Words are weapons -- breaking bridges of misunderstandings, forging identities, and leaving deep cuts through slurs. Language is at the core of what it means to be human.
Racism and racist are triggering words. Use the R word and people pass out in disbelief, clutch their pearls and run for the “not me, I’m not one of them!” hills. The issue with this loaded response is the word has become so monstrous and unsightly that using it to call out someone’s problematic behavior or to fight racism, becomes bogged down and halted in the hang ups around the word.
One of my favorite bits from comedian Dave Chappelle grapples with one of the biggest questions of language - how are words created, especially the ones with the power to harm others?Read More