Place the word “The” in front of any group, ethnicity, or classification of people and what do you get? You get an instantaneous separation — an “Us” vs. “Them”. Examples? You want examples? Okee dokee, here are a few:
THE Jews…THE Blacks…THE Gays…THE Muslims. When the word “the” is used to introduce any group of people I experience an immediate (and thoroughly involuntary) discomfort. When I read: “The Jews around the world are…” my gut reaction is not at all the same as when I read “Jews around the world are..”. Is it paranoia that triggers my discomfort? I think not. Paranoia is defined as “unjustified fear”, and history teaches that there is nothing UNjustified about fear induced by words that target specific people.
For me, use of the word “the” in relation to any group of people is a Dog Whistle intended to alert the racists, xenophobes, misogynists and homophobes of the world to the existence, activities, or supposed intentions of certain individuals. It implies that a nefarious motivation lies behind whatever activity is being discussed, that that motivation is shared by every member of whatever group is being discussed, and that that group poses a real and present danger to the people doing the discussing.
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of this planet’s citizens, the greatest threat faced today comes from the individuals (and supporting players) entrusted to “protect and defend” the citizens of planet Earth. Today, the supposed “protectors” are, in reality, the predators and they are the very people most inclined to employ tools of division. Look around — read the daily reports of who’s doing what to whom and you will quickly see that a startling number of this world’s national leaders are the instigators of insurrection and the mentors of the misbegotten.
Britain’s newly-minted Prime Minister has surrounded himself with card-carrying homophobes, xenophobes and misogynists. There are riots in the streets of Hong Kong, Manila, Brazil, and Venezuela protesting the hate-fueled policies of the leadership of each. And, of course, there is the outrageous occupying presence of the so-called “Leader of the Free World”.
Seemingly overnight (though, in truth, after a long-festering tidal wave of worldwide ugliness), the leadership of country after country has landed in the lap of lunatics. Like it or not (and if you like it you are part and parcel of this world’s woes), on the threshold of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the “festival of Peace and Love”, we have arrived at the Dawning of The Age of Nefarious!
— Y.Not? (aka Brooke Jones)
May The 4th Be With You