The Ray Gates at Texas Christian University

What is it about the term “racism” that silences conversation and sends an anticipatory shudder of delight down the spines of politically correct vigilantes of virtue? Like the word “heretic” in an earlier age, “racism” is more weapon than word. Its primary effect is not to describe but to intimidate, ostracize, and silence. What semantic significance it may command is overshadowed by its use as an epithet. Once successfully applied to a person or practice, a sort of secular damnation, or at least excommunication, ensues. Seldom is there any appeal, let alone absolution. Those who blaspheme against ...