Words can be loving, tender, soft, kind, gentle, calming, peaceful, truthful, false, wise, foolish, heated, cruel, offensive, hurtful, hate-filled and violent. Words motivate, educate and manipulate. Words are powerful things.
No great revolution or societal upheaval in history began with weapons and guns…they began with words. Divisive and dehumanizing words. Words that lifted up some at the expense of others.
Obviously, we have not learned that lesson from history, for today words such as: hater, godless, nazi, racist, bigot, thug and any number of racial terms including propaganda based phobias are constantly being used to bully and shame.
Furthermore, we live in an age where truth, as defined by God in the ten commandments as not bearing false witness, and the truths revered by our nations founding father’s as self-evident, “that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” have now become merely relative. I do not believe that most people recognize that there is a difference between opinion and truth or fact and fiction.
My professional career was in politics and communications. I worked for both Republican and Democrat leaders and as much as I hate to agree with Donald Trump about anything he is right the system is rigged. It has been strategically rigged by the use of careless words over a long period of time.
For decades now instead of loving one another as fellow members of a united colorblind society we have allowed ourselves to be divided by words with hyphens…African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Gay-Americans, Christian-Americans, Atheist-Americans, Poor-Americans, Wealthy-Americans and the list just goes on and on.
To further separate neighbor from neighbor cold impersonal sophisticated overly simplistic words are deliberately created and used as propaganda to advance treasured often self-serving causes…many of which are not equal, ethical, moral or respectful of other people’s freedoms.
These careless words are then repeated as “talking points” over and over again to change truth to fiction, advance a related or unrelated agenda, reassure the voters who are dependent on the paternal services of that prospective political party, or used to just keep voting blocks in line.
Again, yesterday, more careless words.
President Obama and Governor Dayton both made public statements about institutionalized racism in law enforcement escalating already raw, and rightly so, emotions after the horrible situation in Baton Rouge and of Philando Castile’s death after a traffic stop. The governor went so far as to publicly convict the officer.
Last evening, Dallas law enforcement lost five police officers when they were ambushed as they worked protecting peaceful protesters exercising their constitutional right to speak out against institutionalized racism in law enforcement. The shooter just, “wanted to kill white people, especially white cops.”
My heart and prayers go out to the families of the young men who were killed by police this week and to the families of the fallen members law enforcement in Dallas, Texas. May our country seek resolutions of peace, and put people before personal and political agendas. Let our leaders practice the politics of respect, reject the the politics of division and be recommitted to insuring the equal application of justice and the rule of law.
The use of careless words are much more dangerous to a free society than guns. As the Bible says in James 3, verse 5, ” So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire.”
Careless words can have deadly consequences….just saying.