Moratorium on “racist”

07.22.03

I was bored a little while ago, so I tried to count the number of times I’ve been called a racist. At first I was going to count all the instances on the web in general, then I decided it was too much and I’d limit it to the comments section of this blog.

I gave up after a few minutes though, for two reasons: firstly, there were too many to count, and secondly, the accusations were coming from the same three or four people repeatedly, all of whom I personally consider to be pots calling the kettle black.

Now I’d like to see how long it takes for someone to call me a racist for the above “pots calling the kettle black” remark.

The point I’m trying to make, I guess, is that the word “racist” has been flung around with impunity lately, usually by people trying to discredit their debate opponents or just end an argument quickly. Especially in Mideast debates, where everyone is either a “racist” for being a Zionist, or a “racist” for being pro-Palestinian. The usual response on the part of the accusee is to turn around and make the same accusation against their accuser. So every argument quickly degenerates into “you’re a racist” . . . “no, YOU’RE a racist” juvenile claptrap.

And it’s annoying me to no end.

Why? Because usually it isn’t true. And when it is, nothing stops the actual racists from claiming that it’s really the OTHER guy who’s racist, and launching into a tirade on why. (The most absurd argument I ever heard is that it’s racist to oppose suicide bombers. Did they suddenly become a race?)

So I propose a moratorium. (Yes, Concordians, I am using that word. Mostly cause I’m less sick of hearing “moratorium” than “racist”.) I’d like to see if the discussions – at least on this site – can avoid the use of the word “racist” as a name-calling resort for, say, a week? It would be nice and refreshing.

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