Perspective: Words Matter

Aug 23, 2019

Words matter. That point was driven home recently by my church's minister, as he reflected on how the hateful rhetoric against Hispanics influenced the murderous rampage in El Paso. 

Words matter. One Fox News commentator opined, "I'm not against immigrants; I'm for Americans," as if the two, somehow, were mutually exclusive groups of humanity. 


Words matter. A recent New York Times story reported, in great detail, how frequently the term "invasion" is applied by conservative news outlets. Here, some historical perspective would be helpful. Hitler invading Poland? Of course. Italy attacking Ethiopia? No argument. Japan occupying China? Certainly. But groups of refugees, asylum seekers, or family members appearing and then detained at our southern border? I think not. 


Words matter. Ann Coulter, appearing as a guest on Fox News, told viewers "You can shoot invaders." That sentiment is clearly shared by others, as the same suggestion was shouted at a Trump rally, with attendees laughing in response. 


Words matter. But I honestly don't have the right words to describe the shame I feel as an American, as a descendant of immigrants, when I heard these words nearly every single day.



I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.