There are four words that have been used again and again throughout American history—up through the Trump era—to justify morally dubious acts and frame wrong as right.
When women and people of color are told what words to use, and how to use them, it’s more than mere political correctness gone awry. It’s a form of silencing that sustains a moral, class, and racial hierarchy.
The mainstreaming of “alternative facts,” “fake news,” and other linguistic manipulations creates confusion, distorts truth, and threatens the fate of our democracy.
With Trump in office, insults are now arsenal, with the power to not only hurt reputations, but to write bigotry into law.
Dictionaries don't define words, people do. And those in power are not only eroding our lexicon, but democracy.
Politicians have always manipulated language to fit their agenda. But when journalists validate and repeat it, they're introducing it into the national idiom.
Whether it’s foretelling political doom or coming forward with sexual-assault allegations, women's voices fall on deaf ears. Will we ever learn not listening to women has dire consequences?