HOW THE TERMS WE USE IMPACT THE PACE OF CHANGE
Social justice warriors may be well-intended but sometimes the words chosen to advance the cause of justice end up having opposite consequences.
This essay explores why words matter. When we call something genocide or apartheid, what does that mean? When we use words like diversity and inclusion, what does that mean? Our word choices impact how fast we will heal so many of our world’s problems.
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In 2003, a student intern at my law firm and I were discussing various political issues when the topic of abortion came up. The intern, Michael, was a very conservative Catholic — A Mel Gibson, Vatican I type Catholic.
Except unlike Mel, Michael was a good person. But, as he sat in my office talking to me, a Jewish lawyer, he looked me straight in the eyes and said “abortion doctors are the same as Nazis. Mass murderers of millions of babies.”
I was stunned. Did this kid not have enough sense to regulate his Nazi comments in front of…
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