Recently, I was indulging a latent masochistic streak by listening to the local sports radio station. For we Detroit sports fans, it has been a cruel summer with the Tigers unanticipatedly struggling to escape last place in the American League Central Division, though on the bright side there exists optimism for the upcoming seasons of the Red Wings and Pistons and – in an act of faith or insanity or both – the Lions. In between the parochial emotional extremities of hope and despair came a report about the Dallas Cowboys flamboyant owner, Jerry Jones who, as is his wont, had shot from the lip and into his own foot.
Evidently, Mr. Jones was compelled to issue an apology for using the “M word.” For a brief moment, I pondered what constituted the “M word.” Then, it dawned on me it must be “mother——.” I was mistaken. The word was – look away if offended by it – “midget.”
Per the New York Post:
“Jones had been speaking about the team’s late scouting director Larry Lacewell, who worked with the Cowboys from 1991 to 2004 and died in May at the age of 85, when he used the slur. ‘Lace held court out here,’ Jones said. ‘I’m going to get me somebody, a midget, to stand up there with me and dress him up like Lace and think Lace is still out here helping us.’”
This incurred the ire of the Little People of America, “one of the most prominent dwarfism support organizations in the nation,” who back in 2015 had announced to one and all – including its donors – that it aimed to abolish the “M word.”
“‘M – [sic] is a term that has widely been known to be derogatory for years and should be common knowledge to anyone in the public arena, such as Jerry Jones,’ the LPA said in a statement to TMZ. ‘Ignorance at this point is simply not an excuse. Any use of this disparaging slur along with suggestions or insinuations that our stature exists for amusement is deplorable and inexcusable.’
“‘Those who use the term m – [sic] or any terminology that further stigmatizes people born with dwarfism are asked to educate themselves to eradicate this word… Little People of America is asking Jerry Jones to issue an apology and vow to use appropriate terminology rooted in respect and dignity going forward.’”
At the end of the radio show’s report, the on-air talent briefly enjoyed the Cowboy’s owner’s latest public comeuppance. (As did this listener. Being a Lions fan, we must take our football pleasures where we find them, because there’s been so little pleasure on the gridiron.) Then, one of the on-air talents, unaware the “M-word” was verboten, voiced a rather pertinent query: “Who makes these rules?”
There ensued a general confoundment as to who, in fact, makes such rules; and ultimate a shrug of acquiesce to the latest word erased from the vocabulary, as well as the imposition of punishments to alleged users of the censored word. Such a question coming from people whose livelihoods are founded upon the First Amendment, and who must generate interesting content to remain employed, makes eminent sense. If they offend their audience with one wrong word, they well know they can be fired (unlike the billionaire Mr. Jones).
Yet, it is a question so often asked Americans in all walks of life, because the weaponization and monetization of outrage fuels the cancel culture that detrimentally impacts and, often, terminates the lives and livelihoods of everyone.
In the immediate instance, the Little People of America are the censors. They have taken it upon themselves to determine that their group, alone, could speak for every little person; subjectively determine if a word causes “permanent damage,” regardless of the speaker’s intent; demand the “M word” be censored and the speaker be (re-)educated. As the organization pronounced in 2015: “Whether the intention of the user of the word is used to bully and to demean, or just as a synonym for small, our collective experience shows us that language has the power to cause permanent damage to one’s self-esteem and identity.” [Emphasis mine.]
It is the old “speech is violence” canard writ large, which prays upon the decency and good will of Americans who honestly seek to offer no offense to anyone. The result? The bitterly ironic drive to weaponize language in the service of censorship and, ergo, politics, is expansive and insatiable – despite the vast majority of Americans disliking cancel culture and believing it has gone too far. Indeed, every American can find something to be outraged by on a daily basis; yet they don’t resort to censorship to redress their grievances. Of course, those who make the censorship and cancel culture rules don’t care about the vast majority of Americans being outraged or offended. After all, these self-anointed American commissars revel in the fact they’ve caused it.
Granted, this is not the government making these determinations. But the government has insidiously abetted the implementation of this censorious strategy by colluding with Big Tech, academics, non-profits, and other non-governmental entities to do so; and has even endeavored to try its hand at censorship through the failed (as of time of writing) attempt to establish a “disinformation” board.
Consequently, our republic whose founding documents recognize and protect the God-given right to free speech has witnessed some of its most esteemed beneficiaries undermine it. For examples, the Associated Press, Reddit, and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary took it upon themselves to “redefine” words and language in the service of politics; and, as time and again we’ve seen, once these “redefinitions” happen, what follows is the censorship and the cancel culture that enforces it. And guess which ideology the censorship and cancel culture are used to promote?
Thus, the simple answer to that question and the question of “who makes these rules” that make everyone miserable? The Left.
Voice your displeasure and vote accordingly.
And speaking of displeasure – Go, Lions!