Like most Penn students, I have political and social ideas about what should be done to help “the underclass.”
But there’s a guy who sits on the corner of 38th and Chestnut in a wheelchair that I’ve walked past many times. He’s the poverty I’d like to solve. But not once — even just with a passing smile — have I acknowledged his humanity.
Furthermore, we need to be aware that when we uphold the value of artists such as Iggy Azalea, we allow them to take space from other artists — in this example, black artists — who are producing art that is both more authentic and less offensive.
Of course language is supposed to change — it should always be evolving with the ideas of its speakers. But being eager to create new uses of language doesn’t necessarily excuse us from stomping on old ones. When we scramble, garble or generally maim language with reckless abandon, we risk burying important concepts alive.