• Susannah Colt

UNCIVIL DISCOURSE



I was driving down Route 3 in Twin Mountain when I passed a sign that said “Let’s Go Brandon.” It just so happened the day before I’d read a story on NPR about this “slogan,” so I knew what it meant. I went into a rage, which is exactly the reaction the sign owner wanted to elicit.


In case you are unfamiliar with this new slogan, dreamed up accidentally at a NASCAR event where Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series race, what they are really saying is “F**k Joe Biden.” I can’t even write the real word here because it is inappropriate to say in civilized society.


Civility has gone out the window. Disrespecting the president of the United States is acceptable and encouraged by the Republican Party. Attacking the Capital building to stop a legitimately held election is the norm. Next thing you know, torch carrying men in white sheets will be applauded and lauded and Jim Crow laws will be back on the books.


The people that created the slogan are the same people that are attending Executive Council meetings and shouting “shut it down” and “I know where you live.” They are filling auditoriums and gyms at school board meetings threatening to do harm if the board issues mask mandates. Finally, they are trying to tell schools what to teach their children and crying foul when a history teacher dares to teach about slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow laws, and the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. They want to mask the truth and prohibit the wearing of life saving masks.


Is this the kind of society we want to raise our youth in? I was taught that yelling obscenities in public was wrong and would lead to punishment. Now, people are trying to get away with yelling obscenities by disguising them in code. This should not be allowed to be propagated. We shouldn’t laugh at these tactics because they will only lead to more inflamed language that will inevitably lead to violence and anarchy.


Elected representatives and senators who are wearing the slogan on their face masks or having photos taken with people wearing a t-shirt should be censored. Resorting to cheap slogans instead of speaking in intelligent terms should be grounds for impeachment too. I know that is going overboard, but the people propagating this slogan have gone overboard too.


The saddest part is people are profiting off this euphemism. People are shelling out their hard earned cash to pay for the plastic corrugated road signs propped up by flimsy metal legs, all of which will end up in the landfill eventually. Hats and t-shirts are being sold and worn, revealing a skewed truth hidden behind cheap slogans. The profiteers are laughing all the way to the bank as more and more people buy into the most recent phrase that will be forgotten sooner than later.


How exactly are people expressing their anger when they shout profanities like “f**k” at a certain person? Does that actually reveal what they are angry about? Why can’t they put their anger in terms that mean something, like “I’m being exploited at work when I’m not paid a living wage,” or, “why can’t I afford health care or health insurance?”


Perhaps if people stopped talking in code and spoke their truths, we might be able to sort through the weeds and begin to reach consensus. At the least we could have civil discourse instead of yelling vitriolic slogans like “let’s go Brandon.” My hope is we can tamp down the rhetoric and get something concrete accomplished to get some relief for those people who are so angry. Please!

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