November 30, 2015

How redefining "racism" to include religion will backfire on the Left

Elizabeth KingRebel Columnist

If you’re like me, you might have thought people on social media were using the word “racist” unwittingly to anyone who expressed concerns about the vetting process of 25,000 Syrian refugees.

Initially, I was correcting them: “It’s not racist to want a safe country,” “Religion is not a race,” and “The Merriam-Webster app is free.”

However, as we know, dictionaries aren’t for everyone. Some people would rather reference the liberal playbook. In it, they’re attempting to diminish the word "racist" in order to depict conservatives as all-white, backcountry imbeciles who despise everyone darker than the shade of tropical sand.

So I wasn’t surprised last week when Kathleen Wynne addressed the refugee issue by defaming her opponents:

“What we can't give in to, I think, is allowing security to mask racism. That's the danger and that somehow talking about security allows us to tap into that racist vein, when that isn't who we are."

She has it in reverse.

Wynne is using the word “racism” to mask genuine concerns about security. To use her own bumbling logic, if you’re afraid of importing a terrorist, you’re a racist. She’s just that petty to demonize all the good Canadians with rational apprehensions.

Really, her intent is to liken Islam with skin colour, so please bear with me, while I make the following obvious observations:

Not all Middle Easterners are Muslim—and many are being beheaded for this reason. Practicing a religion is a behaviour and a belief, while skin colour is a superficial, unchangeable physical feature. You’re free to disagree with the values and morality of any religion or idea, but you’re awful if you hate people because they have more melanin than you do. Furthermore, you can oppose people’s religion and ideology and still respect their human dignity.

In short, on the hatred hierarchy scale, racism is worse than religious bigotry. The liberals clearly agree; it’s precisely why they’re using the word “racist” unsparingly.

Maybe “Islamophobia” isn’t frightful enough and maybe “xenophobia” is too tepid. "Racism," however, is still found in dusty dictionaries, recounted in history books and is as powerful as ever. Calling a person a racist is still the lowest strike, aimed to hit you where it hurts.

All the insults I saw hurled online recently were unjust, but certainly there are genuine racists. But isn’t it amusing reading the insults coming from the left? The Huffington Post blogs thrive on essays warning not to “other” someone. There’s always a new rant attaching the word “shaming” to absolutely anything—including actions that are indeed shameful. (Have you heard of "sweat-shaming" yet?) These are likely the same people who are enthusiastically labeling you.

Way to go, Wynne, on diluting the significance of racism. You’ve pilfered a powerful word and used it as a sucker punch. And if the liberals keep it up—and they will—calling someone a racist will result in the same hurt feelings as being called a jerk. Then they’ll need a more explosive slur. Though, I have to ask, what might that word be?



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commented 2015-12-01 00:59:58 -0500
Arnold Broese very true, just because i despise Castro does not mean i hate freedom loving Cubans.
commented 2015-12-01 00:59:15 -0500
Dr. Genius good point, the left is full of paradoxes and outright demented thinking, somehow they will justify it in certain cases but not others. SIGH!
commented 2015-12-01 00:53:00 -0500
It is always frustrating to me when I encounter those who argue from a view that culture and race are so connected that to criticize one, is to criticize the other. In this way, any questioning of cultural practices or values is effectively silenced for fear of being labelled a racist.
To be clear, I will make this claim: “There is no necessary connection between a person’s genetic make-up, and the ideas they hold.”
Clearly, one has no say in one’s genetic heritage, but just as clearly, every human has the choice of which ideas / values he will embrace. A “culture” is the result of the dominant ideas held in that society, and since ideas can be rejected or accepted regardless of racial factors, they can also be evaluated without making a racial connection with such appraisal.
Unfortunately, it is now almost impossible to venture an opinion on the ideas someone holds, without the inference that it is also an opinion on race. Cultural ideas are open to choice, and that necessitates that they be open to evaluation as well. A free society must always hold the door open to challenge prevailing attitudes. Too many times times the door is slammed shut when cultural values are challenged, along with accusations of racism.
The irony for many professed ‘non-racists,’ is that professed racists agree with them – that there is a racial connection to culture. Both see issues in terms of racial groupings rather than a colour-blind individualism, or as Martin Luther said “the content of their character.”
Once again; since ideas are open to choice, they must be open to question. This has nothing to do with genetics. Those who would stifle inquiring minds with blind political dogma reflect a Middle Ages ignorance, not the Enlightenment.
commented 2015-11-30 22:17:15 -0500
I find myself more of a culturist than a racist. As Dr. Genius said, from India to Ireland they are Caucasian. So I really find that I’m more of a culturist. I think African and Arab cultures are much more inferior to our western culture. After all, it’s white people that freed the slaves declaring slavery a “barbaric practice”. Oh wait that’s a Conservative term. I should use a more progressive term. Let’s see…. “a culturally unacceptable practice”. I guess that’s why I hate cultures that still think it’s ok like in the middle east. ISIS is a great example. Sex slaves bought and sold. Yes there’s some proof of inferior culture right there. And guess what? It’s based on Islamic teachings. Hey maybe the evil Christians aren’t so bad after all…. shit! Whodda thunk it!!
commented 2015-11-30 20:43:05 -0500
Drew Wakariuk wrote: «How can it be racism when not everyone from the religion is the same race?»

More specifically, there are only three races: East-Asian, Caucasian, and African. Every ethnicity from India to Ireland are of the Caucasian race, including Indian, Persian, Arab, Hispanic, white, etc. Being prejudiced against a particular ethnicity would be called generic “bigotry”.
commented 2015-11-30 20:38:26 -0500
Drew Wakariuk wrote «How can it be racism when not everyone from the religion is the same race?»

People who don’t care about literal truth probably don’t care about grammatical truth.
commented 2015-11-30 20:37:23 -0500
The gaping chasm between SJW/EJW activism and reality continues to grow with each absurd story every single day. Even on the left-biased CBC web site, the stories about “Syrian” “refugees” and the Climate Conference end up with critical comments getting the most ’Like’s. The breaking point will be reached eventually, perhaps when the true cost of Gerald Butts’ Prime Ministership becomes apparent even to the general public.
commented 2015-11-30 18:43:02 -0500
How can it be racism when not everyone from the religion is the same race? Does that mean the progressives have to respect non white Christians?
commented 2015-11-30 16:47:32 -0500
Thank you for that fairly lucid take Elizabeth. Honestly I’m shocked at how many young people, educated people, otherwise intelligent people fall prey to this trap. They don’t seem to understand that it’s impossible to be “racist” to a belief or an idea: you can disagree with an idea, hate a belief, you can even passionately and irrationally revile a thought, but it’s not racist. By definition, it can’t be.

Conflating the thought with the thinker is the greatest danger of our age. It is a tool used by the “open-minded” to seal our tomb: by eroding ability to speak we lose the ability to act, as without words there are no thoughts. How can we reject or refute something we can’t name? How are we free to disagree if we aren’t free to understand?

Hating your brother’s idea does not mean you hate your brother, they are completely separate and independent. If I said I hate Islam to a Muslim, does this mean I hate that person? No, how could it unless they were Islam itself, a notion which is completely absurd. A person is not an idea, an idea is not a person.
commented 2015-11-30 16:17:34 -0500
The Liberals love to slap labels on those who don’t agree with them. And anyone that questions a Liberal, is verbally assaulted at every turn. It’s because they can’t argue their point, without losing it, due to their impatience at those who have to gall to question them to begin with. They think that their word is the truth, just because they say it’s so. I love to question those who think that they have all the answers.