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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Words matter

 

The time IS now.......to BE CLEAR!


Recently I have found myself defending a couple of movements whose intentions are admirable but whose slogans are atrociously counterproductive. And my time ends up being wasted, not by defending the validity of the movement, but explaining how the movement's slogan is not entirely accurate with regard to the movements' goals.

First up? Black Lives Matter. I'm sorry but WHO THE FUCK CAME UP WITH THIS?! Here you have this extremely important issue and rather than engage in resolving the valid problem of too-often-lethal racially-motivated police excesses we instead we get bogged down in the name.



Why not just say "End Racial Brutality"? Who could argue with that?????? Who could come out and say, "No, I WANT Racial Brutality to continue!"? And if someone is not quite sure what the slogan means entirely, it can be explained in detail.......but without the excess and annoying baggage of a slogan that makes people feel like one group is somehow better than another......even when that is NOT what is being said. (Though to some that seems exactly like what is being said.) Eliminate the confusion. Bring the argument directly to the issue at hand. Don't adopt some philosophical vagary prone to inflammatory misinterpretation. BE CLEAR!!! "END RACIAL BRUTALITY"!

The next one has me pulling out what's left of my hair for a couple of reasons. One is that unlike "Black Lives Matter" some extremists actually DO hold with the most radical position of "Defund the Police". Just look at Minneapolis. However, most reasonable people advocating this cause are not looking to eliminate law enforcement. Though opponents and alarmists ......and pro-police extremists.....claim that IS what the movement is about.


When I actually explain what "Defund the Police" ACTUALLY MEANS to REASONABLE people, they tend to blink, nod, say things like, "hmmmmm, that kind of makes sense." And then they add, "so why don't they just SAY that?"




My answer to this is similar to the above. Either a moron came up with it, or someone adopted the most extreme phrase they heard as the one to run with. Idiots! How about, "Streamline Emergency Services"? Again, who could argue with that? When you say "Defund the Police" as your lead-in, you are already at a disadvantage. EVERYONE is going to come at you and little old ladies alone in their apartments are going to panic and side against you. Why not explain why it might make sense to have the right person respond to specific emergencies? Why not say, "you don't send a police officer to a fire. You don't send a fireman to take someone to the hospital. And you don't send an EMT to thwart a robbery. Why not expand that to include OTHER types of emergencies that when addressed to an untrained responder, often don't end as well as they could? Or......why not Streamline Emergency Services ?"

The thing is 'WORDS MATTER'. As such, if your movement needs a slogan.... SLOGANS MATTER! So "Be Best" (another confusing loser) and choose more wisely than these people did.

12 comments:

  1. Black Lives Matter, I find myself asking Does It, when you look at the South Side of Chicago, has anyone ask those Blacks if Their Lives Matter as they kill one another.
    For me and this is just ME, I find the Protesters just Protesting because it is THE THING to do. The Vandalism, and in some cases the killing is the COWARDS hiding behind the Protesters and could care less, an opportunity to destroy property and lives, no concern of why the Protest started. The killing in Portland, the suspect was located in Washington, exchange of gun fire, he his dead. The suspect was black, so back to the point, Do the blacks consider that their lives matter or not. Jack

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    1. Yeah, imagine if white people kept saying things like 'all life is sacred' and then went around having wars or killing each other for passion or greed? It's a good thing white people never kill other white people. Otherwise we'd be open to similar charges of hypocrisy.

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  2. You have to understand the people that come up with that junk, you see when they were in school they were busy carving up the desks, taking drugs, stealing cars and stuff like that. Oh and they ate the school books too.
    It's funny how they say black lives matter..........But not if one black is killing another black.
    archedone

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    1. Yeah, imagine if white people kept saying things like 'all life is sacred' and then went around having wars or killing each other for passion or greed? It's a good thing white people never kill other white people. Otherwise we'd be open to similar charges of hypocrisy.

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  3. Wow, that topic sure brought out the inner racist in a couple of commenters. I like it when people just come right out and say the silent part out loud.

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    1. I have to admit, I never anticipated responses quite like these to a post on slogan choices.

      And to think you are surprised when a DD topic on your blog goes all Femdommy. ;-)

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    2. Yeah, and funny how some of the same people who go all Femdommy also go all right-wingy and white supremisty. Weird correlation, yet somehow not at all surprising.

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    3. I think what most (or should I say, many) forget is that there was a time when a black person was worth less than a white person. They were property. I learned that in US History. A white person gets killed, and it's a tragedy,a black person gets killed and it's usually "oh, they did something wrong, so it's no big deal."

      I'm alternately sad and and angry.

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  4. I agree that semantics are taking away from the needed time to address actual problems. But, I also think that some of that is not coming from a productive place. If you consider the alternative you suggested, "end racial brutality", for example, I think it will surely bring up a lot of "the ratio of the number of black on white murders to that of white on black murders suggests the opposite of what you're demanding", and such.
    I actually think that "Black Lives Matter", unlike "Defund the Police", is worded to invoke sympathy by demanding the bare minimum-- yet somehow it's seen as an exclusive, "racist" slogan by some people. So, I don't think unambiguous slogans will solve the problem provided that there are always detractors engaging in bad faith.

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    1. You might be right. But the current amount of energy being wasted on defending the slogan is something that could have been avoided. Then if racists were going to fight the movement anyway, they would have to do it on merit on not rhetoric.

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  5. Hi KD, I agree, especially on "Black Lives Matter." The slogan has done them no favors, although all the controversy that it has caused might have made it more of a subject of conversation by people who would have ignored it or thought it had nothing to do with them. Instead, they have been offended by the slogan and have talked non-stop about it, but often in unhelpful ways.

    -ZM

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    1. Agreed. Sometimes the same strategy is employed by people who attempt to change the meaning of words that aren't ambiguous and turning them into something they are not. "Feminist", "Liberal", "elite" are good examples but there are plenty more. However, this a mistake by the founders of these movements, not their opponents.

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