Christopher Rufo details media’s move to redefine and ‘dehumanize’ conservatives following Capitol riot

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Journalist and documentary film director Christopher Rufo called attention to the shift by the media to begin labeling conservatives as “seditionists and domestic terrorists.”

Rufo, a research fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty, & Morality who last year reported on how federal agencies were using critical race theory for trainings, pointed out Monday how the mainstream media is now using blanket terms like “domestic terrorists” to define conservatives in the wake of last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.

“Five years ago, the media launched a campaign to define conservatives as racists and white supremacists,” Rufo tweeted Monday.

“Five days ago, they changed the terms to ‘seditionists and domestic terrorists,'” he wrote, referring to the events in Washington, D.C. last week. “The first is to dehumanize the opposition; the second is to justify their repression.”

He noted the more recent “language overload” as some argued that the shift is not new for the left.

In the charts Rufo presented, a marked surge in the use of the word “whiteness” can be seen in the New York Times and the Washington Post. The same outlets also showed a noticeable spike in using terms like “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” and “racial hierarchies.”

The policy researcher acknowledged in another tweet that he “condemned the Capitol rioters” and President Donald Trump and others who “enabled them.” However, he reiterated that “what’s happening now is that the left is trying to extend the labels to the entire conservative electorate.”

“This is dangerous. Both can be true simultaneously,” he wrote.

He also pushed back against the use of the words “sedition or coup” which he felt is not “accurate language.”

Rufo repeatedly asserted his condemnation of the protesters who broke into the Capitol building and their violent behavior.

“The definition is important. Right now, the left is trying to make the “coup/domestic terrorism” label stick in order to justify repression of speech more broadly,” Rufo contended in another response to a Twitter user.

His comments generated plenty of reaction on Twitter where others agreed about the “authoritarian tactics” but seemed to think the shift has been in progress for a lot longer.

 

Frieda Powers

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