Attack on words reflects mob mentality

“The Bard,” William Shakespeare, had a wholesome mistrust of the kind of mob hysteria typified by our present epidemics of statue-busting and identify-altering.

In Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar” — a narrative adopted from Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” — a frenzied Roman mob, in furor over the assassination of Julius Caesar, encounters on the road a poet named Cinna. The harmless poet was not the conspiratorial murderer Cinna, however sadly shared a reputation with the killer.

The terrified poet factors out to the mob this case of mistaken id: “I’m Cinna the poet.”

The mob solutions: “Tear him for his dangerous verses, tear him for his dangerous verses! … It’s regardless of, his identify’s Cinna!”

Shakespeare definitely would acknowledge that, just like the playwright’s Roman mob, we’ve launched a warfare towards phrases in our frenzy to seek out targets for our politically right insanity.

Lately, there have been progressive calls on the College of Southern California to rename the varsity’s mascot, the white Andalusian horse “Traveler.” Members of the left thought that the mute animal’s identify too intently resembled the identify “Traveller,” the favourite horse of Accomplice common and sudden demon of 2017 Robert E. Lee.

However the mob was not completed there. An Asian-American sportscaster named Robert Lee was lately yanked by the sports activities channel ESPNfrom broadcasting a College of Virginia soccer recreation. Apparently, Lee’s identify was too near that of Robert E. Lee.

Almost a century and a half after his demise, Common Lee has gone from tragic determine to Public Enemy No. 1 of the left.

Lee the sportscaster, like Cinna the poet, was discovered responsible on the idea of ignorant affiliation together with his identify. If the politically right herd couldn’t get its palms on the lengthy-lifeless Robert E. Lee, it will apparently accept anybody within the current who shared almost the identical identify.

Why would a supposedly civilized nation descend into such linguistic fascism?

A part of the issue is the presumption by elites that a supposedly illiterate public have to be shielded from itself. However does anybody actually consider that common individuals will confuse an Asian-American sportscaster who has the widespread Chinese language surname “Lee” and the all-American first identify “Robert” with a Accomplice common — or that the sportscaster might thus be one way or the other tangentially related with the current violence in Charlottesville?

ESPN, nevertheless, doesn’t guess on the intelligence of the typical…

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