Jonah Goldberg of National Review recently shared a message from one of his readers that will blow your mind.

How Civilizations Die (An Ongoing Series)

Last week, we debated whether it was socially acceptable (i.e., is it “racist”?) to use the word “thug” for people exhibiting thuggish behavior. It was a pathetic debate given that we could strike the word from our vocabulary tomorrow and it would A) not improve the plight of the inner-city poor one iota B) within minutes we’d find a new word to replace “thug” to describe goons, gangsters cads, ruffians, bandits and bullies and C) it was clear that people wanted to debate “thug” so they didn’t have to debate the causes of thuggishness…

This sort of condescension would be instantly recognizable as itself racist if it were not for the good intentions and self-regard of the people displaying it. Still, it’s deadly. I got this email from a reader who liked my column (they exist too):

Hi Jonah,

I enjoyed reading your culture column. It all makes a lot of sense.

I work at a community college. I’m not on the faculty (thank God for that!), but I do know a lot of faculty. I heard something very disturbing yesterday.

One of our faculty who teaches Composition I and II will not grade on grammar. She thinks that’s immoral. You see, correctly written and spoken English is the language of the rich and powerful. I’m not sure where the argument goes from there. It makes no sense to me.

If I’m sending a teen off to Japan to make their way in that society, would I send them there with no knowledge of the language or the broader cultural differences?

How are any of these students supposed to be upwardly mobile if they’re not fluent in the “language of the rich and powerful?”

I just can’t believe it – grammar is a social justice issue. It doesn’t help that a lot of what I do is editing. The things I have to correct in faculty submissions… oy.