The other day I was reading an article about a children’s book.  The book, “The Little C.H.A.M.P.s” was an attempt by two authors to take a somewhat divisive and derisive term, and rebrand it.  They were writing a story that would create a replacement for a term I’m reasonably familiar with, “military brat”.  Their desire was to take a term with high negative connotations and offer up a replacement with a more positive image.  Not exactly an unlaudable goal, and they published their book.

And the s*** storm began.

Apparently a lot of military brats took umbrage at these, these….. civilians…. trying to make a politically correct name for them.  They got angry. Surprisingly and personally angry, unmeritedly so.  This was their term.  No one who wasn’t one could take it or change it.  They sent hate mail. They cast aspersions against the authors, claiming they were scamming folks.  They equated them to those targeted by the Stolen Valor campaign.  They went so far as to publicize the authors personal addresses on the web.  They engaged in a well thought out cyberbullying campaign that would have made Frederick the Great and Marshal Zukhov proud.  Over….a well meaning effort to change a disparaging term.

I am a military brat.  I know the term.  It is not always used in a nice way, not always embraced by those that are tagged with it.  An alternative would certainly seem to be worthwhile.  But even if it is not, I wonder why such personal vitriol was needed to combat this effort.  Given the crackpots in the world today, could the only reason to publish someones home address would be to terrorize and threaten them.  Really?  Over a position you disagree with but which was not intended to hurt anyone?

I wonder how, and why, we got to this level of unsocial discourse.



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