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Ed Driscoll

Dispatches from the Newspeak Dictionary: Everyone’s a Racist

June 28th, 2012 - 12:36 pm

At National Review Online, Ian Tuttle writes, “Liberals have spent the past four years tearing out page after page of Merriam-Webster:”

‘Here’s a little secret,” Keith Olbermann told viewers in 2010. “When racist white guys get together and they don’t want to be caught using any of the popular epithets that are in use every day in this country about black people . . . the racist white guys resort to euphemisms and code words.”

At least Olbermann acknowledged that not all white people are racist; but three and a half years into the first “post-racial” presidency, one might get that impression. Take the list Olbermann enumerated on air: “Cocky, flippant, punk, and especially, arrogant.” Last week, Congressional Black Caucus executive director Angela Rye added cool to the list: “Even cool, the term cool, could in some ways be deemed racial.”

Liberals have spent the past four years tearing out page after page of Merriam-Webster. “Articulate” and “bright” were forbidden early in the 2008 primary season, with Obama defenders dredging up a classy Chris Rock joke that “articulate” is “some s**t you say about retarded people that can talk.” But CNN, Legal Affairs, and other media outlets had bestowed the same compliment on John Edwards during his meteoric rise years before. A 2004 Slate headline called Edwards “bright and articulate and really, really youthful,” while Steve Benen wrote at the Carpetbagger Report in 2003 that “Edwards is a very bright, articulate, and aggressive lawmaker.”

In April, Mitt Romney unveiled a new campaign slogan at a stop in Ohio: “Obama Isn’t Working.” Racist, cried Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher: It evokes “the stereotype of the ‘lazy,’ ‘shiftless’ black man.” Van Jones, Obama’s erstwhile “green-jobs czar,” said in a web chat that the slogan set off “racial fire alarms.” But as the Romney campaign explained, the slogan was a tribute to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party, whose “Labour Isn’t Working” poster, designed in 1978 when the Iron Lady was running for prime minister, was named by Campaign magazine the poster of the century: Its image of a winding unemployment line “pointed to Britain’s economic climate of rising unemployment, rising inflation, and a growing national debt.” Sound familiar?

It certainly does — tearing out page after page of Merriam-Webster has long been a goal of the left; recall the passage written by a Mr. E. Blair in 1949, and illustrated in movie form in the mid-1980s:

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In order to navigate through this latest, ever-thinner, but perhaps still perplexing edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, Thomas Sowell offers a handy “Political Glossary:”

“Racism” is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public-opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama.

Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word “racism” is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a “racist.”

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is “compassion.” But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected.

If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: “mean-spirited.” A related political label is “greedy.”

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy,” while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion.”

Of course, those showing extra “compassion” are granted unusual methods to illustrate it, along with their “tolerance,” as Dennis Prager writes:

President Barack Obama invited activists to the White House’s 2012 LGBT pride reception. Two of them, Matthew “Marty” Hart, a director of the leftist organization, Solutions for Progress, and an activist photographer, Zoe Strauss, posed for a photo in front of a portrait of President Ronald Reagan with both their middle fingers extended. They then posted the photo on Facebook with the caption “F–k Reagan” (the F-word is spelled out).

Now let’s answer our questions:

First, the liberal, or “mainstream,” media never mentioned the incident. Not a word about it appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times or on NPR (which had given Zoe Strauss extensive and laudatory attention just a few weeks earlier).

There was no coverage on ABC News, NBC News or CBS News. The Huffington Post reported the incident in this way: “If several raised fingers are any indication, some LGBT activists who visited the White House last week are fully evolved on what they think of President Ronald Reagan.”

It was reported by Fox News, on conservative talk radio shows, by the The Weekly Standard, National Review and other conservative journals and websites.

Second, aside from one tepid rebuke from a man named Shin Inouye, the “Director of Specialty Media in the White House Office of Communications,” the Democratic Party and other left-wing organizations said nothing.

Why would they, when this is their preferred method of communication?

And just wait ’til you see what the next edition of the Newspeak Dictionary does to the language!

Update: Perhaps we don’t have to wait very long: “Justice Thomas dissents, Left hurls vile racial slurs ‘house nigga,’ ‘Uncle Tom.’”

Classy.

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