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Metaphors can be made into weapons to destroy communication between classes and cultures. (Pixabay)

The subtle uses of language to undermine the power and progress of America’s dispossessed communities are most notable with the Black community, but work just as well with Hispanics and Native Americans. There are two end games to this strategy:

  • Drive a wedge between people of color and dispossessed poor white families by creating a sense of alienation and threat, and
  • Mask the ongoing violence against those communities by perpetuating the myth that they are the predators.

Thus, when the police kill a black man, liberal whites perceive it as an accident of the system—even if they acknowledge the perpetrator acted deliberately and the system covered it up. To liberals it is language which is the culprit and the most horrific threat those communities face. We still live secure in the faith that we will not be shot by police. We are far more likely to be shot by a person of color. The system wins again.

Notice that the power structure created a different narrative on Asians. Asians work harder, study harder and apply themselves more. (In fact, so do many Moslem, Christian, and Persian immigrants from the Middle East as well as members of the upper and middle class from India, but they wish to suppress that scenario.) The subtle message is also one of alienation, but this time the message is: They can replace you. A different message altogether than (they are stealing your jobs even though they are unworthy).

This creates a fear in dispossessed whites that they aren’t good enough, or educated enough, making them more deferent to their conservative white superiors.

This strategy of embedding mythology into metaphor and firing them into the crowd like bullets has created a dynamic in which dialogue becomes impossible, alliances can never be formed, and, worst of all, they rob us of real opportunities to empathize with and come to understand the core problems we face as a nation, problems that reach across racial and cultural divides.

Mainly, corporate interests and privileged classes are reducing America to a third-world nation that they can plunder they way they plunder nations abroad.

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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