The Great Hippo wrote:I meant to say what do we call someone who's using culture as a proxy to describe what they see as degenerate races (by discussing degenerate culture, instead).
Given that exact scenario
, the person is racist, but not
because they are "using culture as a...", but because they "...see as degenerate races". It is that last part that pretty much defines racism. They are racist because of that belief, irrespective of how they mealymouth their opinion.
But, that's not what's happening with Trump.
The Great Hippo wrote:If you believe in the purity of definitions, then you probably agree that just because others use the word for its emotional content doesn't imply I shouldn't use it when I think it's the right word.
Again, strictly speaking you are correct. You shouldn't use the word because it is not the right word. I claim that your belief that it is the right word is incorrect.
Given that it is the incorrect word, it is disingenuous to use it anyway to capture its mojo. It leads people (like The Great Hippo
) to focus on the wrong problem, and to see things that aren't there, but merely look like
something that is.
The Great Hippo wrote:You don't think the word fits. Why not? Because Trump hasn't talked about degenerate races?
Because the pattern
fits something else. It's a dangerous pattern he has, and it's a disservice to misidentify it.
The Great Hippo wrote:Racist statements flatten the complex to the simple.
Yes, but this is not uniquely
true of racism. Bigoted statements do the same thing - in fact, this is pretty much the whole point of bigotry. Racism is just a specific kind of bigotry. Using "racist" claims precision that isn't there. It has nothing to do with hurting people's feelings.
The Great Hippo wrote:I mean, I realize it's frustrating to have a word be "fuzzy" like this...
No, the word isn't fuzzy at all. Using the very specific word when you mean a fuzzy concept is what's incorrect, even moreso when there's a perfectly good (and appropriately fuzzy, and pretty much equally ugly) word for this concept: Bigot.
And yes, Trump has said some actual racist things (Mexican judge, Mexicans are all rapists), but the pattern is not
one of racism, it's one of belligerant bigotry. And it's not even the terrible danger of a Trump presidency. That
is Trump's continuing attack on the US institution of democracy. If he succeeds in getting people to believe that "we no longer live in a democracy" (I have family that already believe that), it will be so much easier for him to call off elections in the crisis of 2020, and rise to become our Supreme Leader.
happens, the whole thing about racism will be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.