Jefferson Weaver • Procyon Lotor, Campaign Speeches and the State of the Union

Jefferson Weaver

I got my digital hands slapped the other day because of my choice of words when I identified an animal track.

Some friends were sharing pictures of their camping trip, and during the night they were raided by a hungry Procyon Lotor, also known as raccoon. They showed some photos of the tracks left behind when the critter tried to get into their cooler.

I was born and raised in North Carolina. Most of my life, we have sniffed at people who refer to a raccoon by its full name as being uppity city folks or treehuggers.

The term is coon, not raccoon. I do not chase raccoons away from my chicken coop. We don’t have raccoon hounds. Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone did not wear raccoonskin caps. One does not barbecue or hash raccoon meat. We do not go on raccoon hunts. We take coonhounds on coon hunts with the intent to harvest or at least tree coons. I am associated with several groups of like-minded individuals who hunt coons, trap coons, enjoy coons and coonhounds, and rescue coonhounds.

Hence, the word is coon, regardless of what the dictionary says.

However, the social media platform where I correctly identified my friends’ nocturnal visitor as “coons” was tagged as hate speech and removed. I was promptly warned and chastened, and put on restriction for a few hours.

I was equally bemused and offended. If you know me, or have read this column more than three or four times, you know how I feel about targeting anyone based on skin color in any way, shape or form. I might not like your politics, religion, sexual preference, or favorite ACC team, but I’m not going to call you ugly names over those things. Well, maybe the ACC part, a little.

I will disparage the things you stand for with which I don’t agree, but it ain’t personal.

Anyway, the digital timeout was little more than an inconvenience and a nuisance at best – especially when the social media platform refused to hear my explanation – but it got me thinking about words.

Just the night before, I watched one of the saddest, most frightening speeches ever to bear the title “State of the Union.” It was more about blaming the preceding administration and conservatives for everything that is wrong in the world than it was about substantive ways to move the country forward. To say President Biden’s State of the Union speech was a campaign call to arms would not be much of a reach. Even his supporters said it was “the official kickoff for the 2024 campaign”.

Either 12 or 13 times, Biden made nasty references to the former president, Donald Trump, who will face him on the ballot this fall. He called Trump a “threat to America”. He claimed Trump was cutting Social Security. He blamed Trump and the Republicans for the nightmare at the Mexican border.

Biden did finally sort-of say the name of Laken Riley, the Georgia college student allegedly killed by an illegal alien, only to follow that up with an odd retort that is still being debated days later.

After referring to the murder victim as Lincoln Riley, despite holding a button with her name, Biden asked how many people are being killed by “legals.” Some observers with far too much time on their hands claim he actually said “Illegals”. Others have said Biden was hammering home his gun control platform.

Either way, Biden was busy apologizing through the weekend for using the word illegal, instead of the preferred leftspeak term of undocumented. He was undoubtedly pandering to the millions of people in this country in defiance of the law (that’s the definition of illegal, by the way, defiance of law).

I wonder what would happen if I refused to put a license tag on my truck, and insisted my truck was not illegal, but undocumented.

Among other things, Biden campaigned on opening the U.S. border– largely, in my opinion, because Trump was closing it – and Biden hasn’t had control of the narrative around illegal immigration since the first refugee wearing a Biden/Harris shirt was welcomed aboard a government bus and handed a taxpayer debit card and a cell phone.

It was only after the immigration problem began to actually worry the American people (during the lead-up to an election year) that Biden tried to do anything about it. His proposal for border security as shot down by Republicans not because it simply made the illegal immigration process more efficient, but because it would have sent more money to Ukraine and Israel than it would have spent here at home – while giving millions of illegals a free pass.

But because of words, Biden can claim the Republicans and Trump rejected the border bill, thus making the illegal immigration of the past four years the fault of the Bad Orange Man.

As an aside, contrary to popular belief, I have never been a blind supporter of Trump, although that support and respect grew while he was in office, and has grown.

Let’s get something straight: I don’t care about someone’s skin color. I don’t care about their first language. I’m wholeheartedly in favor of legal immigration, since people who come here in accordance with the law are likely to obey the other laws. That’s human nature.

I care about their patriotic loyalty. I can also understand (academically, of course) the desperation that might drive someone in a Third World country to endure terrible things to come to America, the greatest country in the world, where everybody has a chance  to succeed.

We should be a refuge for true refugees – but they need to come here in accordance with the law. By not following the law of the land, illegal aliens find themselves at the mercy of some of the same types of exploitation they were trying to escape, like drug smuggling, sexual slavery and “employment bondage,” and worst of all, the sale of children. As illegals, they are afraid to contact law enforcement who could and would help.

We have a president who apologizes to a murder suspect for identifying him as “illegal”, while never bothering to call, much less apologize to, the victim’s parents, after his policies  allowed said suspect into the country.

I’m not going to commit to the semi-conspiracy theory that millions of illegals are being allowed into the country to bolster up the left’s voting base, but when elected officials talk about “rights” of “undocumented Americans,” I have a hard time controlling my skeptical face. Human rights and the rights of a citizen are two entirely different things.

It’s all about words.

Had I ever used the colloquial term for Procyon lotor as a reference to a person of color, my mama would have slapped me sideways, twice. You see, I was brought up to understand that words have meaning. To use a term that derides or degrades another person because of their skin color offends me. Again, I might despise your position or opinion, and I might not even like you as a person, but I ain’t going to express that by showing even mild hatred for you as a person.

I am still going to call a spade a spade (not a shovel – there’s a difference).

I am going to call a raccoon a coon, simply because I know I’m talking about a four-legged omnivore with a ringed tail, as do most folks with a lick of common sense.

And I am going to call someone who breaks the law a criminal, whether they are crossing the border carrying a kilo of drugs, or they are eating ice cream in the White House while allowing criminal activity to destroy America, because politically, it’s the right thing to do in an election year.

About Jefferson Weaver 1973 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].