‘People of Color’ and ‘2SLGBITQIA+’: Using Language to Enforce Subordination

Recently, Arizona Republican Eli Crane was rebuked for referring to “people of color” as “colored people.”

That’s a controversy which would, at any other time in the history of the English language, be incomprehensible to a sensible reader.  After all, there’s no practical difference in the phrases.  In fact, the choice to give preference to the phrase “people of color” is worse than practically useless to an English speaker -- it’s needlessly more burdensome to both the talker and the listener.  

Consider this formula with any other trait.  Would you refer to yourself as a “person of dark hair,” or a “dark-haired person?”  Would you call your wife a “woman of devotion,” or a “devoted woman?”  Or your friends that you admire in your community: would you refer to them as “people of good hearts,” or “good-hearted people?”

You know the latter of all those examples to be the most coherent because you speak English, and you would rightfully look askance at anyone who tells you that your kid is a “child of talent” rather than referring to him or her as a “talented child.” 

But the point for the leftist language police isn’t about efficiency in communication.  It’s about power.  You will amend your language and speech patterns in uncomfortable and nonsensical ways in order to conform to a peculiar social order, or you will be socially pilloried for your refusal to do so by submitting to stupid new language rules that apply only to you.

In Eli Crane’s case, it was clearly a slip of the tongue.  But that doesn’t matter.  If Crane were a black man, he likely could have spoken the n-word without objection.  But, since he is a not, different rules apply to him. 

Democratic representative Joyce Beatty, who was once the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus asked for “unanimous consent to [strike] the words of referring to me or any of my colleagues as ‘colored people.’”   

And, so, the supposedly offensive reference to “people of color” as “colored people” was unanimously stricken from the record.  Eli Crane was forced to self-flagellate, telling Americans that he “misspoke.”  “Everyone is created in the image of God and created equal,” he said. 

That’s an odd sort of non-sequitur.  Black Americans are certainly created in the image of God, and created equal regardless of whether they’re referred to as “people of color” or, more in accordance with our language’s customary usage, as “colored people.”  But nonetheless, his explanation and penance were unacceptable to this high priestess of the DEI ministry.

“He didn’t misspeak,” Beatty said.  “He said clearly what, in my opinion, he intended to… it shows us directly why we need DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).”

I’m not unaware of the fact that the phrase “colored people” was once widely used in the Jim Crow South, and I’m not recommending that anyone commonly use it today.  But it should at least be understandable that someone, in the course of a conversation about race, might occasionally resort to using that far more practical language to characterize the very same people that the left demands be described by the somehow more socially acceptable phrase, “people of color.”

But in terms of the many linguistic thorns burrowing in our cultural psyche that are destroying our society cell-by-cell, even this example pales in comparison to the latest accepted iteration of the acronym associated with what was once the limited to the “gay pride” movement and the sexual revolution.

Many years ago, we were presented with a political coalition called LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual), which later became LGBT somewhere in the 1990s to include transexuals.  This later became LGBTQ, then LGBTQIA in recent years. 

Back in March of 2022, when ESPN analysts protested a Florida bill which prohibits K-3 instruction regarding sexuality (with which nearly two-of-three Americans openly agree), the announcer referenced the coalition as “LGBTQIA+.”

That is eight, count ‘em, eight syllables that people are expected to speak whenever referencing this expanding group of supposedly marginalized people who, outside of their unusual sexual proclivities and/or peculiar means of self-identification, are otherwise completely unrelated.  But that ridiculous acronym has quickly became the standard in professing one’s progressive bona fides here in America. 

And yet -- there seems to be no consensus on the basic meaning of some of the letters of the acronym we’re meant to profess and chant in unison each June.  Does the Q stand for “queer,” or “questioning?”  Does the A stand for “asexual” or “allies?”  It all seems to very much depend on whom you ask. 

But our forced contemplation of these supposedly difficult and culture-defining questions is only part of the absurdity.  Forcing you to participate in the absurdity is the actual purpose. You are expected to refer to this broad “community” in ever expansive and cumbersome ways, or you will be accused of bigotry for failing to do so.

And, as if this silliness weren’t enough to make modern Western culture seem sillier than the silliest of Monty Python sketches, Justin Trudeau would ask you to hold his beer.

Last month, Chris Kenny of Australia’s Sky News marveled at Trudeau’s invention of new virtue signaling letters for the LGBTQ+ movement (in Australia, it seems, the chyron managers haven’t kept up enough to know that LGBTQIA+ is the point of absurdity we had reached over here more than a year ago).

“Talk about virtue signaling,” Kenny says.  “I’ve got to admire his articulation here, his vocal dexterity, as he rattles off the latest combination of letters and numbers.”

The segment cuts to Trudeau, speaking very effeminately, but with absolute precision, to include individuals claiming the peculiar “two-spirit” identity:

It’s scary to see what’s happening in the United States.  Whether it’s 2SLGBTQIA+ rights that are constantly being attacked…

My government will always stand up, unequivocally, for women’s rights, for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights…

No human being can ever be expected to rattle off this ten-syllable standard in day-to-day conversation, or to buck the common rules of our language at all times when referring to a group of people, without both ample practice and substantial coercion.  But we are all getting practice, because coercion is the very point of these linguistic follies that we witness daily in our culture.  A status quo which can coerce you to speak such nonsense as if it were somehow meaningful or virtuous is not only an assault on our intelligence, but it is every bit as demoralizing and dehumanizing as a society which can demand your acknowledgement that “two and two make five.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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