14 July 2015

Stop using these terms

Racism tries to make prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination because of skin color sound more scientific.  Race, in fact, is a biological term dating back to the nineteenth century referring to a subspecies, a sub-group within a species sharing certain genetic characteristics. 

Anthropologists have identified several races of human that have existed the past several meganni, some composed of only one species and therefore of no subspecies, making that one species if effect the sole "race" of that species.  These include Homo naledi, H. habilis, H. erectus, H. rudolfensis, H. heidelbergensis, H. floresiensis, H. sapiens idaltuH. sapiens neanderthalensis, H. sapiens denisova,  and H. sapiens sapiens.  The last being the only human species around for the last 40,000 years (H. floresiensis being completely isolated before dying out 13,000 years ago), there is only one race, the human race.

So, using “race” as an ethnic marker is rather silly.  Like being prejudiced against Terrans.

People almost always mean skin color when they say race, so from now on let’s call “racism” by its true name: complexionism.

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Antisemitism is a word coined by nineteenth century Prussian Jew-hater Heinrich Gotthard von Treitschke.  His neologism was an attempt to make his prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination seem more scientific by borrowing a label from then current hypotheses about race.  He was the one who, incorrectly, identified “Semites” exclusively with “Jews”.  Which, of course, leaves out Arabs, Ethiopians, Assyrians, Druze, etc.

While members of those groups share certain genetic traits, “Semitic” refers more to language, and if it did refer to genetic traits, the Ashkenazim originating in Europe and dominating the State of Israel have recently been proven only half-“Semitic”, the other half being Euro.  Taking into account the fact that there is no greater persecutor of Arabs, Ethiopians, and Assyrians than the State of Israel, which proclaims itself as “The” Jewish State, it’s a bit embarrassing to call hatred of Jews antisemitism.  A better, more accurate word is Judeophobia.

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Ethnic cleansing is a term coined by Serb war criminal and human rights violator Radovan Karadzic to describe what he and his small minority Bosnian Serbs, backed by then Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, were doing to Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims).  Raphael Lemkin, a Jew from Poland who escaped the collapse of the Polish Army to New York City, would have called it what it was: genocide.

To Lemkin, who should know since he coined the word, genocide is not just the killing of members of a targeted ethnic group but includes the intentional destruction of their culture, suppression of their language, and dissolution of their national life.  It also involves two stages: first, the destruction of the national pattern of a group, and second, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.  This, even without killing a single individual.

Everything the State of Israel has done to the Palestinians fits this definition.  So too, for that matter, does what the West under the leadership of the United States has done to Iraq, and we see its result manifest in Daesh, known in the West most often as ISIS.

So, please, please, stop using the euphemism of a psychopathic mass murderer and call it what it is, genocide, whether done in Bosnia to Bozniaks, in Germany to Jews, in Israel to non-Jews (and occasionally even to non-white Jews).

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Neoliberalism is a euphemism for supply-side economics, which is a euphemism for objectivism, which is a euphemism for trickle-down economics, which is a euphemism for horse-and-sparrow economics, which states that if you feed the horse enough oats, some will surely pass through to the road for the sparrows.  In case you don’t get the analogy: the horse is the 1%; the sparrows are the 99%.  For a better word than “neoliberal”, try avaricious

Or maybe just use the number 666, because excessive wealth and/or love of wealth is what that meant to first centuries Jews, and still means in some Jewish circles, which comes from being the number of “talents” Solomon collected every year as revenue.

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Welfare reform is not a reform but a travesty of reform, part of changing the War on Poverty into a War on the Poor.  Ronald Reagan started that trend, but Bill Clinton made it cool.

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Southern strategy was the program of the Republican Party beginning with the accession of Ronald Reagan as standard bearer in the 1980 campaign of turning Dixiecrats into Dixiecans by playing the “race” (complexion) card.  In that, it has been entirely successful, so much so in fact that Dixiecans now dominate the party, and some are not even from the South.  The vehicle for this last twist has been the Tea Party.  A more accurate name for this is Hooded Americanism.

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Why “representative democracy”?  It is only democracy if the people actually get a say, but individual persons do not have that right, at least not human person who cannot produce the same level of speech as corporate persons.  Instead of taking responsibility for ourselves, we pass the buck, mostly to members of the 1% or their near fellows the 10% below that.  To these few, we hand over all power to make decisions, enforce laws, set taxes, etc.  Which is how so much wealth had been redistributed in one direction over the past three and a half decades, killer cops murder away with impunity, and corporations are legally defined as persons. 

A better description of our form of government is “representative oligarchy”, but with the proviso that “representative” here means serving the greed of the few wealthy 1% over the needs of the many 99%.

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