Word Work

Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power

February 9, 2021

Caylan Ford has been a senior policy advisor to Global Affairs Canada, done extensive humanitarian work, and won multiple awards for her contributions to a documentary on forced labour in China. But in 2019, this holder of Master’s degrees in International Relations and International Law from George Washington University and the University of Oxford respectively was, as she puts it, publicly destroyed during her candidacy in an Alberta election campaign. The New Democratic party, then the media, labeled her a “white supremacist.” In November 2020, she filed a $7 million defamation suit because of the allegations. Our Word Work conversation explores what it means to live in a society where the abuse of language is a path to the abuse of power.

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