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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

SALLY MORRIS:  PART 2 - FREE SPEECH 101:  WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. (Chinese proverb)


One way to shut down debate is by labeling those who raise uncomfortable questions.  Would you listen to a statement or question by a racist? What about a white supremacist?  If you are a responsible citizen, no. Therein lies its tactical value.


It is small-scale but effective with people who only casually follow current events.  One who has the interest, energy and time to research the person in question, his history, would not be fooled.  But few have the time.


The press has shorthand for “bigot”, “racist”, “Nazi”, “fascist”, “white supremacist”, “xenophobe”.  They’ve invented words such as “Islamophobe”. Never mind that these labels are inaccurate, false. “Right-wing”, “alt-right”, “far-right” all mean “Nazi”, “neo-Nazi”, “racist”, etc.  When you see someone introduced with these words, rather than “conservative”, or“constitutionalist”, you resist. “Alt-right” is a variant of more recent vintage. It refers to anti-semitism and racism.  It would be accurate to call the KKK “alt-right”.


Commentator Ben Shapiro was noted as the “number one” target of the so-called “alt-right” in 2016.  He has also been labeled as “alt-right”.  Strangely, and significantly, Shapiro, who has not focused on European political issues and was not familiar with Tommy Robinson until his arrest exploded in the headlines, referred to Robinson as “alt-right”, a pejorative for Shapiro, and later a “schmuck”, while still maintaining solidarity with him in his right of free speech!  Even while ostensibly supporting his rights, Shapiro was marginalizing him - and this from someone who has been pointing out the absurdity of throwing the epithet around. This is a powerful tool.


Perhaps you’ve noticed how some prominent figures are described.  Sometimes so subtle as to be nearly imperceptible, but just enough to de-legitimize their message, to marginalize them.  Try googling a well-known political person. A menu loads and in the upper right-hand corner a brief “card” appears identifying the person -  photo, brief description and vital statistics. Here are some conservatives, libertarians and anti-Islamists recently viewed:


  • Front Page Magazine, a website which offers news reports and conservative views.  It is described as “online right-wing”.

  • Drudge Report, a news aggregator, is “conservative, right-wing”.

  • Sarah Palin, candidate for Vice President and Governor of Alaska,:”politician, commentator, author, reality television personality who also served as ninth governor of Alaska”, dismissing her as a “reality TV” star.

  • Paul Weston, leader of Britain’s “Liberty GB” party,  who was arrested for quoting Sir Winston Churchill on Islam is called a “far-right politician”.

  • Tommy Robinson, human rights activist who’s exposed government cover-up of rape and abuse of young girls by Muslim gangs and criticized abuse of British soldiers by Muslim extremists:  “far-right activist”.


These people, forthright critics of the Left, Islamization or criminal activity and in some instances gross government corruption and cover-up, are painted as irrational extremists or just frivolous and light-weight.  


Here are names known to many of us:

  • William Ayers, the organizer of a communist terrorist group, the “Weathermen”, implicated in bombings and other subversive activities:  “an American elementary education theorist, leader in the counterculture movement”.

  • George Soros, during his youth, active with Nazis in Germany, dispossessing, persecuting and knowingly rounding up innocent Jews to be sent to their deaths.  He openly admitted he feels no remorse. He has used his massive fortune to influence elections in the U.S. and elsewhere, support mass immigration which is intentionally spreading crime and terror while draining Europe’s resources.  He promotes abortion, investing a fortune in the recent Irish referendum. He is described thusly: “a business magnate, investor and philanthropist”.


On a more “local” scale, if one submits a letter to a newspaper questioning the wisdom of admitting unvetted immigrants and resettling them in our communities, he can expect to be labeled a “xenophobe” if they know the word, or a “bigot” or “hater” if they don’t (and the letter will not be published).  Question “La Raza” or “Black Lives Matter” - which actually are racist by definition - and you will be the “racist”.  Stand firmly for Judeo-Christian values and you are a “paleoconservative”.


Are names that important?  Yes. They are.


If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things. (Confucius)

 

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