Is our language too harsh when we write of government, multinationals, and other entities and the people who control them? I try, even more than Mama Liberty did, to avoid vulgarities and profane language. But I know I come across very harsh oft times. One of those harsh terms is “thug.”
Recently, several readers have asked why I use this term.
The dictionary tells us that THUG – “a violent person, especially a criminal. Synonyms: ruffian, hoodlum, bully boy, bully, bandit, mugger, gangster, terrorist. historically a member of a religious organization (cult) of robbers and assassins in India. (“thugee”)New World Dictionary
The term “jack-booted thug” is fairly common. The Urban Dictionary has one good definition: Jack booted is a derogatory term used to describe an overly oppressive and authoritarian individual or group, often denotes violent tendencies. Thugs, thus described, are those in the service of an oppressive authoritarian, usually employing violence to achieve his/her/their master’s goals.
Reason Magazine, a few months ago, warned us yet again about the Feds being jackbooted thugs.
But not all thugs are wearing boots, literally or figuratively.
I think it is fully deserved to call some a thug when the are part of organizations (and do not denounce the evils and remain associated with them) that do these things. That is criminal and violent behavior, including robbery and killing – or do these things themselves:
- that guns down men or women for running away from them (Albuquerque, NM),
- that lets its members go out and handcuff a father for playing ball with his 6-year-old daughter in an empty park (which was NOT legally closed) (Brighton, CO),
- who threaten people with spears when they try to drive on a public highway (Pine Ridge),
- who break into the wrong house and kill a man while he is sleeping in his own bed (Maryland),
- who arrest a mother in front of her children and friends for being in a park as part of a protest (Idaho),
- who throw flashbangs blindly into houses with children sleeping on the floor near windows (Georgia),
- who arrest a preacher for preaching (Louisiana),
- who steal a person’s home for failure to pay a couple of dollars of property tax (Michigan),
- who steal “confiscate” a person’s auto because they found a pot seed (Michigan)
And I think threats of violence also are reasons to use this term, as are less than lethal or physical assault: For instance, pushing one of your employees up against the wall in your office and putting your hand under her skirt. Or shirt. And all the other things that such fine upstanding politicians as Cuomo, Clinton, Newsom, and others do again and again. I am sure that there are other words that fit well, like those synonyms.
All that said, when I looked up images of “thug” on DuckDuckGo, of the first 400 results, all but 6 were of black men or women. Huh? No, they weren’t all of one of those Rappers, Young Thug or Slim Thug. So why the bias? Media apparently associates “thug” with racism and white supremacy. I’m not saying that a gangbanger or a inner-city hoodlum can’t be, isn’t, a thug. But what I do say is that most (maybe almost ALL) politicians, bureaucrats, cops, and their kind are thugs. Not just those that DO violence (aggressive violence) themselves, but those who INSTIGATE violence, those who THREATEN violence against others, those who ORDER violence against others. They are the thugs that threaten more and more people, who seek more and more power, who treat others like dirt to scrap off the bottom of their boots.
But mainstream media shields the powers-that-be from a lot of name-calling and tagging. So they try to turn a good, useful name tag into racism. No surprise there, I guess.
But why do I write about thugs in government at all levels, education, business and elsewhere. Because that is what they are, however nice they smile, however smooth their words.
By all moral standards, and even by constitutional standards, government officials, politicians, and their minions are violent criminals. They deserve to be called what they are: thugs.