…and xenophobe and (reformatted, emphasis mine)…
No one can fail to be amazed by the courage of the people who protested segregation and bigotry in the 1950s and 1960s. Those who endured physical injury justifiably stick in our minds the most.
Today’s educated liberals lack the courage they admire in their forebears, at a time when it is needed more than ever. Namely, too many liberals in power lack the guts to sanction those dedicated to shouting down speakers from the right. Instead, they let pass a state of dialogue as choked as the one that Berkeley’s Free Speech movement resisted.
To hurl the N-word at someone is an attempt to shut down discussion. Today, the word “racist” serves the same function. Or, today’s fashionable new version is the now grievously overused “white supremacist.” Such that, for example, liberal man of letters and Columbia professor Mark Lilla is accused of making white supremacy “respectable” — for suggesting that Democrats emphasize identity politics less with the goal of winning the White House from Donald Trump. . . .
It has become clear over the past few years that
the shouting students and their civilian accomplices (the latter of whom have sometimes outnumbered the former, as at Middlebury when Charles Murray was accosted) are a charismatic minority who do not represent general opinion, even among enlightened people on the left. The verdict is in: even those of us deeply committed to battling discrimination and inequality find this shutting down of speakers barbaric: unintellectual, uncivil, crude, counterproductive.
Crucially, however, theseobjections make not a dent in these happy warriors’ actions.
…xenophobe, and misogynist and Christianist and extremist…well, you get the picture. And here in NH, the Democrats (and later, the Republicans) turned “TEA Party” into a demonized term as well. A specialty tactic of that Progressive Totalitarian carpetbagger Zandra Rice-Hawkins of Granite State Progress (“Hi Zanda! It’s your favorite homophobe, bigoted, ….” when I see her).
Now, it’s the Free Staters – yet again demonized by the Dems AND the Republicans (re: the Democrat appointed NH Speaker of the House Jassper (nominal Republican in a best case situation) doing the same thing – people who only want to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit. You know, a Republican talking point. I put it that way because it seems that it ONLY is a talking point and a fund raising line. There is so much that they have done against that ideal and so much that they could be doing to hold up that ideal – but don’t bother. Or better still, ignore them.
Instead, more and more, they use the same word tactics as the Democrats – TEA Party, extremist, NH Freedom Caucus, Libertarian, Free Stater. ALL are used to shutdown real philosophical discussions and policy stances. Frankly, I don’t think a lot of Republicans can even have such discussions – they don’t do their homework and get caught flatfooted and grow those “deer in headlight” eyeball look. I know, I’ve tried many, many times. Sure, I can get like a pitball and not let go but many, once such a discussion starts, get in about two sentences in and then run out of gas.
Then I get one of “those” words (like from Fergus “The Fringe” Cullen who can’t string two coherent sentences together to begin with).
John McWhorter is right – certain words are used to shut things down. There are times when they are hurled, however, that I do laugh (mostly in and to their faces) because I know those uttering them don’t have the philosophical or intellectual bent to successfully NOT use them.
UPDATE: from Congressman Frederica Wilson (who politicized a Presidential phone call to the wife of one of the SpecOps soldiers killed in Niger):
Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, in the midst of a public feud with the Trump administration over the treatment of a Gold Star family, said the “White House itself is full of white supremacists.”