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Code Words: Injecting Bigotry Where None Exists

A few nights ago I did something I have been trying not to do: I read the article that one of my liberal friends linked to on her Facebook page.

The article was actually not a bad one, and, indeed, brought up the very sensible point of holding our leaders (Donald Trump, in particular) accountable for denouncing groups like the KKK and acts of violence and bigotry. The author even went so far as to say that she believes that the average Trump supporter does not support racism, bigotry, homophobia, sexism, etc. (how magnanimous, I thought), but she was troubled by the fact that there are Trump supporters that do, and how electing Trump empowered these bad apples.

What stuck out to me was her description of various racists, bigots, etc. and their use of “code words.” I am so sick of hearing about “code words!” To some liberals, progressives, or whatever they call themselves these days, everything uttered by someone who doesn’t share their political worldview, is a “code word” for something sinister. The idea that sometimes – just sometimes – people actually mean exactly what they say and not something deeper doesn’t even occur to them. Racism is no longer in vogue or even acceptable since the decline of the KKK (which was started by Democrats opposed to the emancipation of slaves), so (most) people don’t utter the racial slurs that were commonplace in the early to mid-1900s. The Jim Crow laws (another gift of the Democratic Party) and segregation are no longer allowed. Instead of celebrating that fact, progressives seem stuck on the idea that racism is still just as prevalent today, and in the absence of evidence, they create “evidence” with their concept of “code words.”

Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY, and tax cheat) famously equated the phrase “lower my taxes” with the N-word, when used by Republicans. I don’t know about you, but when I say that I want to keep more of the money I earn by working rather than giving it over to a bloated, inefficient government to use as it sees fit, I mean that I want my taxes lowered. I don’t want African Americans to go back to sitting in the back of the bus or to go out and burn crosses on people’s lawns. I just don’t want to pay more taxes. Period.

There are many other commonly-used phrases that have been decreed to be racist “code words” as well: thug (a substitute for the N-word, according to the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman), inner city (apparently it’s disparaging to minorities), and, of course, states’ rights (you might as well walk around with a Confederate flag!), as well as others too numerous to detail here. It’s exhausting trying to keep up. It’s almost like that old psychiatric evaluation test, the Rorschach blot. The progressives have race on their mind (residual guilt from their party’s earlier support of the KKK, Jim Crow laws, and slavery, perhaps?) so they’re projecting it on to the rest of us.

Bottom line: ultimately it’s people’s actions that matter most. A person can be in favor of a state having more control over local issues (like education) without being a bigot. And a person can use the nicest language and put up the best public front, but still be a hateful person in their actions. Statists will always add more “code words” to their lexicon, so don’t bother trying to keep up. Just focus on the important things, like making sure government stays limited so our freedom can expand.

* Christine Luc is a chiropractor, small business owner, and mother of an adorable 18 month old daughter. Even though she likes to rant on Facebook and in person, this is her first actual political article.

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  • Dutch Van Alstin
    November 16, 2016

    Great article. I only disagree with one point. You wrote (paraphrase) that the left doesn’t seem to understand sometimes people actually mean what they’re saying and it’s not some subliminal racist mindset. They absolutely do understand that. But when your ideas are so bad, and you cannot win in the arena of ideas, the plan is to marginalize the person and their idea by screaming “racist!” It’s a bully tactic of the left to quash open dialogue.

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