Friday, August 27, 2010
Last line of defense of a fool: name-calling
Too often in American discourse the loser resorts to calling the opponent a name. This does not serve to further along the valued conversations that tend to mend communities and educate those in need the most. It is almost always those that are in need of the education that such discourse brings that are entertained by the name-calling. Over the next couple of days, take moments to see if you notice this. Listen to the names that help to demonize the opponent instead of resolving conflict. Faggot, nigger, cracker, rag-head, wetback, chink, are just a few that the least educated among us will quickly use when backed into an ideological corner when in mental battle with a more skillful adversary.
The very last refuge of an idiot is to call another a derogatory name. When armed with facts and knowledge, there is no reason to resort to such tactics. How many times have you watched people engaged in verbal battle and one suddenly spouts out, “You’re an idiot!”? Think back and try to remember who was intellectually winning the battle before it was dumbed-down. Was that person really an idiot or was the other person out of intellectual fuel? I have watched as the most intelligent among us is labeled some moniker meant to make them seem more monstrous than militant. MLK was called a trouble-maker. This entertained the most ignorant of his enemies. George Bush was called an idiot, this seemed to energize the least educated among his political opposition. It was common among blacks to call the Honorable Clarence Thomas an Oreo. This is the battle call of his distracters. Black men of title were still called “boy” by their Southern white less educated neighbors. This somehow gave these mental midgets strength.
I am not against giving these titles to people if they belong to them. The problem is this: When you choose to give someone a derogatory title, make sure you can defend it with real facts that are able to lead ANYONE to the same conclusion. If you cannot, then you are the real idiot. Entertainment for idiots usually has to be overt, undisguised and over the top. This is what name-calling is. It lacks the art of subtlety. Yes to be subtle is an art form that dies in the presence of fools.
Don’t let your children resort to name calling when they should be able to defend their positions with fact. My children are not allowed to state opinions without telling me why they have that opinion. They are not allowed to cower in the corner behind the ragged defense of name-calling. They are made to understand that you look the smaller person when you resort to this and you are usually telling the thinking persons in the crowd a multitude of things about yourself. Name-calling: The last refuge of idiots.