Over time, our choice of language can shatter or reinforce preconceptions – creating feedback loops of frustration or moments of radical shifts in perception that in turn can change society itself, for good or ill.
The same is true about our choice of what to talk about – or to ignore. Sometimes, staying silent is as strong a statement as speaking out. Sometimes, speaking out is a risk.
But for those of us – people or organizations – in a position of privileged security or power, sometimes speaking out is a duty.
The question is, what message will you send about what you see as important in the world in the words you use and the things you choose to talk about? And what good could your words do when you do speak out?
- This piece from NiemanLab shows that the choice of language in covering protests about racial inequality is yet another area in which society is unfair and promotes systemic inequities.
- This tweet highlights the importance of action as well as words in supporting movements for equality – especially from brands.
- This TED Talk is an eye-opening, amusing analysis of how the language we use and the way we frame discussions about racial violence can point to the absurdity and insanity of racist norms.
- This call from my current employers for brands to take action as well as show their support was rather good – and there has been action at my place behind the scenes, not shouted about, that has made me rather proud of my colleagues.