Social privilege, Coded language, Hate speech
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The language we use matters, regardless of how small individual words seem in the moment. It’s too easy to disconnect from a place of privilege and safety and ask,“Who cares?” The answer to that misguided question is people — living, breathing people who face aggression because we let coined phrases and words come out before really thinking about them. And that’s the best scenario. There are always those incidences where language is used as a weapon, meant to degrade or devalue certain people with the powerful backing of social context. Words don’t translate in a vacuum, free from our social landscape. That’s why searching for the “real” definition of a word in the dictionary is nothing more than a ploy distracting from the real point — that words have multiple meanings, and many of them aren’t pretty.
Racial Justice_Maine Campus_2021_01_17l
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Allisot, Sarah, "Editorial: Understanding our foul mouths" (2018). University of Maine Racial Justice Collection. 198.