We older folks remember the early 1950s when U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy vociferously investigated communists in the country. History remembers his effort as “McCarthyism,” a word describing unfair charges against somebody.

The “ism” of modern-day America is racism.

“Racism” was once defined as a belief by one race that another race is inferior. But today the word’s used differently. “Racism” is now used to describe a white person who criticizes a nonwhite person.

The most recent example is President Donald Trump’s tweets about U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, an African American congressman who represents inner-city Baltimore. After Cummings' dramatic criticism of Trump’s immigration policies, Trump responded like he usually does when attacked. He pointed out how Cummings’ district of Baltimore is still rat infested and has the worst crime and murder rate in the country after 25 years of Cummings’ leadership that pumped billions of federal dollars into the city.

Democrat presidential wannabes and the media immediately called President Trump a racist. Criticizing an African American isn’t politically correct, as we all came to realize when Barack Obama was president. But Trump isn’t a politically correct president. He speaks his mind. He says out loud what at least half the country’s thinking.

Thankfully, some media folks criticized the misuse of the word “racism” against Trump in the Baltimore exchange. The word “racism” risks becoming, like the word “McCarthyism” has become — synonymous with unfair charges against somebody. And it’ll be a sad day for American race relations if the word “racism” is ever diminished in that way.

DON HASKELL

Astoria

(1) comment

william furnish

So right! Disney cartoons are 'racist'. The NFL is 'racist'. Al Sharpton is ;racist'. Robin Hood is 'racist'. When everything is 'racist', then nothing is 'racist'. It becomes the 'new normal'.

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