It seems there is a movement of sorts shaping up on the “Conservative” side of the blogosphere under the title of “OUTLAW.” And, while I applaud the motivation, inspiration, and enthusiasm, I can’t say that I agree with the relevance.
As I understand the concept (as slow-witted as I am), this is an attempt (grassroots) to recapture the language. Specifically, “interpretive communities” shape comments (sometimes out of context) to form offense, bigotry, and victimization. Now, the original comments could be very far from the interpretation that these “communities” assign. However, they are given carte blanche to interpret these comments (language) any way they wish based on their very own appearance or beliefs etc. If they are the flavor of the week to the progressive liberals, they are given free reign...almost as much free reign as progressive liberals, and their media water carriers allow themselves.
The “OUTLAW” contingency seems to think that this practiced notion can be defeated. I differ in the fact that it cannot. Call me a pessimist if you like. I prefer the term ‘pragmatic.’
Harris v. Forklift Systems (1993). It was a rather run of the mill sexual harassment suit. Then, it went all the way up to the Supreme Court and became something disgusting. I’m not talking about the facts of the case. Rather, I am referring to the ruling, and the comments justifying the ruling by a Supreme Court Justice.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor went on to say that as long as the environment could “reasonably be perceived, and is perceived, as hostile or abusive there is no need for it also to be psychologically injurious.”There you have it. The highest Court in the land ruled that sexual harassment is present when it is “reasonably perceived” by the victim. The very concept that is targeted by this group of “OUTLAWS” is the law. It is a law defined by the highest Court. It is not a trend, tendency or a strategy. It is L-A-W.
Intent, not perception, should be the litmus test. Sadly, it is not, and never will be again. Similarly, application should be equal regardless of the intender or the receptor. Sadly, it is not, and never will be again. And, to be honest, even “intent” as the basis is not acceptable in a society that used to value freedom of speech and the privilege to offend. My utopia encourages the practice of offending should the need arise. Apparently, a nuanced civilization requires catering to the “pansies” and those holding a delicate psyche. I’ve not yet mastered that…ability.
In my opinion, this is a war that cannot be won. It can be managed. It can be regulated to lesser effect and importance. But, that can only happen through general consensus, and through true innovation.
For example…stop using the word “minority.” Technically, there is no such thing. We are all different. Even identical twins have different interests, different likes and dislikes. They may look the same, but there are physical differences and singular mental acuities. In essence, we are all individuals. The amount of melanin content in one’s skin (when defined that way on a regular basis day in and day out) will prompt consideration as to why this should quantify and qualify special hiring practices.
Stop with the congenial good behavior towards the press. I am always amazed that political candidates make an effort to appear friendly and warm towards gotcha journalists firmly in the other camp. There is nothing wrong with attacking these journalists from the onset, and establishing the tone with vigor.
Stop with the:
“Well, it’s so nice to be here with you, Katie.”
“Well, Katie, in the interest of full disclosure let’s clarify up front that you are, without question, firmly in the liberal camp before we start rolling on your…*ahem*…fair questions.”
What, exactly, is the point of trying to communicate with the American people, if you fail to get across your point? If you are worried about a “interpretive community” shaping the intended meaning of your words to reflect something other than your message, pull out the sledge hammer in a follow-up and make that even more undeniable.
Conservative: President Obama is an eloquent speaker.
Interpretive Response: This is a racist affront to black people. Eloquent is another way of saying that you were pre-conditioned to believe African Americans cannot be good speakers and reflect an educated façade.
Republican: (Note: this is where the spineless Republicans usually cave, and hand out the obligatory half-assed apology for offending anyone who may have been offended)
True Conservative: I’m sorry to hear that ________________ was offended by my compliment of President Obama’s fine speaking abilities. Ted Kennedy, on the other hand, puts me to sleep every time…erah…he…erah…speaks to the….erah…assembly. In my opinion ________ and anyone else who was offended by my compliment of this president…may wish to re-evaluate their own indiscretions, because they are obviously projecting a prejudice and bigotry when they try to read a meaning into my words that just isn’t there. The short version is you are wrong…dead wrong...and I tend to believe you know that, but took a shot at me because we are on different sides of the political aisle. I promote free speech. You are promoting victimization and doing so poorly.
My point is that the “interpretive communities” are not only established in fact; they are established in law by a Supreme Court Justice nominated by Ronald Reagan. The only way to excel in the face of word twisting and smithing is to marginalize the community. The gloves need to come off. Traps need to be set with enough bait to snare the usual suspects while winding up the knock out punch to neuter the anticipated whining, complaining, and calls of resignation. If you set up enough targets, soon the public will catch on, and the usual suspects will reconsider the strategy.