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Opinion: Are Republicans for or against use of divisive concepts?

“Language matters,” instructs Newt Gingrich. Republicans have learned this lesson well. For instance, here in Georgia, Republican legislators created the “divisive concepts” law which prohibits the teaching of divisive concepts because being divisive is a very bad thing. That is unless of course you’re a Republican teaching other Republicans how to refer to Democrats. Then it is a very good thing. Here is a sample from a list of words for Republicans to use when talking about Democrats: “anti-child, anti-flag, bizarre, pathetic, self-serving, traitors.” The full list can be found in the Republican publication, “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”

Who are the Georgia Republicans behind the “divisive concepts” law? Who else but minions of Donald Trump, the Grand Dragon of Division himself. Here are just a few words he used when talking about immigrants: “invasion, criminals, killers.” And who can forget his classic gibe at US Democrat Congresswomen: “Go back where you came from.” If you’re a teacher, being divisive is a very bad thing, but if you’re President Trump, being divisive is a very good thing.

What created this outrage over the non-existent teaching of “divisive concepts?” Republicans recognized that the term Critical Race Theory was just begging to be demonized. First, most people use the word ‘critical” to mean “ fault-finding,” not “analytical” as academics use the term. Second, most people use “theory” to mean hypothesis, not a body of plausible principles used to explain phenomena. Lastly, if there is a “critical” race then there’s probably a “criticized” race. Put it all together and you’ve got, “a hypothesis for finding fault with a race.” Now what race might be just a bit sensitive about the advantages that have accrued to them because their forefathers enslaved Africans and slaughtered Native Americans? Shhhh. You can think it; just don’t say it out loud because we don’t want to be divisive.

The lesson in all this is two-fold: One, Republicans are masters of rhetoric, and two, when Republicans accuse someone of doing something hateful, check to see if it’s not something the Republicans are doing themselves.

Brian E. Moss