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Changing meaning of the word "racist"
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #1
Changing meaning of the word "racist"
Much of this article is a political hit piece, so please don't turn this into a debate about The Squad.

But they're right that the word "racist" has changed, and that it has deep impacts for communication in our society:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archiv...ge/594526/


Quote:When racist became common parlance, rapidly replacing "prejudiced" starting around 1970, it was understood mainly in its dictionary-style definition: “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” What sat in the memory is “It's wrong to think people are inferior because of something like their skin color, or to be mean to them because of that."

....

Words tend to evolve—from objective to subjective, from “That is a house” to “This is how I feel about the house.” Take hopefully: It used to only mean “with hope,” as in someone descending a staircase with the hope that the prince would fit the slipper onto her foot. But now we more commonly say “Hopefully, he will find his way,” not as in “He will find his way in hopeful spirit” but “I hope he will find his way.”

Racist has followed that path. Today, racist means not only burning a cross on someone’s lawn or even telling someone to go home, but also what feels unpleasant to someone of a race—as in what I as a person of that race don’t like. It has gone from being mean to someone to, also, what feels mean to me.

The two may seem the same, but it gets tricky. A white woman admires a black woman’s locks and asks her how she washes them; the black woman gets tired of answering such questions and feels they are intrusive, harmful. Many would instinctively extend the term racist to this interaction, despite the fact that the white woman sincerely admired the black woman’s hair and feels odd being called a racist.



I would go further and say that "racism" has acquired a 3rd meaning (in addition to "prejudice" and "perception of prejudice"). Many people today use "racism" to refer to "repression caused by prejudice." This is a very different definition, because the term can not be applied to actions or thoughts by a non-dominant ethnic group.

Words change and acquire new meanings. "Smart" moved from "using somewhat shady means of outwitting someone," to "highly intelligent" to "a device that has a computer attached." ("smart Yankee trick" was a common Victorian slur in both Britain and the South). But when words change to mean different things to different people, it can lead to communication problems.
07-24-2019 10:24 AM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Changing meaning of the word "racist"
(07-24-2019 10:24 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Much of this article is a political hit piece, so please don't turn this into a debate about The Squad.

But they're right that the word "racist" has changed, and that it has deep impacts for communication in our society:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archiv...ge/594526/


Quote:When racist became common parlance, rapidly replacing "prejudiced" starting around 1970, it was understood mainly in its dictionary-style definition: “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” What sat in the memory is “It's wrong to think people are inferior because of something like their skin color, or to be mean to them because of that."

....

Words tend to evolve—from objective to subjective, from “That is a house” to “This is how I feel about the house.” Take hopefully: It used to only mean “with hope,” as in someone descending a staircase with the hope that the prince would fit the slipper onto her foot. But now we more commonly say “Hopefully, he will find his way,” not as in “He will find his way in hopeful spirit” but “I hope he will find his way.”

Racist has followed that path. Today, racist means not only burning a cross on someone’s lawn or even telling someone to go home, but also what feels unpleasant to someone of a race—as in what I as a person of that race don’t like. It has gone from being mean to someone to, also, what feels mean to me.

The two may seem the same, but it gets tricky. A white woman admires a black woman’s locks and asks her how she washes them; the black woman gets tired of answering such questions and feels they are intrusive, harmful. Many would instinctively extend the term racist to this interaction, despite the fact that the white woman sincerely admired the black woman’s hair and feels odd being called a racist.



I would go further and say that "racism" has acquired a 3rd meaning (in addition to "prejudice" and "perception of prejudice"). Many people today use "racism" to refer to "repression caused by prejudice." This is a very different definition, because the term can not be applied to actions or thoughts by a non-dominant ethnic group.

Words change and acquire new meanings. "Smart" moved from "using somewhat shady means of outwitting someone," to "highly intelligent" to "a device that has a computer attached." ("smart Yankee trick" was a common Victorian slur in both Britain and the South). But when words change to mean different things to different people, it can lead to communication problems.

The architects of social change started changing the meanings of words and symbols to erode or destroy the basis of cultures long long ago. Mental pictures work too. Goebbels was fond of showing rats when talking about Jews. What is particularly destructive here is the juxtaposing of 200 year old wrongs upon dissatisfied underachievers today to not only give them an excuse, but a cause for rebellion.

Our society is far from perfect, but it has gone to great lengths to offer bridges to the disadvantaged. And the object of the misdirected anger is a group of people just as remote from the originators of the of the wrongs as those claiming to be aggrieved by them. Lost to both is the pain and suffering of all who sought a remedy to that wrong over 150 years ago. The beginning of the remedy was a blood war the likes of which two world wars couldn't touch. Those who lived through it understood completely what it changed. It is only those since who have misrepresented it, and then on both sides, to try to turn it into something that it was not. And in the midst of that it has become an excuse for anger and violence misdirected at others who had nothing to do with the origins of the problem.

This was not by accident. I suggest you read the Maoist plan for stirring civil unrest within the U.S.. Hoover documented it. The Kennedy Administration was familiar with it. And that plan was to imbue an underclass of minorities with concept of that they are perpetually and deliberately being held down in order to sew hatred between what then were the two largest racial groups in the U.S.. That is now shifting in perspective to make it seem like border enforcement (one of the main responsibilities of any government) is somehow racist because the border that experiences the greatest violation is to the South.

Now it is to change the discussion from the enforcement of law pertaining to immigration to make it seem like a vile act against people of Hispanic origin. It is not. And permitting those with an agenda to frame it as such is also an abnegation of our responsibilities to all of our citizens in a nation that is among the most culturally diverse in the world.

The African American community has many dire problems, but the greatest among them is black on black crime. The anger they call racism is really nothing more today than class envy, an obstacle that many in their community have overcome. But instead of trying to learn from and follow the lead of the most successful in their community they prefer to follow those who appeal to their baser emotions, even if that means they must sustain their distance from success in order to keep their claims of oppression.

Sometimes words do change into feelings. But most times someone is engineering the energy for a political movement through how they change the interpretation of words to stir emotions.

It is why today the first victim in these situations is reason. Reason is the greatest tamer, and enemy, of emotions. Reason tells you when emotion is trying to control you and therefore alerts you to the motives of those who change meanings and offer images to engineer your emotional responses. Pitting feeling against reason is the tool of insurrectionists and anarchists and when we see people utilizing this approach it is the confirmation that they are the enemies of our culture and our government.
07-24-2019 11:47 AM
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Jjoey52 Offline
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Post: #3
Changing meaning of the word "racist"
Immigrant is another word which has changed. It used to mean a person who came here legally from another country. Illegal immigrant is a misnomer. They are called illegal aliens.


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07-24-2019 12:45 PM
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RE: Changing meaning of the word "racist"
The meaning of racists has only changed among SJWs. For them it means, "I hate you and don't want to hear what you have to say."
<forgot where I first heard this>
(This post was last modified: 07-24-2019 09:19 PM by bullet.)
07-24-2019 09:19 PM
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RE: Changing meaning of the word "racist"
I heard a good one, "A racist is someone who is winning an argument with a democrat."
07-24-2019 10:09 PM
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