Why It’s Incredibly Problematic to Call White Supremacists “Insane”

Graphic using speech bubbles to illustrate why it's important to stop calling white supremacists "insane": When people say "insane white supremacists," "these KKK marches are crazy," "the USA has gone made," and "racism is a mental illness," what they are really saying is "people with disabilities are abnormal; it's an insult to be compared to them," "people with mental health conditions are dangerous, violent, criminal," "racism is irrational; an abnormality; history, not current reality," and "racism is caused by individuals, not by systems of white supremacy."

As white supremacists march in cities across the country this month, inciting terror and violence, a lot of people are calling such people “crazy,” “insane,” or “mentally ill.” Beyond the well-documented fact that white lawbreakers are often described by the media in markedly different ways from those who are people of color, calling racism a “mental illness” has got to stop. Here’s why.

Continue reading Why It’s Incredibly Problematic to Call White Supremacists “Insane”

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On “Person-First Language”: It’s Time to Actually Put the Person First

Language is a tool. It can make our worlds bigger or make them smaller. It can be used to create connection or to cause harm. It can affirm or it can disparage.

When it comes to how we describe marginalized aspects of ourselves or others—things that are perceived as “not normal” by the mainstream—language matters a whole lot, because how we talk or write about ourselves and each other can either affirm the value of diversity and difference, or demean people who are different from the idealized norm.

Continue reading On “Person-First Language”: It’s Time to Actually Put the Person First