John McWhorter, an English Professor at Columbia University, is demanding that leftists stop labeling everyone that disagrees with them as “white supremacists.”
McWhorter, who has spoken out against the regressive elements of the left in the past, claims that there is a new leftist contingent that calls any white person who questions a position associated with minority groups as white supremacists.
“A leftist contingent is now charging any white person who seriously questions a position associated with people of color as a white supremacist,” John McWhorter, previously a linguistics professor, wrote for TIME magazine. “The idea is that if you go against a certain orthodoxy, then it isn’t only that you disagree, but that you also wish white people were still in charge, that you want people of color to sit down and shut up.”
McWhorter contends that “white supremacist” is now being used by the left because “racist” has been so overused that it has started to lose its meaning.
“‘White supremacist’ is a new way of saying ‘racist’ while stepping around the steadily increasing awareness that that word, too, is being wielded in sloppy ways,” McWhorter explains. “Writing ‘white supremacist’ is a way of making the reader jump, in the way that ‘prejudiced’ and ‘racist’ once were. What handier way of driving your critique home than implying that your target would have broken bread with the Confederacy, stood at the school doors at the behest of Orville Faubus, or today would be happy to sip coffee at conferences with well-spoken alt-righters?”
McWhorter pointed out that those who accuse others of racial hatred rarely have to substantiate their claims. He believes that an accuser should be able to prove their claim that someone else is racist before they decide to label them “supremacist.”
“If you make a claim that someone desires that white people be in charge and muzzle the opinions and opportunities of people of color, you should be able to prove it,” he writes. “No, the fact that psychological tests reveal subtle racial biases in whites does not justify calling any white person’s questioning of the views of a person of color a white supremacist.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org