The Power of Literacy

 

Someone once told me that there is no power in knowledge if you are incapable of effectively articulating your ideas. I agree. In fact, I believe that there are many great thinkers among our people between journalists, commentators, intellects and beyond there is no shortage of ideas. It’s a true loss when you find an innovative thinker or strongly opinionated person who relies on degradation and idiocy as a means of spreading a message.

Social media is birthing a new wave of self-expression. One the that relies heavily on false equivalencies, mislabeling and shaming. This method of communication has opened doors to blatant prejudice, bias and hate. Language is the vessel through which ideas are carried. Misuse of language gives way to the spreading of false information.

An example on the most simplistic level, is labelling anyone who advocates for social equality as racist. One must ask themselves, what does the word racist mean? According to Dictionary.com racism is “the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to others.” Another misused and misunderstood phrase is ‘feminism’ or “the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to men.” This word and its derivatives are often used in a negative sense to shame women who are believed to be leftists, or liberal-leaning.

Patriarchy is a cultural system through which power is held by men. Women, namely conservatives, who have and/or support traditional roles in society are told that they support patriarchy or ‘male supremacy’. These misuses of language are all very common and yet widely accepted. One must wonder in a world consumed by casual nonsense, when does literacy matter?

 

Kyanna K.

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