Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Great Inclusion

Stuart K. Hayashi

You might have heard this paranoid rhetoric about how dark-skinned immigrants joining the white majority in residing in a country is somehow “replacing” the native-born white people. Yesterday when a retail employee told me — *gasp* — “Happy Holidays!”, it dawned on me that this has a subtler precedent in the moral panic Bill O’Reilly started fourteen years ago alleging that retail employees telling their customers “Happy Holidays” was part of a sinister effort to replace Christmas.

There was no replacement.

“Holidays” includes Christmas. By definition, Christmas cannot be replaced when it is included. The objection to “Happy Holidays” is not that it replaces Christmas, but that it includes holidays such as Chanukah and Kwanzaa alongside Christmas. This is just as the dark-skinned immigrants do not replace the white citizens, but are included alongside the white citizens. The word replacement is itself used as a replacement for the word that defines what is actually feared: inclusion.

There is no Great Replacement. There is, however, a Great Inclusion.