Slow-to-catch-on leftists discover that 'equity-language guides' are empty 'gestures'

George Packer is a high-profile left-wing journalist, and in a rather groundbreaking essay published at The Atlantic yesterday, Packer made a "moral" case against the constant sanitation of language in pursuit of a perpetually moving goalpost.

Apparently, the Sierra Club's new "equity-language guide" was the straw that broke Packer's back.  He notes that the affection and predilection for these "guides" has surpassed the boundaries of the absurd, and although he believes that the intentions were "utopian," the guides are indicative of a broken culture where "symbolic gestures" mean more than "concrete actions" (we call this "virtue-signaling," Mr. Packer).

Finally!  What took you so long?!

Several things stood out to me about Mr. Packer's essay...

The first is the obvious: I never thought I'd see the day when leftists, in a mainstream outlet that constantly finds itself in lockstep with the establishment no less, would denounce the emptiness of "inclusive" and "atoning" language-cleansing demands.  Packer, a leader in the editorial and political sphere, recognizes that the ideology to which he subscribes has created an absolute minefield.  Oops!  I'm not supposed to say that!  As the Sierra Club alleges, the term "disrespect[s] veterans."  Read one of Packer's opening paragraphs below:

The guide's purpose is not just to make sure that the Sierra Club avoids obviously derogatory terms, such as welfare queen. It seeks to cleanse language of any trace of privilege, hierarchy, bias, or exclusion. In its zeal, the Sierra Club has clear-cut a whole national park of words. Urban, vibrant, hardworking, and brown bag all crash to earth for subtle racism. Y'all supplants the patriarchal you guys, and elevate voices replaces empower, which used to be uplifting but is now condescending. The poor is classist; battle and minefield disrespect veterans; depressing appropriates a disability; migrant — no explanation, it just has to go.

You mean to tell me I'm not actually a racist because I referred to my lunch sack as a "brown bag"?  Thank goodness!

The second: Packer ends his piece with a clarion call speech!  But not just free speech according to leftists — he means actual free speech.  See what he said below:

It will be a sign of political renewal if Americans can say maddening things to one another in a common language that doesn't require any guide.

Well, I'll be!

The third: Packer appears to claim this is also a problem on the "far right" — wait, what?  See what he has to say:

What I've described is not just a problem of the progressive left. The far right has a different vocabulary, but it, too, relies on authoritarian shibboleths to enforce orthodoxy.

Dang, he was almost there, too.  Despite building an entire logical and methodical argument against leftist "equity-language" initiatives, Packer then falls victim to a false comparison fallacy.  He wasn't arguing that both sides of the aisle had different vocabularies; he was arguing that there is a massive campaign to purify language — something which is exclusive to the left.  (No one on the right is demanding anyone keep up with an ever-changing Newspeak vocabulary, so this equivalency doesn't make sense.)  The funny reality is that despite the breakthrough, Packer is still a leftist, so of course, he couldn't quite grasp and articulate a political idea in total, but he gets credit for trying.

Image: Free image, Pixabay license, no attribution required.

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