Regarding the Jan. 17 editorial, “Conspiracy cockroaches,” the use of the word “cockroach” made me immediately think of the genocide that took place in Rwanda. The minority class, Tutsis, was mass murdered by the regime taking control of the country. The Tutsis were called cockroaches by the military that then used machetes to mow them down. Once we remove the human and replace it with a classifying description, or an animal or insect species, it makes it much easier to attack those we label. Our military sends drones into the war areas to bomb cities. The casualties are described as “bug splats,” because that’s what the bodies looks like when viewed through the video image. Human victims are just a “bug splat.” Those words dehumanize real people, and many are innocent civilians and children.
When words like malcontents, cranks, buffoons, idiot, weirdo, wacko, crazy, all forms of nut, cockroach and many other inflammatory words are used, the discussion becomes an attack on the person or group that doesn’t agree with us instead of a discussion of the original subject. This technique is called “thought stopping.” I hope the subject of future editorials can be made using adult, thought provoking words, not elementary school, playground bullying, thought-stopping words that promote ignorance and prejudice against people who don’t agree with the proscribed viewpoint.