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A Reader Asks Us If We're Letting Others Define Our Terms
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Phil Wolf writes from " Atlanta, Georgiafornia"
I very much enjoy your writing but wish to point out one flaw if I may. I adhere to the belief that words mean things and that the party that defines the terms, wins the argument. Having said that, I write to point out that in your reply to M. Hayden Sutherland of 12-18 you state:
I'm afraid I'll have to file these under "Life is not like that." However, VDARE.com is not about gay issues, as such, and we continue to be less homophobic than, say, Hispanic immigrants, Muslims, and the black community. We do insist on calling things as we see them, though.
If you are meaning to say that others have more of an irrational fear of homosexuals than VDARE has, then I apologize and stand corrected.
Otherwise, we need to stop playing into the hands of the extreme left in this country. Everyone should know that the gay lobby created this term to implicitly communicate that dislike of homosexual behavior is irrational, e.g. a phobia. I urge you to influence everyone you know to stop adopting the enemies terminology. Either state anti-sodomy or pro-heterosexual, but stop enabling the immoral enemy.
James Fulford writes: That was more or less what I meant to say.
Of course, "homophobia" is not a mental illness, or a moral weakness, but rather, up to a point, the normal attitude of most people at most times and places.
However, as John Derbyshire put it "This ugly and etymologically stupid word has entered general currency, so I use it here for convenience, though under protest."
But there is a valid point here; we do sometimes let others control the language. Examples: "xenophobia" is supposed to be a bad thing, and so is "nativism," while the term "racist" is, as we know, "so debased" that it now simply means "anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal."