Corruption of language leads to dehumanization.
Have You Been Dehumanized Lately?
You probably haven’t even noticed. It began decades ago, this dehumanization. It was done originally to make our enemies seem less human. Now it has been done to you.
It is a simple matter. Listen for it. You hear it all the time from teachers, preachers, news anchors, even writers, who should know better. Did you notice in the last sentence. People who? Writers "who." People.
"Who" identifies a human being. We ask "who are you?"
But what one hears over and over is liberals that, consumers that, mothers that, Tea Baggers that, Iraqis that, illegals that ... Does anyone ever ask, "that are you?" And if they did, we would immediately recognize the question as gibberish.
"Who" is the essence, the spirit, the humanness of us. It is the aliveness of us. We don't say a body who is this or that because it is no longer alive. "It" no longer has needs, desires, ambitions, potential.
We used to differentiate between people and things. Automobiles ‘that’ go fast makes sense. Automobiles ‘who’ does not. Automobiles are a commodity, people are not - rather, they once were not.
Ideas which protect civil rights are good for people who need them. Ideas ‘which’, people ‘who’ ... ideas which demean us, call us consumers ‘that’ adore fast foods turn us into mere commodities, same as the objects we adore. One never says French Fries ‘who’ taste wonderful.
One might accurately and respectfully ask, ‘who’, ‘which are you?’ or ‘why are you?’ or even ‘what are you?’ but ‘that are you’ is intentionally unrelated to you. It refers to you and addresses you as meaningless. Not an honorific or even a generalized ‘citizen’ - just ‘na-na-na’ or ‘bththeet’ ...
And so our elected officials do not have to consider us at all. We don’t exist as people because we have become objects, mere ‘thats’ to be scraped and replaced, shipped out, crushed, recycled, abandoned, ignored.
We The People have been morphed into consumers and commodities while corporations have been raised up to ‘person’ status with their corporate rights (but no responsibilities) and we steadily lose our rights, even our identity, and shoulder all of the responsibility.
Listen for it and challenge those who demean you. Use it as a mantra. Reclaim your humanity. You are not a ‘that’ but a ‘who’ or ‘whom’ - a person, a human being, a citizen who has been demeaned dozens of times a day for generations. Time to relight the beacon of liberty, of individuation, of freedom. Break out of those demeaning shackles.
"Who are you?"