I deeply admire you, Senator Elizabeth Warren, which is why I was looking to you for answers last week.
“Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. Millions of Americans – African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, LGBT Americans, women – have every right to be deeply worried. But there are many millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies…. They voted for him out of frustration and anger—and also out of hope that he would bring change to an economy and a government that doesn’t work for them.”
What you said is true. We know all Trump supporters aren’t necessarily hateful. We also know that many other voters are rightfully afraid. However, it was your use of one word that makes this such a disappointment.
You said “but.”
Yes, Senator Warren, millions of Americans—particularly minoritized populations—do have every right to be deeply worried.
It’s just that you didn’t stop there. You didn’t legitimize that truth by letting it stand.
You said “but.”
The word “but” is used to pivot a sentence away from one idea and onto another. The word functions to contradict, qualify, or lessen the clause that precedes it.
So your sentence took the focus off of the fear, worry, and physical danger that faces so many right now, and put it elsewhere.
That focus, Senator Warren, needed to stay right where it was.
Now is not the time for the word “but.” It’s time to realize we can hold two ideas in our head at the same time.
It’s a time for the word AND. Continue reading