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  • Writer's pictureEmily Taylor

Words Matter -- A Serious Political Post

Words.  Matter.

Tomorrow is Election Day. People across the country will be going to the polls and trying to exercise their right to vote. I feel that, in light of everything that has gone on, this blog contains an important message for all people, not just writers. First, I am going to start out with an anecdote. As you know, we are a homeschooling household, and that generally means that schooling goes on at all times. EVERYTHING is a learning opportunity. In this case, that included bedtime. I was tucking Boychild in, and we were having our usual evening conversation, and the word “fascist” came up. Being a mom and a former English teacher, I asked Boychild to give me the definition if he was going to use the word. “If you're going to use a word, you need to know what it means,” I said. “Because words matter.”

This led to pulling out the dictionary for the actual definition. According to Merriam Webster, Fascism means: “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. We then discussed whether or not he had used it properly when referencing the current political climate in the United States because, as I said, words matter. We were able to name incidents for each part of the definition. We have a leader who called himself a “Nationalist,” attacked “Globalists” like the Jewish men George Soros and Tom Steyer, and referred to the free press as the “true enemy of the people.” The meanings of those words are not lost on those whom they impact. White Nationalism has come out of hiding in the United States. Two weeks ago, a white man tried to break into a predominantly Black church. When he couldn't get in, he walked to Kroger and shot two black people in cold blood. When confronted by another white man, the shooter said, “Whites don't shoot whites. Words matter. Two weeks ago, a man went into a Jewish synagogue on a Sabbath day and where there was a naming ceremony being held for an 8 day old baby. He used an AR-15 and killed 11 people while shouting, “Death to all Jews.” He had posted on a social media site blaming the Jews (including George Soros and Tom Steyer) for the refugees fleeing toward America from Honduras. Words matter. Two weeks ago, a man who lived in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, including stickers which placed crosshairs over the images of prominent Democratic figures, was arrested for sending pipe bombs through the mail to former Presidents, media figures, and George Soros. Conservative media is still trying to claim this was a “False flag” event, despite the man being a registered Republican who was filmed at Trump rallies. As of a week ago, “suspicious packages” were still being intercepted. Trump declared that he would “pass” on contacting the victims of the mail bombs, people he had explicitly named as his enemies at rallies. When asked if he was going to tone down the violent rhetoric he uses at his rallies, instead Trump suggested he could “tone up.” Yes, he implicitly threatened people who had already been terrorized by him. Words matter. The violence won't end. Hate crimes rose more than 12% last year. I don't believe this year will be any better. How can it be when you have leaders that advance an agenda of hatred and fear? Right now, there are leaders convincing their people that freedom only comes in the form of a gun, and then they are surprised when mass shootings occur. They call for civility when their dinners are interrupted, but blame the victims when violence and death happen to people they disagree with or who have darker skin. Words matter. But so do actions. There have been many states that purged their voter rolls before these elections. There have been threats of violence against Black people who go to vote. The reason these White Nationalists are doing this is simple. Voting still matters. Voting still has an effect. Voting still gives you a voice. Tomorrow, November 6, 2018, is Election Day in America. We have a chance to escape from the word fascism, but only if we do what we must and vote the fascists out.


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