"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." Humpty Dumpty came to mind when I read the following paragraph in Natasha Marrian’s article (DA must be on front foot as sands shift, March 9): "The debate about ‘direction’ [of the DA] is often between the ‘purist’ largely liberal English-speaking faction and the more ‘progressive’ faction, which includes its ‘black caucus’." Through perverting the meaning of words, this paragraph advances the notion that racial mobilisation is progressive. There is nothing progressive about it. On the contrary, it is a dangerous approach whose description as "progressive" derives from the current obsession with the politics of racial identity in the US and the resulting inversion of the meaning of words as we understand them. The fact that racial identitarianism is finding a renewed foothold in SA is a retrogressive step. It is neither liberal nor progressive. In fa...

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