Word Abuse

Published by DragonGrim in the blog DragonGrim's blog. Views: 92

I’m writing this blog after reading “Politics and Words.”

I hate when people in a field of study will take a word and try to steal it and change the definition to their own liking. Take for instance the multicultural education class I’m taking. It is race relations, which is under the umbrella of sociology. Of course many politicians and pundits use the terms and arguments of sociologists.

The class I’m in places a lot of blame on me because of my heritage. I’m white and a U.S. citizen, which is terrible, I know. I was born with bad blood. I know I may not be as sensitive as older generation because I don’t see racism in my friends or fellow students. The study seems to be an exercise in drawing pain and hate from the past and making it a wedge to play in the political game.

My professor says, “If a black man is in a bar, and he’s calling you a cracker or whity or whatever, you cannot say he is racist. You’re a professional now, and must use words properly.” His definition (the definition generally excepted in sociology) of racism is something like this: the subjugation and hate shown toward a minority by the majority. The true definition is a prejudice based on race, and using the term is perfectly fine in the situation – that’s what the word’s function is for.

The professor’s definition sounds simple, but majority is not majority in this case. They define majority as the group that controls the means of production and power, which is only one facet of the word, but sociologist throw it around as if it were the only and prime definition. So a small facet of a word is being defined primarily with a small facet of another word. In other words, it’s convoluted.
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