Codes Words White Media Has to Use for White Terrorist Murder and Bombing
Many black Americans are now familiar with code-switching. But do they realize it applies to white media as well? Whites in the Gulf Coast states of the old South typically responded with “great gusto” and “zeal” towards foreigners and black Americans when they don’t get their way. That is the type of euphemism — gusto and zeal — of code-switching from the confrontation of the brutal facts that American mainstream media uses, a tactic to describe bombing, burning, and murder, the marks of white organized terrorism against blacks and minorities.
Other typical language ticks describing “racial violence” include phrases that reflected a bracketing of a period and are manifestations indicating that “this” was “an isolated incidence,” in a certain place, and that eventually “things calmed down.” Here’s the example that popped up when I read a story of such an “episode”:
“members of the Ku Klux Klan set fire to several boats near Galveston Bay and burned crosses near the homes of Vietnamese fishermen. Tensions only abated after the Southern Poverty Law Center, together with the Vietnamese Fishermen’s Association, filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Klan’s intimidation tactics.”
Did you catch that? “Tensions abated.” As usual, this phrasing shifts the implication that both sides are somehow guilty. It sounds like both sides were very tense and someone had to step in to calm them both down. This example is from a story in Texas where in the late 1970s, Vietnamese immigrated to Texas to escape the war and took up shrimping. That is how all-American history in this region, and others, appear in the history books and news. Both sides are fighting and getting really tense and violent. But that’s not what happened at all.
Here’s what happened. The white men, probably Klan members, but it really doesn’t make a big difference if they were “officially” or not, threatened the Vietnamese immigrants escaping a repressive war in their country and sided with Americans against the communist regime that won, wanted to just earn a living. But, instead, the whiter fishermen attacked them, and a Vietnamese fisherman shot and killed one — in self-defense. It was obvious but this immigrant had to be tried in…