Words To Avoid

I may be overly sensitive, but I think there are some words we should be careful before we use or lightly banter about. My children growing up knew that the “N-word” would be about as welcome in our house as a bar of soap applied liberally to their tongue would be to them. I discouraged them to use the word “hate” whether it applied to brussels sprouts or an individual.

Lately the word “racist” seems to used by a whole lot of people without much thought. I am not blind to the fact that race and discrimination are important issues in this country and around the world. We ought to get it out there and have meaningful discussion as fellow humans. However, I am not sure calling names or casting stones is the way to go about it.

The “R-word” presumes an ability to look inside someone’s heart and mind and certainly requires passing judgment. This becomes even more difficult when we are talking about people who lived decades even centuries ago. I believe we tread in dangerous waters when we presume to judge people who lived long ago by today’s standards and current norms.

I hope we will continue to make progress as humans toward a kinder, forgiving, and accepting people, but if it were up to me the “R-word” would not have a place in our common vocabulary.

What do you think?


About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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