This week’s discussion is about the power of language, the use of euphemisms for good and evil, and grammar as a form of protest. This is meant to help with thinking about Paper Two and retains a focus on Congressperson Lewis’ remarks about Trump and is a bellwether of what is to come for the final paper. Make your future self happy by really being a part of this module’s discussion!
As we might expect, Trump had a Twitter reaction to Lewis’ statement of Trump’s illegitimacy. In this module I’d like us to look at the language choices Trump made in those Tweets to reference Lewis’ district, one largely made up of people of color. I welcome you to compare this to any of Trump’s earlier references to cities or areas whose populations are largely black.
To help give clarity and get you started, here’s an article from the New York Times about Trump’s Twittering at Civil Rights Leader Lewis on the eve of MLK weekend. And here’s a an interview of the folks behind the Twitter account at Merriam-Webster Dictionary. If you aren’t yet following this account, know that it is lauded for for being one of the most powerful voices speaking truth to power in our current political landscape.
Consider that the very title of our text employs slang instead of formal language. After reading this module’s assigned reading (the concluding chapter of the text, “Making Lemonade”), why do you think Chang made this choice? Some on Twitter have hashtagged that Grammar Is Protest. What do you think?