The Dangers Of Buzzwords

The Dangers Of Buzzwords

Welcome to the new age of using words that you don't know the meanings of in debates.
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If you are vocal about your political views, chances are you have gotten yourself into a debate or two. These debates can be productive and enlightening for both sides of the argument. Upon asking anyone who makes their passion for politics known about their past debates, it is almost guaranteed that they have learned something from these conversations, no matter how minor. As important as these dialogues are in respect to progress and understanding, they can also become pointless once a certain group of linguistic monsters makes an appearance. This group is comprised of the native language of all people who seem to fail miserably at the art of political conversation: buzzwords.

According to Dictionary.com, a buzzword is "a word or phrase, often sounding authoritative or technical, that is a vogue term in a particular profession, the field of study, popular culture, etc.". Nearly everyone encounters buzzwords on a daily basis, whether it be on the news, on social media, or even in conversation with friends and colleagues. You know the words: racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, xenophobic, etc;. The list seems to grow as social justice becomes more and more of a household name.

This frivolous utilization of buzzwords comes at a severe cost. The more these words are thrown around, the less merit they maintain. Feminists often times like to deem those that disagree with their movement as sexists or misogynists. Same goes for people who point out the faults with Black Lives Matter, they are told time and time again that they are racist. If you favor the travel ban? You're a xenophobic islamophobe.

So, what happens when these words are continually used in this way? They lose their punch. These words are no longer a shocking accusation. These words are no longer a rarity. They've become nothing more than a preamble to any points that a progressive will try to make. Being called a buzzword is currently nothing more than a schoolyard insult because it holds just as much merit as being made fun of during a game of grade-school tag.

The problem with this is that it makes it worlds more difficult to actually distinguish what is truly racist, sexist or anything of the like. When everything that strays from the social justice narrative is deemed as fitting the definition of these buzzwords, the truly problematic content and ideas are muffled by everyday people simply expressing their thoughts.

Not only are these words carelessly spoken, but their meanings are being changed to fit progressive narrative. Racism is no longer a prejudice against someone based on their race, it is considered systemic and something that you can never experience if you are white because you are not "marginalized". Just as fascism is no longer radical authoritarianism, instead it is currently a character trait of those that disagree with liberalism. These alternate meanings are, of course, not the actual definitions of these words. They are simply a rite of passage for liberals to dole out consequences, but never take them on themselves.

As these flippant insults continue to be thrown around by the left, unprompted harassment is distributed in droves as well. For example, members of the Berkeley College Republicans reported being victims of theft of private information and threats against their members after inviting a conservative speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus. Yiannopoulos's lecture was shut down beforehand by riots organized by liberal students.

In more recent news, CNN was accused of blackmailing a Reddit user for posting a gif that was later re-posted by Donald Trump on his Twitter. Seemingly innocent actions by those who denounce liberalism are continually given extreme consequences for no other reason than that their actions somehow offend the left.

The fact that these two instances do not even scrape the surface of the left's attempts to silence differing opinions is most definitely a cause for concern. Unfair accusations and harassment have become a norm for the majority of people who do not agree with every point of the liberal community, especially on social media platforms. This poses a massive issue for anyone who believes in the importance of free speech. When expressing your political opinion, unless it incites violence, you should not have to fear for your job, future education or reputation in doing so. That is not to say that criticism of opinion should not be tolerated as it is one of the most important things in political dialogue, however, there is a tremendous difference between critique and harassment.

There is no shame in differing opinion. That's what makes the world of politics such an interesting and passionate one for so many Americans. Although, there is shame in silencing other's opinions, especially without a proper argument. It is not fascist, racist, sexist or anything of the sort to stand for what you believe is best for your country. In the apex of a war against conflicting ideas, it is imperative to remember that unwarranted attacks will never equate to statistics and buzzwords will never be fact.





Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Weaponry.

We have a people problem, clearly and those troubled people are utilizing one tool time and time again. Why would we not make it even the slightest bit harder to walk into our schools and mass murder our children?
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Social media is filled with children who just witnessed their classmates and teachers get shot in front of them, parents who just lost their children begging for a change to protect them.

One scroll down.

A photo of a gun lying against a wall “Still waiting for my gun to get up and kill someone”

Yep, that’s America. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of weaponry.

I know, I know guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
Why is it that everyone just recites that without realizing that all we are trying to do is get the people who kill people factor away from the gun factor?

Yes, cars kill people. Yes, heart disease kills people. Yes, drugs kill people. Yes, knives kill people. I have passed a test, have a license, registration and insurance on my car as well as a plate that gives my identity attached to the back of it. Millions of dollars are spent in the health care industry to prevent heart disease and other diseases like it. “Ban forks” A person who eats foods that lead to health problems are doing it to themselves and they cannot go into a school and do it to 17 others, and to be fair half of them probably can’t make a living wage in this country to afford better food to begin with. I cannot go to the store and buy Sudafed without showing my ID and with that I can only buy a limited quantity. I have been turned away from prescribed and necessary medications because of controlled substance laws and the next time that someone kills and injures over 900 people from a hotel bedroom, goes through a nightclub and murders over 50 people or puts our country through this repeated torture time and time again with a knife, I will consider sensible knife control too!

Of course, mass shooters don’t become mass shooters without other factors such as a troubled past, bullying, lack of parental guidance, lack of respect, mental illness and a multitude of other things. I am the first person to agree that raising children with respect is a step in the right direction toward creating more a compassionate, empathetic and less hate filled tomorrow. I am also the first person to agree that we need to implement changes to our mental health care system and the social, economic and emotional resources surrounding these troubled individuals, and I truly think these things will lessen the amount of violence our society is enduring. We need accessible and affordable healthcare and lawmakers that support it! However, people are dying right now.

Children are dying right now.

I don’t know about you, but I am not okay with waiting for the next generation of children to somehow be raised in a way to prevent this even if I hope so much that they will. I am not okay with waiting for every troubled person out there who needs help to gain the resources they need when people are dying right now. Getting help for these people is ultimately the solution but clearly there are already people out there who are mentally ill, hate-filled, fallen through the cracks however you want to put it who are going into places and killing our children. Clearly if this is the sole solution we are failing, and I am not okay with waiting for us to succeed. One common denominator that comes after the mental illness, after the troubled past, that is there regardless of the race, is the gun. No, it is not the gun’s fault but if we could stop one person from giving a bad name to responsible gun owners everywhere why wouldn’t we? If a mandatory comprehensive back ground check stopped even one mass shooting isn’t it worth the wait time until you can go to the range? If closing the gun show loop hole stops one of these troubled people with ill intentions from being the person behind that weapon isn’t it worth it? We have a people problem, clearly and those troubled people are utilizing one tool time and time again. Why would we not make it even the slightest bit harder to walk into our schools and mass murder our children?
I am not saying that sensible gun control will stop every one of these tragedies from happening but if we can save as many lives as possible until we fix the people problem why would we not?

I hope that the next time something like this happens there is a “good guy”, someone responsibly armed and skilled enough around to prevent such tragedy and I also believe that responsibly armed person could still be there if sensible gun control were in place but maybe just maybe, they wouldn’t even have cause to draw their weapon. So yes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people and it is the people I want mandatory background checks on, it is the people I want safety courses for, it is the ill-intentioned people using the gun show loophole that I want it closed for and it is the people I want to hold responsible, not the gun. No one that I have seen arguing for gun control wishes to take away a responsible gun owner’s right to defend their family, hunt or shoot for sport we want to keep them from people with much colder intentions, intentions the majority of people, good people don’t even want to imagine possible and if a responsible gun owner is what you are I see no reason to be afraid.

#GunReformNow #PolicyNotPrayer #NotOneMore

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Let's Talk About The N-Word.

If you're still confused on why this is an issue, this should clear things up.
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A few days ago, I watched a white male call a black female the N-word. He not only called her that, but he also used the word as the caption to his Snapchat. This boy, who attends my university, then continued to post the snap and share this moment of pure racism to all of his friends and followers. That’s a problem.

The N-word is not some slang or trendy language that can be tossed in and out of conversations like “bae” or “lit” or “fleek”. This is a word that has been used derogatorily for centuries to oppress and dehumanize people of African-American descent. People like me.

Q: So why do “people like me” use the word if it’s so derogatory and triggering?

A: Great question. It’s because, when we say it (with an -a ending), to each other, the context is completely different. The word is no longer oppressing. When “people like me” say the N-word, we’re reclaiming a title that was created to make us feel as “different” as we looked and using it in a way that connects us. African-Americans and our ancestors have endured years centuries of racism, bigotry, clutched purses, sideways glances, crossed streets, back of the bus, random drug-tests, stereotypes (the list goes on) to say that word. The word has a sense of camaraderie, not hate, when people like me use it.

Q: But can we use it in a song? “N*** in Paris” is a bop, and I swear I don't even really use the word.

A: It totally is a bop, and you can listen to that song as many times as your heart desires. But just don’t sing that part of the song. It’s not as hard as you think. It’s one word out of an entire song. If you think the beat doesn’t “flow as hard” without it then it might be time to find a new song and check yourself.

Q: But when I use it, I swear I’m not using it in a derogative manner. It’s like saying “What’s good, dude?”, it’s friendly.

A: That’s cool, but did you know that there’s are at least 20 other words that can be used to convey the word “friend”? I’ll even link it.

In today's society, tensions are high, not only with people of color, but with those of other ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexuality, gender orientation and so on. There are people who feel that those who are "triggered" by derogatory statements need to get a thicker skin. Words are just words, and words can't hurt you; but they can. Words, like the N-word, have been taken back by those who have used them to oppress others so that people, like the boy from my university, can't use them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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