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The Way Society Defines Liberals vs. Radicals

Today in society the terms violence and radicalism are very much used differently for people of color and for white individuals. Through history this is a pattern that is visible.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, radicalism is defined as, “the opinions and behavior of people who favor extreme changes especially in government: radical political ideas and behavior.” Liberalism is defined as the “belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress”.

When we think of how these two terms are used, it is in a very specific manner; people of color are mainly always referred to as radicals. This term emphasizes a sort of extremist characterization that is often associated with people of color. This is done to illustrate a picture of violence for this group. On the other hand white individuals are mostly associated with the term liberals, thus being only individuals who are looking for peace.

It is quite ironic that people of color are always associated with radicalism and violence, since through history they have received an extreme amount of violence from whites in the United States. Media does not take into account the violence that these groups endure. They only record the pleads and protests they do and then translate it into violent acts (soe of these acts ar violent but violence is also a term that is defined by white society in the United States.)

As society, we need to realize how we are defining these terms because a person who is fighting for social justice should not be reduced to the idea of an individual who is just creating violence. In the year 1965 when the march from Selma to Montogomery happened, the SNCC Student Non-Violent Coordinating Commitee, SCLC Southern Chrsitian Leadership Conference, and Martin Luther King Jr. walked in a peaceful, non-threatning manner and yet the news and media associated them with violence. Through media it was stated that conducting a non-violent walk in protest was an act of violence in the United States.

This is a newpaper piece that was written, in which the March in Alabama is asociated to violence. This was a peaceful March but in this text the idea is that the violence is done against white police.

Violence should not be more or less when selective groups perform it and yet through history that is how it has been. Liberalism and radicalism should be equally dispraportainte toward all communites in this country. It is time to really analyze who is defining these terms and how they have been utilized through history.




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