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right Charlottesville-ABC Screen Shot

Image credit: ABC7 Los Angeles Screen Shot

There’s Nothing ‘Right’ About It: Mainstream Media’s Use Of Misleading Labels


I’ve noticed an interesting pattern in certain mainstream news stories, such as ones related to last month’s incident in Charlottesville, VA. A certain, very misleading label gets attached where it doesn’t belong:

“…the right-wing, racist organization…”

“…another case of right-wing violence…”

This, of course, is just a cheap media trick – one of many – that’s meant to promote a bad image of anything associated with the political ‘right.’

When used this way, “right-wing” is a slur for “conservative.” It’s kind of like using the term “anti-choicers” when referring to abortion opponents.

But what does being “right-wing” really mean, particularly as opposed to being “left-wing”?

“Right-wing” means recognizing that all men are created equal. “Left-wing” means deeming some to be more equal than others.

“Right-wing” means recognizing that factors like race are superficial and meaningless. “Left-wing” means treating race as being more significant than even gender.

“Right-wing” means promoting equal opportunity, which leads to justice. “Left-wing” means attempting to force equal results, which leads to injustice;

“Right-wing” means recognizing that equal rights come with equal responsibilities. “Left-wing” means trying to enforce rights without responsibility, leading to the promotion of false rights.

“Right-wing” means encouraging people to take responsibility for themselves. “Left-wing” means encouraging people to play the victim and blame others.

Which one of these “wings” is more likely to lead to racism and senseless violence? Hint: It ain’t the one that starts with “R.”

If someone is guilty of racism or violence, it doesn’t matter what their motivation or their professed political persuasion is. There is nothing “right” about where they really stand.


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