Patterico's Pontifications

7/7/2014

Progressive Pablum

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:01 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Progressive writer and CNN news commentator Sally Kohn wants you to stop using the “I” word when referencing those who have come into our country illegally because using the term is dehumanizing. Just like using the “N” word.

During the civil rights era, Alabama Gov. George Wallace was asked by a supporter why he was fixated on the politics of race. Wallace replied, “You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n*ggers, and they stomped the floor.”

Once upon a time, the n-word and f-word were utterly acceptable terminology in undermining not only the basic rights but basic humanity of black people and gay people. That those terms seem radically inappropriate and out of step with mainstream culture now is only because social movements and legal and political changes have shifted the landscape. But make no mistake about it, words matter, not only in reflecting certain dehumanizing attitudes toward historically marginalized groups but in actively perpetuating and rationalizing that dehumanization.

So, in Kohn’s shameful attempt at equivalency, using an accurate, objective and non-personal term like “illegal” to describe people who enter our country illegally is the same as referring to a specific group of people (who never entered our country illegally) with an historically ugly term intentionally used to denigrate and dehumanize them during a shameful time in our nation’s history.

Ms. Kohn, I hate to break it to you, but no matter how you try to twist, shake and manipulate to make it otherwise, if you’ve come across the border illegally, then you are indeed, an illegal immigrant. There’s no two ways about it. Terminology does not and cannot change the facts, no matter how much you want it to.

–Dana

21 Responses to “Progressive Pablum”

  1. So, does Sally want her ticket to say “undocumented” lane change and fork over the $265 or “illegal” lane change and fork over the $265?

    Because no matter how you slice it, you still cut that Prius off, and the people entering this country are doing it in defiance of the law.

    MunDane (932862)

  2. Heh. No, MunDane, you know this only works one way…

    Dana (4dbf62)

  3. Sally Kohn has a daily contest, with herself, to one-up the stupid from the day before. She is winning.

    JD (285732)

  4. Oh lookie — did you see the “trigger warning” that was appended to the beginning of Ms. Kohn’s lamentation:

    This article contains strong language in quotes that could be offensive to some readers.

    So glad to know those have expanded beyond the narrow bounds of academia so that all of us delicate flowers can now be on the lookout for words that hurt our feelings.

    Another thing: here is CNN’s description of the author:

    Editor’s note: Sally Kohn is a progressive activist, columnist and television commentator.

    Get that? To CNN, somehow those three job descriptions are supposed to make me think she writes with the voice of authority. In actuality, I have never heard of this woman, nor do I have any clue why her opinion should carry any more weight than that of some drunk sitting at the end of the bar. At least I know the drunk will eventually sober up, but I can’t be too sure about Ms. Kohn.

    JVW (feb406)

  5. Oh shoot, JVW, you just reminded me that I was going to put a trigger-warning on the post! Content warning: Disgraceful equivalency and general stupidity in this article.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  6. Some people object to “undocumented”. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  7. She’s right about one tiny thing: we should not abbreviate “illegal immigrants” to “illegals”. That does indeed create the impression that it refers to people who are illegal, which is absurd. An “illegal immigrant” is not an immigrant whose existence is illegal, but a person who has immigrated illegally. In the same way, an “illegal driver” is not a driver who is illegal, but a person who drives illegally. People can’t be illegal; acts can be, and these people have committed an illegal act.

    She’s very wrong in her claim that “Once upon a time, the n-word and f-word were utterly acceptable terminology in undermining not only the basic rights but basic humanity of black people and gay people”.

    It’s true that in other English-speaking countries, “nigger” was an utterly acceptable word to use until well into the 1970s, but for that very reason it did not undermine anything. It was just an informal way of saying “negro”, exactly as “ain’t” is an informal way of saying “isn’t”. It was used by white and black people, with no objection, until the increasing influence of USA culture brought its derogatory meaning into the common language. But in the USA “nigger” was not acceptable in polite company since at least when the Mikado first came to the USA and the libretto had to be changed for American audiences (it appeared twice in the original version).

    Milhouse (b95258)

  8. Some people object to “undocumented”. ;)

    Yes. As Patterico has pointed out, they are not undocumented at all. They have plenty of documents, some of which are even genuine.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  9. Sally Kohn is brain dead. I’ve never heard her say a single intelligent thing.

    Estragon (ada867)

  10. It’s the old joke: calling illegal aliens “undocumented immigrants” is like calling the local drug dealer an “unlicensed pharmacist.”

    Otto Maddox (990b3b)

  11. CNN is scraping the bottom of the propaganda slut barrel

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  12. Dana, the legally correct term is: Illegal Alien!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  13. She’s a stupid C-Word.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNmXNc95ncU

    This is a Japanese drum line!

    Steve57 (efd576)

  15. I agree, we should stop calling them illegal immigrants. We should start calling them what they are, refugees. Refugees from corrupt, violent, collapsing states. We should do everything in our power to help these refugees, including sanctions against the governments that forced them to flee. It is time for us to really help these poor people, end these corrupt governments and stop treating these refugees like simple immigrants.

    Xmas (f65ded)

  16. I agree, we should stop calling them illegal immigrants. We should start calling them what they are, invaders. Invaders from corrupt, violent, collapsing Central and South American Socialist states. We should do everything in our power to repel these invaders, including sanctions against the Socialist governments that enticed them to invade. It is time for us to really stop these diseased people, end these corrupt Socialist governments and stop treating these invaders like simple immigrants.

    I had to fix that for you Perry. You see, having an immigrant as a wife I actually understand the difference between legal and illegal and refugee. Obviously either you don’t or in your usual fashion you figure whatever is bad for America you are for.

    Your ideas are always the same old crap so don’t think by changing your name from vota and not using your signature !!!!!!! all over is a disguise, it’s not!!!!!

    However, if you really believe the crap you just spouted, I’m willing to bus up to 10 “refugees” to your cushy gated home in Lewes at my own expense so you can put your money where your hypocritical mouth is and provide them with food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and all the things you so quickly want the rest of us to provide. Hope you don’t get TB.

    Funny, in you spiel you used the word “we” 3 times and “us” once. But you never used the word “I” beyond “I agree”. Typical leftist. You “believe” something so I should pay for it.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  17. Really, that’s how you read that? I was calling for a Putin-esque overthrow of the governments of our neighboring countries to create an American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere using a “refugee crisis” as an impetus. But, reading the UN charter on refugees, I can see where you’re getting upset.

    Xmas (f65ded)

  18. Really, that’s how you read that? I was calling for a Putin-esque overthrow of the governments of our neighboring countries to create an American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere using a “refugee crisis” as an impetus. But, reading the UN charter on refugees, I can see where you’re getting upset.

    Funny you should mention the UN. They helped build a refugee camp for Syrian refugees. Why not Guatemalan refugees, or Honduran refugees, or any of the Central American countries? Not the right hue of brown?

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  19. Milhouse (b95258) — 7/7/2014 @ 8:34 pm

    was not acceptable in polite company since at least when the Mikado first came to the USA and the libretto had to be changed for American audiences (it appeared twice in the original version).

    That was about the same year Mark Twain published Huckleberry Finn, and it was an issue from the beginning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_of_Huckleberry_Finn

    It was criticized upon release because of its coarse language

    and what other coarse language is in there in that book? Just ungrammatical language.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  20. An article (from a very Dem point of view) of what’s wrong with Edward Klein (at least showing
    some other things wrong he wrote.

    http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/07/whats-with-this-obama-is-backing-elizabeth-warren-over-hillary-story/373983/)

    I suspect the leaks come from the Clintons.

    As I said, there are problems with his Benghazi story in that 1) Hillary did indeed escape the trap she may have been in of having to endorse or fight the spontaneous attack promoted by a video story 2) Obama had a reason for believing it, probably the Ansar al Sharia Facebook post on sept 11, 2012.

    Edward Klein it says here also reported that Hillary became pregnant with Chelsea as a result of a raoe (if so, why would she not have had an abortion) and that she is lesbian.

    These are Clinton stories intended for Republicans.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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