Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Black And White

 I’m no longer amused by the war on all things “white.” The use of the word itself has come under attack by some progressive extremists of late.  For example, the Associated Press recently announced that it would capitalize “black” whenever it is used in the context of race and culture but will not do the same with the word “white.”  Numerous other news outlets have joined them.

 Ironically, “white privilege” is the term used to tar all things white with the same brush. Snow white, pure white, the Great White Way, white collar, white knight, White Christmas, etc., etc., are all terms used to support the notion that the word white has a deliberately superior, non-inclusive connotation.

 That is a white lie.

Actually, it is a bald-faced lie. And I can prove it.

 I am personally offended by the use of the term “white as a sheet,” indicating someone who is scared silly. “White knuckle” is another term used to describe someone who is scared and fearful. The term “White feather” also denotes a symbol of cowardliness. Detect a trend here? Why is the universally recognized symbol of surrender a white flag?

“White-collar crime” infers that anyone with a desk job or managerial position is likely to be a crook.  And men in white coats come to take the mentally unstable to white rooms. How insensitive is that? “Whitewash” means to cover up, to hide something, typically an indiscretion or illegality. “White elephant?” That is usually used to refer to a possession unwanted but difficult to dispose of. And “white trash?” Really? Hate speech if ever there was such a thing. “White as a ghost” is not a term of endearment, either. Neither is “white around the gills,” meaning someone who is experiencing fear and nausea and/or is near death. “White man’s disease” is a term casually and cruelly used to mock and shame white athletes who cannot jump particularly high. To “bleed someone white” means to strip them of their money and render them poor.

That someone would have been “in the black”-- meaning well off, in good shape, financially healthy-- prior to being bled white. Probably even attended “black-tie affairs,” fancy, swanky gatherings of beautiful people.

I could go on and on, but, suffice it to say, Black words matter.

White ones do, too.


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