammar police, or we will lose our freedom of speech.

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