We learned in school that repetition is one way of helping us to remember a key fact or principle. Many of us have also learned that it’s a way of persuading people of the truth of an otherwise questionable assertion.

Take “baseless claims,” for example. Within a week of the election that phrase appeared in every news article about Donald Trump’s insistence that fraud had stolen his re-election out from under him. News outlets in print, television, the internet, and radio all adopted the alleged truism that his claims were baseless. How they determined that without an examination of the situation in all the states Trump lost was not reported. Thus, the “baseless claims” term represented an assumption on the part of the media, notwithstanding that over the past several weeks it has become apparent that it was accurate. But well before that, “baseless claims” was made part of the American consciousness.

Please raise your hands if you’re sick and tired of being manipulated by the media. Whoa, too many to count!

Even more worrisome is the phrase, “systemic racism.” Gaining traction during the 2020 year of media-justified rioting, looting, murder and mayhem in cities across the country, “systemic racism” became the blanket explanation for criminal behavior. I’m not convinced that racism is systemic in this country, simply because I haven’t seen proof or even strong evidence that racism has infected our entire American way of life.

Unfortunately a large portion of the ruling class seems to have accepted that racism is systemic throughout our government, economy, spiritual life, family life, political life. “Systemic” in this context means that the entirety of the United States is rife with racism, presumably including you and me.

This is worrisome because those in a position to legislate remedies seem to have bought into the constant repetition, hence reality, of the ubiquitous phrase. More unfortunate still, the party that institutionalized welfare in its most damaging forms, creating today’s permanent underclass, is again in power. And since racism is more likely to be seen as systemic by the party coming into power, every aspect of life in this country is subject to legislative attempts to reverse it. Hence my fervent hope that Republicans retain control of the Senate.

Does racism exist in the United States? Of course, as it does in some form or other in virtually every nation on Earth. However, many of us try daily to minimize the negative effects of racism in our own behavior. Nonetheless, some of the readers of this piece will see racism as its motivation. That’s too bad, but that’s one of the effects of the unrelenting repetition of the phrase, “systemic racism.” And that’s not a baseless claim.

James Sherry is a resident of Frederick County.

(19) comments


“Thus, the “baseless claims” term represented an assumption on the part of the media, notwithstanding that over the past several weeks it has become apparent that it was accurate.“

So “baseless claims” did in fact end up as baseless claims, but the writer is upset that the term was correctly applied because he feels it was disingenuous....though it turns out to be true. And then for good measure lets just say systemic racism is false. That feels like the truth, right Mr. Sherry? I’m so relieved you got to unload on how you feel. Now perhaps we should ask someone in a minority status about the baseless claim of yours that systemic racism does not exist. Ya know, since they might have a bit more experience than, say.... a middle aged white guy with no idea what he’s talking about.


Thanks for the "middle aged" comment, Shiny. I'm a couple of years shy of 80. And "disingenuous" does not describe the use of the terms I find bothersome; "manipulative" comes closer. If the phrases had come up occasionally in the news I could have dismissed them as a writer's need to slip his opinions into a news article. But when both phrases became descriptors that beg unquestioned acceptance, and are used repeatedly as if proof of their accuracy had already been established, they become offensive for the arrogance they represent.


Congrats Jim- 80 years is a long life. May you be well in your remaining time on the planet. And may you open your eyes and clean out your ears, because whether or not you or Mr Sherry believe it or agree with it, other people- people of color- have to deal every day with others in society making assumptions and placing judgements on them based solely on the color of their skin. No one said you did it. I’m sure you’ve spent your time on Earth being a model citizen. But this is reality for many people, regardless of how others unaffected in this way, feel.

john brown

Amen..It always amazes me that old right wing men who have had privilege their entire lives tell black folks there is no systematic racism in a country were it exist in every aspect of life. Every job Mr. Sherry has had was a cloaked in systemic racism. The neighborhoods he has lived in were a result of systemic racism. The church he attended was a part of systemic racism. Until one recognizes the truth of this nation, we will continue to be bamboozled by racist con artists like tRump, larock, collins etc etc

Spock Here

"I just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbor in Maine." Roger Stone


So surreal I had to double check this. Multiple reliable sources report that Stone actually said this to Alex Jones for his InfoWars program. The whole farce is being laughed off the internet.

Spock Here

Yes, I thought it was fake as well. But, it is 2020 after all, and grifters gotta grift

The New York Times reported on Monday that Mr. Trump has raised $170 million since Election Day, the kind of cash candidates draw at the peak of the campaign season. Email after email has asked the Trump faithful to donate to an “Election Defense Fund,” but 75 percent of the money goes to the president’s political action committee, which will finance Mr. Trump’s post-presidency political activity. “A donor has to give $5,000 to Mr. Trump’s new PAC before any funds go to his recount account,” the Times reported. Next thing you know, he'll register his cult as a religion, which is the biggest grift of all. Think L. Ron Hubbard.



Bernie Mac

These idiot Dimocrats are still looking for evidence of Trump-Russian collusion. Yet, they cannot see the voter fraud right under their nose. Democrats are all liars and hypocrites.


Idiots, liars and hypocrites, Oh My!! Can we cease with the insults, or is it Game On?

Methinks this slawterpooch is nothing more than a scrofulous kedge-bellied jampher!

Bernie Mac

Those weren't insults. Those were factual descriptions.


But, but, Trump’s baseless claims have been shown to actually be baseless. Per the courts and even per his own appointed Attorney General Mr. Barr an the entire Justice Department. As for racism, denial of it is evidence of its systemic nature. You are proof. You are in denial. You are blind to it. FOX news, Trump, and preachers are the real practitioners of “repetition creates truth” scam. Don’t be fooled.

Bernie Mac

"As for racism, denial of it is evidence of its systemic nature."

This is straight out of the Stalinist playbook. Denying that you have committed a crime is proof that you committed the crime. Proof that you are a witch. Reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. These people are vile and un-American. They should be removed from our country by any means necessary.

Doc Samson

@Bernie - It's 1984, for real. And they really believe they're on "the right side" of... everything. Mind-numbingly stupid... Anyway, here's to your comment - [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]


This is the kind of response I expected more of. I guess this will have to suffice as the example of someone who doesn't read the entire piece, but instead indulges his need to excoriate anyone who doesn't agree with him. Too bad there aren't more folks out there who would prefer to debate the premises rather than ignore them while asserting only their own conclusions.


Don't be dismayed Jim, just come to the realization, as have I, there are a small group of daily posters, who live for attack mode of anyone that posts the slightest comment that they can find disagreement with any of the content. These people believe the fallacy they are behaving better, yet their constant daily verbal criticism demonstrate otherwise. Just glance at their comments & be amused by their total bias, as I am daily. Thanks for sharing your comment & your opinion, to which you are entitled, despite the onslaught.



Spock Here

I agree Ral. Doc and Bernie have gotten downright swampy with their rhetoric. And, it is a sad kind of funny.

john brown

pot meet kettle ... doc is one of the biggest haters on this forum and anyone who clings to tRump's BS at this point is just stupid

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