Bahr: Buzzwords



Connor Bahr

Nazi, racist, bigot, misogynist. These and other buzzwords have become the most common weapons amongst social justice warriors’ arsenal, for good reason. What these words represent is hateful ideologies and practices that need to be purged from the world. However, they also serve another purpose; catch-all words for someone that doesn’t agree with you,used to paint them in a negative way. To understand what I mean, let us look at some examples.

The most thrown around word is “nazi”. This makes sense, due to the holocaust and the people who caused it being forward in the minds of people around the world. Only a very, very, tiny amount of people would say that the Nazis were justified in their actions, and so, the nazis have become the caricature of evil. Calling someone a nazi is equating them to one of the greatest evils of all time, and can make for excellent fear-mongering, even if they have no similar ideologies to the nazis. In my opinion, there are no “nazis” left, because The National Socialist German Workers’ Party doesn’t exist anymore. However, there are still Nazi Parties in various countries around the world. The people that belong to these fringe groups could be considered nazis, but calling anyone else is a nazi is clearly propaganda.

Another commonly used word is bigot, a word simply meaning, “ A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”. This is a commonly used buzzword because it has an extremely negative connotation and needs almost no specific action to grant it legitimacy. One can throw this word at anyone that disagrees with them and it’s technically correct.

Racist, misogynist, sexist, and homophobic are grouped together because they are commonly said together. From my experience, it is clear that little evidence is needed against you to be considered one of these. To be completely fair, these are terrible ideologies that should be called out when it is clear they are actually in practice but, like “nazi” and “bigot”, they are mostly used for slander and propaganda.

A good example of this labeling is the recent events at the Lincoln Memorial involving Nick Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic School, and Nathan Phillips, an elder of the Omaha Tribe. A clip was released upon the internet of Sandmann smiling while Phillips played a drum in front of him. While the clip only shows a small portion of the event, the story behind the incident is much more complicated. However, the internet and media were quick to call Sandmann and his classmates racist, despite Sandmann, throughout the entire clip, not saying a word, and hardly moving a muscle.

The problem with these words is that they are commonly thrown around with almost no evidence. They are used to create propaganda against somebody with different opinions. We as a society need to be more careful of who we label as racist or homophobic or a nazi because these labels can have real-life consequences for those accused, even with no evidence to back it up.