Opinion

Is It Racist to Say that Facebook’s user Agreement Is So Difficult to Read It Might as Well be Written in Swahili?

As you know, everything is racist today if it’s said by a conservative. Playing the race card is the only argument most Leftists have in an argument, although the card is getting pretty worn.

The latest “everything is racist” charge was made by CNN anchor Erin Burnett in an interview with Sen. John Kennedy.

On Tuesday’s congressional hearing with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sen. Kennedy said that the Facebook user agreement is so difficult to read it might as well be written in Swahili. Kennedy went on to say that Facebook should write a more user-friendly agreement.

That’s all today’s racial fascists needed to hear:

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CNN and a few on Twitter took offense to the senator’s comment and implied that it was offensive. When asked if he’d apologize for the comments, Kennedy replied with a flat out “no.”

“I think everybody understood the point I was trying to make,” said Kennedy.

Good for Sen. Kennedy. It’s long past time that Republicans stop apologizing for every perceived Leftist infraction. There are more people in the United States sho can read Greek than Swahili, so it was an appropriate idiom to use except for the perpetually aggrieved.

Where were Burnett and CNN when people would say (and still say) when they don’t understand something, “It’s Greek to me”? How offensive, except that Greeks aren’t offended. When I took New Testament Greek in seminary, our professor would say, “There are six-year-old children in Greece who can read Greek.” That was supposed to make us feel better. It didn’t. I have great respect for the complexities of the Greek language.

Greeks are proud of their heritage, culture, and language. They like the idea that non-Greeks can’t read and understand what they can read, speak, and understand. Maybe it’s time for Erin Burnett to sit down and watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

“It’s Greek to me” goes back a long way :

That’s Greek to me or It’s (all) Greek to me is an idiom in English, expressing that something is not understandable.

The idiom is typically used with respect to the foreign nature, complexity or imprecision of verbal or written expression or diagram, often containing excessive use of jargon, dialect, mathematics, science, symbols, or diagrams. The metaphor makes reference to Greek (either ancient or modern), as an archetypal foreign form of communication both written and spoken.

I guess it’s been OK to offend the Greeks for centuries. There’s no political capital in standing up for Greeks since they are not a large voting block in the United States. And wouldn’t you know it, it was a dead white guy who popularized the quip.

Recorded usage of the metaphor in English traces back to the early modern period. It appears in 1599 in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, as spoken by Servilius Casca to Cassius after a festival in which Caesar was offered a crown:

Cassius: Did Cicero say any thing?

Casca: Ay, he spoke Greek.

Cassius: To what effect?

Casca: Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you i’ the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it. — William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

There’s nothing to apologize for. Facebook’s agreement (along with almost every other lawyer produced agreement) is complicated and can be made to mean whatever the lawyers that wrote it want it to mean. They might as well be written in Swahili or any other difficult foreign language.

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