Sunday, September 28, 2014

When the Going Gets Tough, the Timorous Get Euphemizing

In Baltimore, a man thought to be of Middle Eastern origin fired a BB gun at some Orthodox Jews, many of them kids, all the while shouting, "Jews, Jews, Jews."

Authorities in that city, sensitive folks who would sooner pass a kidney stone than offend the easily offended and who have therefore perfected the sort of language that George Orwell said was "designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind," could not bring themselves to call this attack what it was (and how it would have been described had those targeted been Muslim): a hate crime. Instead, police are using a much softer, far less sinister-sounding euphemism: it's "a bias incident."

Riiiight. And the Fort Hood massacre was "workplace violence." And Kristallnacht was "an incident of urgent urban renewal."

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