“The r-word hurts because it is exclusive. It’s offensive. It’s derogatory. The r-word is hate speech.” ~ Campaign against the word ‘retard’
I would probably consider this hurt speech: it’s meant to inflict harm. But who defines what is offensive? It can change so fast sometimes – and often it’s not even the word but the tone or association that offends…
Lastly, exclusivity is a fact of life. We use labels to identify groups, which by definition include some and not others (exclude).
Is exclusivity offensive? A lot of people are moving in that direction – but I think we have to consider why exclusion is actually being utilized. If people all have different ways of thinking, beliefs, values etc. why can’t they organize around similar people; engage in higher order discussion/action without having to establish foundations over and over again?
However, people object to being excluded on the basis of their beliefs/values – is exclusion necessarily derogatory? I don’t think it has to be. When people lose touch with those outside of their group, they often/usually degrade those outside, elevating their status as insiders. But I see a worrying trend – where anyone using labels etc. are becoming demonized.
Exclusivity is being directly linked to generating hate and this bothers me, an exclusive-through-Jesus-salvation Christian. More thoughts later on this.