Ah, progressivism. Where gender and biology are fluid, but language is static. To quote the Red Queen, “It’s too late to correct it. When you’ve once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences.” If the word was once associated with racism, it will be forever tainted and irredeemable, a linguistic landmine lying in wait to macroaggressively maim the unwary. We saw this with beards as well. No, wait, come to think of it, pronouns change with the wind these days, too. Maybe it’s only proper nouns that work like this. Yeah, that must be it. Otherwise, the only logical conclusion is that this is all just a society-wide game of Calvinball, where the only consistent aim is to be the group in charge of declaring when and how the rules change, and that’s just too awful to contemplate.
Thomas Sowell put it most clearly in one of his books — the characteristic thing about this progressive crusading is its desire to not only end suffering and injustice here and now, but its desire to erase the past as well. He didn’t mean “erase” in the Orwellian memory-hole sense, although that tendency certainly exists too. He meant that they’re attempting to cancel the past out, by re-creating what they imagine to be the original Edenic conditions that would have existed had not patriarchy, capitalism, racism, and all the other assorted evils from Pandora’s jar escaped to wreak havoc throughout history. They postulate an original world intended to resemble a maudlin John Lennon song, tabulate all the ways in which it fell short, and then attempt to create the conditions of that world in the present through social engineering. From affirmative action to privilege-checking via language-policing and all points in between, the goal is to reduce “unjust” disparities, but, as you may be noticing, in this worldview, it’s an axiom that all disparities are unjust. Had things been truly fair and equal from the start as they should have been, no disparities would have arisen to begin with.
It should go without saying that this is the type of idea normally found inhabiting pungent clouds of marijuana cannabis smoke. In the commonly-recognized reality, all we can do to atone for shameful actions is to learn from them and do better from this day forward. What’s done can’t be undone. The end of racism will be when we stop practicing racist behavior, not when we expunge every last object, habit, word or idea that may once have been tangentially connected to something racist, however much they may have evolved since then. But unfortunately, the Handicapper General ideal is what underlies the aggregate logic of progressivism, in which a poorly-conceived-and-defined “equality” requires that all officially-recognized victims be “raised up” to wherever they would “naturally” be, had they not been victimized. In practice, though, it’s much easier to remove existing privileges from those who possess them, especially as they didn’t “deserve” them in the first place. To end unjust discrimination, we’ll need to “progressively” discriminate for “better” reasons until, by smoke, mirrors, and dialectical magic, we finally arrive at a point where no one ever needs to unjustly discriminate against anyone. In this instance, it’s not enough that pot legalization has become a mainstream issue; it doesn’t matter that absolutely nobody uses the word “marijuana” to conjure up racist fears of Mexicans; we still can’t be allowed to move forward until we have completely obliterated all traces of previous injustice, as if it never existed; hence, we need to stop using the contaminated term altogether. Again, to just go ahead and put too fine of a point on it, this is an idea so incoherent and delusional that it doesn’t deserve a rebuttal so much as a pillow held firmly over its face.
It’s amusingly ironic to me that a residual respect for the archetypal Old Testament-era prophet should be one of the aspects of our religious heritage to survive deep into our secular liberal age. What I mean is, there’s absolutely no reason anyone should take this social justice nonsense seriously. It’s self-evidently ignorant and counterproductive. And yet, articles like this are published every day and cheered by substantial numbers of influential people, because the authors are given the benefit of the doubt as to their “good intentions.” Sure, they may go a little too far in their zeal, but they mean well, and it’s good to have people filling that role as the moral conscience of a community, nation, etc., calling us to a higher standard and reproving us for our flaws. In reality, this has never been anything but the subtlest of power plays, in which a new class of aspiring mandarins realized that by declaring even the most innocuous things “problematic,” they could present themselves as the cure to their invented disease, and best of all, we’re supposed to believe that they will remain uncorrupted by the power that they refuse to trust anyone else with. It turns out that a “just” society requires their constant supervision and permission to function. Who’d’a thunk it?