When words no longer mean what they mean…

John Horgan used the term “I don’t see colour” in good faith.


When words no longer mean what they mean…

Just recently we all saw how our premier got gaslit over the definition of “colourblind” and “don’t see colour” and then apologized because some activists on Twitter dogpiled on him, claiming that it was now offensive.

For those who don’t know, the idea originated from black activists in the 1960s, particularly Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This concept was vital to the civil rights movement. Black pop sensation En Vogue exhorted radio listeners to “Free Your Mind” and “be colorblind” in a song written by two black men in 1992. The activists of today, and the postmodernist/marxist professors that taught them — either in a humanities course ending in “studies” or when they were supposed to be teaching math or science — want to erase all that. John Horgan used the term “I don’t see colour” in good faith. To the uninitiated, this attack is confusing. After all, wasn’t it anti-racist activists from ages past who taught us to use the term “colourblind” and to embrace the concept? It wasn’t racist white men who taught us this.

The problem is that activists of the current day have gone full IngSoc in Orwell’s 1984 and have changed “racism” into “racism of the gaps”, where if something happens that is unequal or causes inequity that hasn’t been explained, “racism did it”. If you think that constantly arbitrarily changing language, and thus gaslighting people who have no idea it’s been changed until it’s sprung on them like a “gotcha” in order to attack them for their “antiquated” views — as if this was a Maoist Struggle Session in China during the Cultural Revolution — is a good idea, then you need to 1) re-evaluate your life choices and 2) realize that you’re probably not on the right side of history. After all, I hasten to add that “struggle sessions” were banned in China in the 1970s by Deng Xiaoping as too cruel, and that’s saying something when an authoritarian communist is against it.

It’s one thing to give a word a new meaning. It’s something else entirely to attempt to banish the previous definition by unilateral fiat, and insist the previous definition never actually existed, and then use this as a pretense for “lol you were actually a bigot all along”.

If you’re not OK with what happened to John Horgan, please note that this ideology has crept into the NDP and even more so the Greens, and Sonia Furstenau appeared to be completely OK with what happened. (I invite her to state the contrary if she actually isn’t.) If you insist on voting for either of these parties anyway and are not OK with this, please make your concerns known to your candidates. We do not want a world where suddenly concepts intended to fight bigotry are suddenly changed on us without warning and used to shame people who embraced the concepts in good faith, all because someone decided words no longer mean what they mean and we let them get away with it.

April J. Gibson