Language

Speech Is Not Violence

"Claiming that kind of victimhood gives them a sense of belonging, of togetherness."

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Have you noticed how our language is changing?

At a congressional hearing on "Birthing While Black," nearly every politician used the words "birthing people" instead of "women" or "mothers." Asked why, Shalanda Young, President Joe Biden's budget director, said, "Our language needs to be more inclusive."

Activists have also changed "equality" to "equity" and "affirmative action" to "diversity."

The Associated Press no longer uses "mistress." It tells reporters to use "companion, friend, or lover."

Worse, certain speech is now labeled "violence."

Calling a transgender woman a man is "an act of violence," says transgender actress Laverne Cox.

Last week, the American Booksellers Association apologized for promoting a book on gender dysphoria after activists called it "anti-trans." The book is hardly "anti-trans." The Economist and the Times of London called it one of the best books of the year. But the Booksellers Association actually groveled, calling promoting the book "violent."

Tim Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute says it's dangerous to call words violence.

"The only way human beings can deal with one another is through language, discussion, debate," he says in my new video. "If we say that that's violence, then the only way for us to relate to one another is through power."

I push back. "You're white. Why should anybody listen to you about this?"

"Because what I say has, or doesn't have, merit on its own," he replies. "A big problem with the social justice movement is the idea that people's mindset is controlled by their skin color. That may be called 'anti-racism' today, but it's just plain old-fashioned racism."

Linguist John McWhorter, author of the forthcoming book Woke Racism, adds, "It can be really hard for us to talk to each other, because we don't know what the words we're using mean."

"The idea is, wherever there are white and black disparities, we're supposed to call that phenomenon 'racism,'" says McWhorter. "It never fully holds together."

"Latinx" is another new term created by activists.

And yet, says Sandefur, "'Latino' originated as a reaction led by Hispanic people! They chose the word Latino or Latina. And now here's a largely white, middle-class movement of social justice activists telling other people, 'No, no, you can't make distinctions in gender that way.'"

"Largely white?" I ask.

"The social justice movement in general is a largely white, upper-middle-class, college-educated movement," he replies. "You hardly find anybody in the Hispanic community who prefers the term 'Latinx.'"

He's right. Only 4 percent of Hispanics prefer the term.

It's hard to keep up with what's OK and what's forbidden.

Students at the University of Illinois-Chicago recently became upset because law professor Jason Kilborn included the N word, with only the first letter shown, in an exam on employment discrimination. He'd used the same word in exams for 10 years.

But this year, one student said she "had to seek counsel immediately after the exam to calm myself."

McWhorter says those students are lying. Why?

"Claiming that kind of victimhood gives them a sense of belonging, of togetherness, a sense that they're contributing to a struggle that their ancestors dealt with in a more concrete way."

The students demanded the professor be punished. He was. The law school suspended him in the name of "social justice."

"Social justice seeks to redistribute wealth and power between groups to suit what some political authority thinks is the right outcome," says Sandefur.

I push back. "Social justice just means it's time to pay attention to the minorities who never got justice."

"No," he responds. "Social justice [says], 'We're going to reorganize how people live their lives, silence some groups that have been heard more often.'"

It's as if America is moving toward 1984, George Orwell's novel, in which government controls people's thoughts by creating a new language, Newspeak.

The only way to stop it, says McWhorter, is to push back.

"Enlightened America needs to develop a backbone and start getting used to being called racist on Twitter. Just withstand it. Keep their voices out there. Make us understand what true justice is."

COPYRIGHT 2021 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

NEXT: Biden Is Trying to Impose Online Censorship by Proxy

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  1. Well Artie Kirkland has been calling us racist for a while. Despite his being a bigoted pile of human filth and a degenerate but still we abide. Clingers and deplorables.

    1. Reading to Art’s comments he seems to be a lot like Rev. and Senator Warnock, one of those Christians that don’t need Christ. Hard to believe a troll like that would actually be a Christian, let along a preacher. He does remind me a lot of the Pharisees. Look at me God, I am so perfect!

      1. not everyone who self-identifies as a christian IS one. Jesus said you will know what kind of tree you are loooking at by examining its fruit. simple enough, and utterly lgical.UNlike so much of the present madness. Most of these over-estimating babblers need to spend sometime going off sniffing drainpipes and reciting the alphabet.

      2. “Reading to Art’s comments …”

        Pure gibberish. The verb “to read” is TRANSITIVE. One READS ART’S COMMENTS. I don’t read garbage like this comment.

    2. Reading to Art’s comments he seems to be a lot like Rev. and Senator Warnock, one of those Christians that doesn’t need Christ. Hard to believe a troll like that would actually be a Christian, let along a preacher. He does remind me a lot of the Pharisees. Look at me God, I am so perfect! The only people Jesus ever chastised in the Bible.

  2. Speech Is Not Violence, but whining about speed is victim-hood.

  3. That’s how they achieve fascism.

    They can’t make us conform without revolution so they change the meaning of the words we use to what they want.

    1. They make it so the meaning of words is constantly shifting, so no one knows wtf they mean anymore. A commonly understood vocabulary with clear definitions of words means that their arguments can be objectively evaluated and proved wrong and stupid.

      That, and they just make up words and then define and redefine them over and over again.

        1. My kids did similar when they were little. They made up games, harassed the shit out of you till you played their made up game, and then changed the rules constantly so they were always winning. They also cried if someone else won because it “wasn’t fair.”

          Essentially, SJWs are toddlers.

          1. Except it isn’t a game.

          2. My rights are inalienable.

            That means that they can’t be taken or lost in a game.

      1. Yup. they all want to be t\THE quen in Alice’s tale about the rabbit hole. “words mean precisely what I say they mean, nothing more and nothing less”. I am convinced it comes down to Alinsky’s Rules… divide into factions on any basis, set any faction(s) agaisnt any other faction(s), sit back and wait for chaos.. then step up with “the final solution”.
        And, ridicule. The REASON these clowns are winning is tha tWE take them seriously. What would happen if when they try their carp, we’d just throw our heads back and laugh out loud. A nice long loud belly laugh
        As long as sane folk take them seriously they win.

        1. I thought it was Humpty Dumpty who said that, not the queen.

  4. Stossel once encountered a “slapping person.”

  5. “Linguist John McWhorter, author of the forthcoming book Woke Racism, adds, “It can be really hard for us to talk to each other, because we don’t know what the words we’re using mean.’ ”

    Feature, not a bug.

  6. The only people who exemplify ‘speech is violence’ are tourists in a foreign country. If at first they don’t understand, then speak louder.

  7. It’s hard to keep up with what’s OK and what’s forbidden.

    “I don’t like stuff that sucks. I like stuff that’s cool!”

    1. Hmmmm you mean to say you don’t like sickling calves, and you don’t like ice cream? Makes sense to me. go for it, dooooooddd

  8. Democrats Justice; The Power to Steal = Wealth.
    Republican Justice; Value provided for Others = Wealth.

    Social Justice = Endless emotional excuses for *Stealing*.

    1. No where is that more evident than San Francisco.

  9. “Enlightened America needs to develop a backbone and start getting used to being called racist on Twitter. Just withstand it. Keep their voices out there. Make us understand what true justice is.”

    True; as long as the whiny little bitches get away with screeching about being violated over hearing something they don’t like [and schools bowing down because the administrators agree with that] it will work for them. It is exactly like giving in to a misbehaving toddler; it the tantrum works, expect more of the same.

    1. Eh, I stopped caring what names people call me around the time I was being called unpatriotic for not supporting Iraq.

    2. so true.Subsidise anything, you are guaranteed to get more of it. Not all subsidies are money. Approval, agreement, support, are all forms of subsidy.

  10. It is exactly like giving in to a misbehaving toddler; it the tantrum works, expect more of the same.

    Probably not a coincidence that the West’s post-WW2 generations are some of the most spoiled, self-indulgent, and privileged in human history.

    Makes you wonder if the concept of the show Revolution, where all the electricity went bye-bye, wouldn’t actually end up being better for the human race in the long run.

    1. True; people have become so comfortable over the past several decades that they just keep looking for shit to bitch about, and/or blame for their unhappiness.

    2. I’m waiting for the little whiners to hold their breath until they turn blue.
      Should be good entertainment.

  11. Remember the tenants of Post-modernism/Critical Theory: everything is a struggle for power and language is a battlefield.

    The best defense for rational people is to reject their BS. Do not accommodate their anti-enlightenment doctrine and for fucks sake, do not feel guilty.

  12. On the other hand, I have wondered if, for the liberal establishment, the extreme (and anti-liberal) CRT wing provides a handy distraction and even a foil. They can point to the nut jobs and say to middle America, “Look how reasonable our mildly progressive policies are.”

  13. > “The social justice movement in general is a largely white, upper-middle-class, college-educated movement,” he replies. “You hardly find anybody in the Hispanic community who prefers the term ‘Latinx.'”

    This is true. SJM Wokes are nearly all the lily white children of of affluent coastal elites. Look at any anti-racism protest and you’ll need shades to block the glare. Look the people shitting their diapers over “Latino” and they’ll have pastier skin than Bill Clinton. I come from an area with a majority Latino population (because my state used to actually be a part of Mexico), and I know of no Latino who prefers the word “Latinx”. It’s offense to the Spanish language.

    1. I grew up in an upper class family on the east coast and we always referred to them as “the help.”

    2. ” the word “Latinx”. It’s offense to the Spanish language.”

      At least ‘x’ is a letter. The graffiti in Mexico uses the @ symbol for gender inclusivity. Amig@, for example. @ is at home in computer languages. It is an offense to Spanish and all human languages.

        1. I don’t want to meet El Chatpoo.

    3. Lx que digxs amigx

      1. Forget about these x’s. We should just make a new language entirely made up of emojis 🙂

    4. Changes to language based on social justice pressure is a fascinating linguistic phenomenon. Certainly that’s a rare source of pressure in history, maybe unique to our time, and nobody could argue that it’s worse than, say, imperialist absorption.

      As something of a language stickler myself, I’ve had to learn many times over what a futile exercise it is bitching about how other people change language. Things tend to stick if they are sticky. Many ad hoc attempts to change things simply fail.

      The important thing to remember is that this effort has no body count whatsoever, so it isn’t actually anyone’s problem, and, again, being motivated by tolerance is literally the best possible motivation for changing language I can imagine among the alternatives.

  14. Well, at a time where everything is either violence or potential violence, We have to examine how we got here in the first place and how it was allowed to happen.
    My take is that this all came about in Ivy league colleges filled with liberals and Marxists who as the previous commenter described as affluent coastal elites. The same bunch who took control of California decades ago and now have Oregon and Washington turned into liberal hell holes and worse, over run by ANTIFA/ BLM where the cops have been neutered and the rioters allowed to do as they please without repercussion.
    Liberal run cities such as Portland and Chicago have been turned into hell holes with out of control crime including shootings and homicides at record levels, car jackings,and assaults and of course the push to defund the police.
    What did those people expect?
    On the other hand if you say something someone misinterprets as being mean , racist or anti trans…..well, that’s violence.
    The insanity appears to have no limit.

    1. The insanity appears to have no limit as long as it is accommodated and works for the perpetrators.

      Tail wags the dog, film at 11.

  15. life is Calvinball.

    1. A game that’s only fun when you’re in charge of the rules.

  16. “He’s right. Only 4 percent of Hispanics prefer the term.”

    I’ve never seen graffiti in Mexico with the word ‘latinx,’ though gender inclusivity is a concern. The preferred word would be ‘latin@,’ as the @ symbol includes both the a and the o. I’m just reporting what I’ve seen. I don’t mean to give conservatives something new to wring their hands over.

    1. I propose that a large swath of white, middle-to-upper class educated people mind their own business.

      1. Language change is inevitable, as any linguist will tell you. Even in computer languages, as we have Python 2 and Python 3, and I doubt this will be the end of it. We don’t have an academy of language usage as do the French, so language change in English is down to everyone, even Hindi and Japanese speakers who gave us ‘bungalow’ and ‘tsunami,’ respectively. Excluding white, upper to middle class educated people from initiating or popularizing language change is a non-starter.

      2. They are.

        Twitter isn’t real life.

    2. which is crazy because ALL the latin based languages and quite a few others use the masculine term (noun, pronoun) toindicate EITHER all male individuals, or both male an female. The feminine form is always only the female individual(s). Mankind includes male and female, because when God “made man, male and female” that’s how it was said. And gender IS part of every language I know of.

      1. English is a genderless language, though it does have semantic distinctions based on gender in pronouns. Persian is entirely genderless.

        And in French, shirts are feminine while blouses are masculine, so “natural” gender and grammatical gender need not even correlate.

        We all agree that nobody’s actual freedoms should be determined by random grammatical rules.

        1. “And in French, shirts are feminine while blouses are masculine, so “natural” gender and grammatical gender need not even correlate.”

          When I was more naive, I was puzzled by how sun and moon are masculine and feminine in French, respectively, while the opposite is the case for German.

          “We all agree that nobody’s actual freedoms should be determined by random grammatical rules.”

          While not infringing on anyone’s freedom, the practice of having to use the masculine form, if addressing an audience of say 100 women, and only one man, seems to confer upon the man an undeserved recognition merely for his presence and his sex. I can see why it would rankle people.

      2. “And gender IS part of every language I know of.”

        You should familiarize yourself with Chinese. There is one word, ‘ta’ in the first (high) tone, which means she, he or it. The characters can differentiate, however – one character for he, a slightly different character for she and so on, all pronounced the same. Japanese doesn’t have grammatical gender either but each word is associated with one of the four seasons of the year. Any haiku poet has to be careful of using unseasonalbe words out of sync with the theme of the haiku.

  17. Last I heard only a man gets an erection and women do not. Something change?

    1. In women it’s called “engorgement”.

  18. I missed the part where you explained that a legislature had proposed a law telling you which words to use.

    Otherwise it looks like you’re the one bitching about people using language you don’t like.

    Being considered unhip is not a violation of your rights, you silly morons. If you want to be considered cool among activist progressives, and God knows why you would, then go to where they hang out and talk like they do, just as you would do with any other clique you wanted to join.

    I don’t go to Nascar races and complain about the way everyone’s talking. Just do you. Nobody actually gives a shit, and Twitter isn’t real life.

    1. Legislatures know they can’t do that. That’s why they rely on the institutions of public education to weave language policy into curricula.

  19. How about if it gives me a migraine and I need to bang my head on the wall?

  20. ‘ “Claiming that kind of victimhood gives them a sense of belonging, of togetherness, a sense that they’re contributing to a struggle that their ancestors dealt with in a more concrete way.”

    The students demanded the professor be punished. He was. The law school suspended him in the name of “social justice.” ‘

    This must be the softest, weakest, most emotionally fragile group of people in the history of the planet.

    1. Second only to those who think a couple random overreacting 18 year-olds somewhere are so frightening they spend every day in abject terror of them.

      1. But enough about you and white nationaliam, Proud Boys, Whitler kidnappings, 1/6, etc

      2. I don’t fear random overreacting 18 year olds.
        However, I do fear people in power who listen and take action based on their irrational overreactions, or use them as an excuse to get rid of their enemies.

  21. When I was very small they were called “negroes”. During late hugh school years we began to hear them called “blacks”. These days it seems some of them ust be clled “Blacks” and others must be called POC, and others “of high melanin content”. Personallly I can’t tell the difference. I have good friends of all shades, and we never seem to need to refer to anyone based in the character lf light reflected from their skin.

    1. My mom was talking about “people of color” to my sister’s black girlfriend once, and it was cringe. I’m like turn off MSNBC for a while, Mom.

  22. When speech is considered violence, it allows those that oppose that speech to feel morally OK about stopping that speech with physical violence. I had this debate with some Antifa friends of mine 5 years ago, and even back then they felt that because speech was violence, that it was fully justified to use whatever physical means necessary to defend themselves from the violent attack of having mean things said at them. They didn’t understand why I found that more horrifying and threatening than the whiny and dysfunctional white supremacists they were saying were going to destroy the country.

    My latest approach is not to accept the shift in definitions and turn it back on them and MOCK the new definitions relentlessly and them for being idiots thinking that new definition is a thing. It doesn’t change their mind, but at least making it so that it is obvious that you will be societally shamed for adopting the new definition is at least a detriment to widespread adoption. No more being polite. If they want to call it violence, I will mock them for that too.

    1. I think you’re in the right on that debate, but I also think that the bedtime story told on FOX News that there’s actually a threat to the first amendment coming from far-left activists is the actual threat to freedom of thought. Far-left activists are small in number and have very little power. Things that happen on the internet are not indicative of real life. Extremes are amplified and cherry picked.

      It hasn’t been terribly easy to be a socially acceptable far-leftist in America since before WWII, and that’s entirely due to large-scale operations against freedom of expression including government intimidation.

      Fascism is tricky like that. They make their own power a necessity to rectify their claimed victimhood, and they’re usually claiming victimhood of the very thing they’re perpetrating on everyone else.

      1. Tony. I hope you are right. In fact, I do believe that you are right that the extremists are small in number. If not for the fact that politicians, Biden included, are specifically catering to those extremists, I might even agree with you that we don’t need to worry about the far left.

        However, we have people getting their bank accounts closed for being minorly offensive. Misgendering people is being criminalized. Politicians with actual clout are demanding censorship of their political opponents. These demands for shutdown and censorship are universally coming from the left side of the aisle.

        So please forgive me that I cannot agree with you that we do not need to worry about the far left. Their actions are far more reminiscent of fascism than anything Republicans have done in my memory.

        1. Where are you getting your information about the supposed far left?

  23. ” Your words are violence!”
    “I agree with you words can be violence. Your statement is violence. Where do we go from here?”

    1. There can be no agreement while in conflict.

      Conflict is based solely on lies.

      If you are truly interested in resolving conflict you must agree to value truth and accept it when discerned.

      When both parties agree to this basic common sense, resolution is immediate.

  24. Backbones are a rare commodity today. I’m retired and have nothing to lose. People like me need to stand up for honest sane people (like the college professor in the article) so they don’t get punished by the mob for not being ‘woke.’ We need to stand up to the whiners, like the ‘offended’ student who claimed to seek counseling after the exam, get over yourself and grow the f*** up.

  25. It sounds so stupid to need counseling because you read the word *igger
    That is true emotional weakness

    1. You misunderstand. The student saw the word “N—-“. It was already censored.

      If a person cannot handle the mildest of already-censored foul language, they have no business being a lawyer.

      1. As McWhorter suspects, she was most likely just lying about being traumatized; saw an opportunity and used the either sympathetic or spineless college administration to exploit it.

        Woke-ness is apparently its own reward.

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