The end of “Racism”

Today we got off from school due to Martin Luther King Day. Well, I didn’t really get off — because I don’t go to school on Mondays anway — but everyone else got off. Anyway, on the topic of Martin Luther King,  one positive development I’ve noticed about race relations over my lifespan is that accusations of “Racism” have lost their destructive power.

I remember when I was young and I often felt like I had to tiptoe around black people because if I said or did something upsetting, I might get accused of racism. Back then, the word “Racism” actually seemed to mean something, i.e. someone who hated black people or at least held irrational prejudices against them. If you got accused of racism back then, you instantly got all defensive and had to go out of your way to show how much you loved black people. Careers and businesses could suffer from such accusations. (Jesse Jackson used to make a killing off such blackmail of businesses until Bill O’Reilly went on a crusade to expose his corruption.)

But nowadays, I have absolutely no fear whatsoever of leftist criticisms. I don’t really tiptoe anymore in the slightest.

Obviously, part of this development derives solely from my own personal growth, but I don’t think this change has only taken place with me. Rather, thanks to decades of overblown accusations and blackmail against everyone making even the least politically incorrect statements, the term “Racism” has lost most of its meaning. For example, people called Rush Limbaugh “Racist” because he criticized Obama’s politicization of the Haiti relief effort. Throughout this past year, leftists have routinely accused Obama’s opponents as racists in the socialized health care debate. And if I felt like putting in some effort, I could surely list a dozen  other recognizeable examples of frivolous “Racism” accusations.

Over the past decade, I think the leftists have just gotten too bold and overused their rhetoric. The situation has gotten to the point where humor-based talk show hosts like Glenn Beck routinely joke about themselves by having a sidekick accuse them of heartless racism every time they express their opinion. The word now means almost nothing.

When words are overused they frequently lose their power. For better or worse (and I suspect BETTER), “Racism” has become an obsolete word. Does that mean true racism is 100% gone from America? Of course not. But when society gets to the point where truly racist entities become so closeted and rare that accusations of “Racism” must be thrust wantonly and stupidly, I suspect that means race relations are doing reasonably well. It’s probably something to celebrate — so anyway, happy holiday everyone!

1 Response to “The end of “Racism””

  1. 1 Skip Anderson January 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Racism isn’t a neutered word. It’s just that the majority of today’s racists don’t wear Klan robes. Today’s racist — the neo-racist — has awakened to newfound hubris gained by marching behind banners of Rush, Beck, et al.

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