I want to also bring up that you should refresh on what a label is. I mean going back to basics and looking up the actual definition. When I look up definitions, I don’t use the internet, but rather a dictionary. A physical, non-digital book dictionary and the reason why is because they print it. On the internet, you can change the wording on anything in under a minute. Just by writing my blog, I can understand how easy it is to change a word here and there. But a dictionary is printed and sent out.
It’s not like the dictionary people are going to call you like the call you get when your car has a recall. “Hey, a couple of words are busted on your book. Bring it in and we’ll give you a loaner dictionary while we fix a few things” No, it goes out like that.
Refer to a physical dictionary
By the way, If you can get it, try getting a dictionary that was printed before the internet started. These dictionaries are a little over 20 years old but were printed before the nation started splintering into sides and hating each other. I wouldn’t put it past people out there that are trying to rewrite what a word means. My prized possession in Upward Politics is such a dictionary. It was printed in 1996, so it may overlap a bit, but things weren’t as tense as they are today.
The internet and timeline of divisive politics
Come to think of it, this nation has been severely divided for about as many years as the internet has been available on a wide scale. Once the novelty of being online wore off and nearly every household had it, it seems that is when our divisiveness began. What is sad is that there are the younger generations of people who never knew what mild political differences were. They have just grown up in political tension and that’s all they know. They mostly adhere to a side that causes competition and the anger towards other ways of thinking.
So one thing with labels that we can’t rule out is that there could be people in the throes of power that will start to manipulate a word here and there from the original meaning to reflect an agenda of theirs. Just by looking at my old dictionary, I am in fact, starting to see some stark differences in what we are being told a word means today when researched online. I’m not going to cite any examples here, because I want you to do the research for yourself.
An example of word misuse
I do, however, want to illustrate that there are a lot of people using words incorrectly and it’s not even close. For example, go and research the words “racist” and “racism”. Again, not going to tell you what the definitions are, but do grab a physical dictionary and look it up. You’ll see what I’m talking about when people use the word incorrectly. To me, a person shouldn’t be called a racist until the alleged thing they said or did is described in detail. It must also match up with the actual definition. If it doesn’t, it could fall into another description like “culturally insensitive” or something like that.
The word packs a punch
The word racism is also used a lot because it’s what I call a punchy word and there are so many out there! It does pack a punch! It’s a word where you immediately think negative things about its origins, its’ place in history, etc. So naturally, the word is often used in politics to stir up the emotion in somebody.
When I hear racism being thrown at a group of people, I go “All of them are racists?” Did you ask all of them? Well no, there are too many to ask. “Then how do you know they’re all racists?” I hear this and it makes me go to the accused group’s website if they are an organized group and have one, and just read their mission statement or organizational objective. If I deem it to reflect the definition of what a racist is, then by all means, it justifies calling them that. But if they have an entirely different focus on what they are all about, I have to question the person who called them that in the first place. I would maybe think that they were told they were racists or just making bad assumptions.
Get all the info
I definitely will try to extract, in detail, why that person thinks the accused group is indeed a racist group. In a lot of cases, it just turns out that the accuser is just going with the flow of what they have been told and never challenged it. Sad stuff!
But people are throwing words around recklessly and you should know that they are doing that. This is yet another reason why Upward Politics doesn’t recognize these common labels and don’t use them. There is a lot of room for error and focusing on the person as an individual first can help you get a clear understanding of the bigger picture of the person and who they really are.