Some of the most interesting growths on our current political terrain are the plethora of terms that mean the opposite of what they did only a short time ago.
As readers of this blog are well aware, civil rights, until recently, always meant a right to be free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, etc. Now it means a right to race/ethnicity-based preferential treatment. Similarly, affirmative action, when introduced into the civil rights vocabulary by presidents Kennedy and Johnson, meant taking affirmative steps to insure that applicants were treated without regard to race. Now it means with regard to race.
The meaning of bilingual education has also been reversed. Originally, it was an educational method designed to ease the transition of students who did not speak English into the American manistream. Now it is regarded by its most fervent advocates as a method of preserving the old home country culture. Indeed, those who oppose bilingual education are now frequently labeled racist.
LULAC’s Miss [Gabriella] Lemus said Mr. Schwarzenegger’s membership on the board of U.S. English “does not bode well for Hispanics.”
“So many of us support bilingualism and bilingual education and maintaining our culture, and he’s essentially saying it’s not valid by being part of this board that has got this whole anti-immigrant, underlying racist mentality,” she said.
Not only racist, but divisive, notes Weintraub:
A Latino group organizing a Mexican Independence Day parade in Los Angeles withdraws an invitation to Schwarzenegger after deciding that his presence would be “divisive.” There’s that word again. Like something out Orwell’s 1984, it’s a word that has come to mean its opposite
It is well-documented that “undocumented” aliens claim — and, in many states, have — a right to lower in-state tuition at public colleges. I don’t recall seeing, however, any demands for preferences for, say, Latinos who are illegal.
I wonder why not. If illegals have a right to attend state institutions, as MALDEF has recently claimed in a lawsuit against Virginia colleges (discussed here), would they not also have a right to preferential treatment as well?