Just when you think that language cannot possibly become any more twisted or discourse any more debased, up pops a reminder that we still have a long way left to fall:
The 1971 shooting of students by government forces in Mexico’s so-called “dirty war” has been classified by an investigating prosecutor as genocide.
While marvelling at this breathtaking and brazen ridiculousness of this charge, I note that it is merely the opinion of a prosecutor as opposed to an official verdict. However, if it becomes an official verdict I trust that no-one will be surprised.
Like the word ‘rape’, the word ‘genocide’ has increasingly been deployed as a political trigger word and abused to the point where it has not just been devalued but is perilously close to being stripped of every smidgeon of meaning. I suppose we will have to find a new term to describe the extermination of an entire race now.
This particular case may or may not go any further but it almost does not matter. The point is that the bar has been lowered again and the occasion will not go unmarked among that class of jurists and campaigners who weave together the fabric of supranational laws.
Within ten years, charges of ‘genocide’ will be laid against people who tell racist jokes.