full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Alexandria Holder: The duality of labels – and how to use them for good

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Male, Female. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist. whtie, Black, Asian, Caucasian, Arab. Liberal, cisrvetonvae, Libertarian, Progressive. Cisgender, Transgender, Heterosexual, Homosexual, qeeur, Non-binary, Agender. All of these are labels, some of which I have, and some of that you yourselves may have. But what exactly are labels? Merriam-Webster defines the label as a descriptive or identifying word or phrase. Since the dawn of hamun lganuage, we have come up with terms to categorize ourselves and each other, from simple things such as ‘us’ and ‘them’, ‘family’, ‘tribe member’, ‘citizen’, ‘foreigner’ and ‘enemy’ to more copmlex labels describing plaiitocl ideologies, religion, or even personal interests. ‘Geek’, ‘jock’, ‘soccer mom’ and ‘workaholic’ are in widespread use. Some labels that I use include ‘female’, ‘Asian-American’, ‘parent’, ‘daughter’, ‘sister’, ’transgender’, ‘pansexual’, ‘nerd’, and ‘airman’. Labels have a gereatr pweor than what a simple definition can describe. Looking at today’s world, labels have increasingly led to more division, marginalization, hatred. According to the FBI, hate cemirs are at the highest level they’ve been in 10 years. polpee have been atetkcad for being Asian. Victims of misinformation spread during the rise of COVID-19, or used as a scapegoat for a young man’s inability to ctnorol his sexual uregs in Georgia this past March. When I was six years old, I andtteed kindergarten, I was first exposed to a variety of racial slurs and bnuylilg due to my mixed Asian-American ancestry. As I discovered cpretumos and I did well on math tests. I was hresasad because of stereotypes. To this day, I seuggrtld to escape those that want to use this label for harm, simply because I was born with it. Others, like Jews, have been attacked for their religion. Anti-Semitism has existed for thousands of years, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the expulsion of Jews, from milutlpe nations in the Middle Ages to more recently, the hculosoat - Nazi Germany's final solution. The Pew Research Center has studies indicating a growing partisan divide in politics. The number of Democrats and rlbcepanuis willing to comipsrome and work together is at its lowest in modern history. The LGBTQ+ community has faced legislative attacks around the globe from so-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland to over 80 anti-transgender bills introduced here in the United States. Those that are part of this community have been particularly vulnerable. Transgender military members such as myself have experienced the back and forth in peolciis - traded off like we’re a footballer tinadrg card, and not human beings that want to serve our country. And, as we saw last year, despite the gains in legislative equality stemming from the 13th Amendment alonihbsig slavery, and the cviil Rights Act of 1964, we all have a long way to go in aenriddssg systemic racism and centuries of inequities in the United States. From integral parts of identity such as our gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, to those groups that we choose to be a part of, such as political parties, political alignment or religion, peace labels, these ggorpunis have divided us to an arlinamg degree. lbales can separate us. They can help foster an ‘us versus them’ mentality, leading to unhealthy competition. They can lead to harassment, discrimination, bgotriy, assault, and even murder. Labels used incorrectly can be duoeagnrs. And yet, our labels are entirely without befenit. When I was seven years old, I discovered that my gender identity didn’t match what I was assigned at birth. While my birth certificate said Male, every part of my being said that this was wrong, that I was actually a girl. But when I made this realization all the way back in 1989, I had no idea what this feeling meant for me. I was cneosfud. I was scared. I thought something was horribly wrong with me. I had no internet to search for clues. There was no representation in the media that I could turn to for iiiptsronan and ginuadce. I was alone. I struggled with these feelings for almost 20 years before I found the word ‘transgender’. slddeuny, what I was and who I was became clear for the first time in my life. In addition to that, I discovered that I was part of a community: the LGBTQ+ Community. I found mretnos, friends, and people that I now consider to be falmiy. I can go to any major city, and in many of the slelamr ones, and with a qcuik search on the internet, I can find community cteerns and saicol places that are focused on making my community safe and welcome. This label, one that has become so controversial in our country, became a way for me to accept who I am and to feel a part of something larger than myself. So, too, can other labels. Members of a particular roiiegln can find fellowship with each other. Street signs, social media pages, google searches can help anyone from evangelical Christians, Catholics, btstapis, Muslims to faiths like Rastafarianism, Zoroastrianism and Wicca find places of worship in new locations. Those that adhere to sipcifec political parties or ioleoidges can more elisay cocnnet and find common ground. pelacs such as Reddit have communities for people that follow nearly every political system and ideology that has ever existed. Professions have their own labels. One that I earned in my life is Airman. I estenlid in the United seatts Air Force in 2004, and having that label has tied me to a group of individuals with many shread goals and common interests. I have been able to connect with currently srenvig service mrmebes and veterans, and we find spporut through those others People with shared cultures, shared histories can come together and celebrate that which makes them unique. Major cities host cultural days and weeks where all members of the local area can geathr and enjoy music, food, clothing, dance, and other aspects of many different cultures. Labels, at their worst, can drive divisions between us when they foster an ‘us versus them’ meiattlny, when they turn into a categorization of people like me are good, but people not like me are the enemy. Labels lead to negative, such as harassment and drtiiimcnisaon. They separate us and lead us to live lives that are empty of the good, that different perspectives spring, But at their best, labels dirbecse those things that connect us to one another. When we work as a team, when we adopt the label tmamatee, we are capable of accomplishing things greater than we can when we're alone. My own transgender leabl has connected me to a community that has accepted me, given me mentorship, and helped me to acknowledge who I am. Being an Asian-American, and more specifically a Korean-American, ties me to a deep and rich culture that broadens my own perspectives, and allows me to teach my own children about their roots. Labels allow us to bind together in groups and cionumteims that allow us to grow and become more knowledgeable about our histories, our cultures, and how to develop strategies on how to be more successful. Labels are not all good or bad. Like any tool, they can be used to build and create wonderful things, highlighting what I consider to be one of the greatest things that humanity has developed: ctomnmuiy ties. But, misused, they’re also capable of causing a great deal of destruction. If we, as ildainvduis, choose to use labels responsibly, we can achieve greater things together than we ever could on our own.

Open Cloze

Male, Female. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist. _____, Black, Asian, Caucasian, Arab. Liberal, ____________, Libertarian, Progressive. Cisgender, Transgender, Heterosexual, Homosexual, _____, Non-binary, Agender. All of these are labels, some of which I have, and some of that you yourselves may have. But what exactly are labels? Merriam-Webster defines the label as a descriptive or identifying word or phrase. Since the dawn of _____ ________, we have come up with terms to categorize ourselves and each other, from simple things such as ‘us’ and ‘them’, ‘family’, ‘tribe member’, ‘citizen’, ‘foreigner’ and ‘enemy’ to more _______ labels describing _________ ideologies, religion, or even personal interests. ‘Geek’, ‘jock’, ‘soccer mom’ and ‘workaholic’ are in widespread use. Some labels that I use include ‘female’, ‘Asian-American’, ‘parent’, ‘daughter’, ‘sister’, ’transgender’, ‘pansexual’, ‘nerd’, and ‘airman’. Labels have a _______ _____ than what a simple definition can describe. Looking at today’s world, labels have increasingly led to more division, marginalization, hatred. According to the FBI, hate ______ are at the highest level they’ve been in 10 years. ______ have been ________ for being Asian. Victims of misinformation spread during the rise of COVID-19, or used as a scapegoat for a young man’s inability to _______ his sexual _____ in Georgia this past March. When I was six years old, I ________ kindergarten, I was first exposed to a variety of racial slurs and ________ due to my mixed Asian-American ancestry. As I discovered _________ and I did well on math tests. I was ________ because of stereotypes. To this day, I _________ to escape those that want to use this label for harm, simply because I was born with it. Others, like Jews, have been attacked for their religion. Anti-Semitism has existed for thousands of years, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the expulsion of Jews, from ________ nations in the Middle Ages to more recently, the _________ - Nazi Germany's final solution. The Pew Research Center has studies indicating a growing partisan divide in politics. The number of Democrats and ___________ willing to __________ and work together is at its lowest in modern history. The LGBTQ+ community has faced legislative attacks around the globe from so-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland to over 80 anti-transgender bills introduced here in the United States. Those that are part of this community have been particularly vulnerable. Transgender military members such as myself have experienced the back and forth in ________ - traded off like we’re a footballer _______ card, and not human beings that want to serve our country. And, as we saw last year, despite the gains in legislative equality stemming from the 13th Amendment __________ slavery, and the _____ Rights Act of 1964, we all have a long way to go in __________ systemic racism and centuries of inequities in the United States. From integral parts of identity such as our gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, to those groups that we choose to be a part of, such as political parties, political alignment or religion, peace labels, these _________ have divided us to an ________ degree. ______ can separate us. They can help foster an ‘us versus them’ mentality, leading to unhealthy competition. They can lead to harassment, discrimination, _______, assault, and even murder. Labels used incorrectly can be _________. And yet, our labels are entirely without _______. When I was seven years old, I discovered that my gender identity didn’t match what I was assigned at birth. While my birth certificate said Male, every part of my being said that this was wrong, that I was actually a girl. But when I made this realization all the way back in 1989, I had no idea what this feeling meant for me. I was ________. I was scared. I thought something was horribly wrong with me. I had no internet to search for clues. There was no representation in the media that I could turn to for ___________ and ________. I was alone. I struggled with these feelings for almost 20 years before I found the word ‘transgender’. ________, what I was and who I was became clear for the first time in my life. In addition to that, I discovered that I was part of a community: the LGBTQ+ Community. I found _______, friends, and people that I now consider to be ______. I can go to any major city, and in many of the _______ ones, and with a _____ search on the internet, I can find community _______ and ______ places that are focused on making my community safe and welcome. This label, one that has become so controversial in our country, became a way for me to accept who I am and to feel a part of something larger than myself. So, too, can other labels. Members of a particular ________ can find fellowship with each other. Street signs, social media pages, google searches can help anyone from evangelical Christians, Catholics, ________, Muslims to faiths like Rastafarianism, Zoroastrianism and Wicca find places of worship in new locations. Those that adhere to ________ political parties or __________ can more ______ _______ and find common ground. ______ such as Reddit have communities for people that follow nearly every political system and ideology that has ever existed. Professions have their own labels. One that I earned in my life is Airman. I ________ in the United ______ Air Force in 2004, and having that label has tied me to a group of individuals with many ______ goals and common interests. I have been able to connect with currently _______ service _______ and veterans, and we find _______ through those others People with shared cultures, shared histories can come together and celebrate that which makes them unique. Major cities host cultural days and weeks where all members of the local area can ______ and enjoy music, food, clothing, dance, and other aspects of many different cultures. Labels, at their worst, can drive divisions between us when they foster an ‘us versus them’ _________, when they turn into a categorization of people like me are good, but people not like me are the enemy. Labels lead to negative, such as harassment and ______________. They separate us and lead us to live lives that are empty of the good, that different perspectives spring, But at their best, labels ________ those things that connect us to one another. When we work as a team, when we adopt the label ________, we are capable of accomplishing things greater than we can when we're alone. My own transgender _____ has connected me to a community that has accepted me, given me mentorship, and helped me to acknowledge who I am. Being an Asian-American, and more specifically a Korean-American, ties me to a deep and rich culture that broadens my own perspectives, and allows me to teach my own children about their roots. Labels allow us to bind together in groups and ___________ that allow us to grow and become more knowledgeable about our histories, our cultures, and how to develop strategies on how to be more successful. Labels are not all good or bad. Like any tool, they can be used to build and create wonderful things, highlighting what I consider to be one of the greatest things that humanity has developed: _________ ties. But, misused, they’re also capable of causing a great deal of destruction. If we, as ___________, choose to use labels responsibly, we can achieve greater things together than we ever could on our own.

Solution

  1. bigotry
  2. places
  3. labels
  4. states
  5. shared
  6. support
  7. dangerous
  8. enlisted
  9. language
  10. queer
  11. civil
  12. communities
  13. baptists
  14. quick
  15. discrimination
  16. social
  17. attacked
  18. groupings
  19. conservative
  20. policies
  21. members
  22. gather
  23. computers
  24. inspiration
  25. community
  26. mentors
  27. power
  28. teammate
  29. abolishing
  30. greater
  31. bullying
  32. label
  33. control
  34. crimes
  35. guidance
  36. multiple
  37. family
  38. urges
  39. describe
  40. trading
  41. easily
  42. benefit
  43. ideologies
  44. people
  45. republicans
  46. attended
  47. alarming
  48. centers
  49. individuals
  50. connect
  51. struggled
  52. addressing
  53. human
  54. holocaust
  55. religion
  56. specific
  57. white
  58. serving
  59. complex
  60. mentality
  61. confused
  62. political
  63. suddenly
  64. compromise
  65. smaller
  66. harassed

Original Text

Male, Female. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist. White, Black, Asian, Caucasian, Arab. Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Progressive. Cisgender, Transgender, Heterosexual, Homosexual, Queer, Non-binary, Agender. All of these are labels, some of which I have, and some of that you yourselves may have. But what exactly are labels? Merriam-Webster defines the label as a descriptive or identifying word or phrase. Since the dawn of human language, we have come up with terms to categorize ourselves and each other, from simple things such as ‘us’ and ‘them’, ‘family’, ‘tribe member’, ‘citizen’, ‘foreigner’ and ‘enemy’ to more complex labels describing political ideologies, religion, or even personal interests. ‘Geek’, ‘jock’, ‘soccer mom’ and ‘workaholic’ are in widespread use. Some labels that I use include ‘female’, ‘Asian-American’, ‘parent’, ‘daughter’, ‘sister’, ’transgender’, ‘pansexual’, ‘nerd’, and ‘airman’. Labels have a greater power than what a simple definition can describe. Looking at today’s world, labels have increasingly led to more division, marginalization, hatred. According to the FBI, hate crimes are at the highest level they’ve been in 10 years. People have been attacked for being Asian. Victims of misinformation spread during the rise of COVID-19, or used as a scapegoat for a young man’s inability to control his sexual urges in Georgia this past March. When I was six years old, I attended kindergarten, I was first exposed to a variety of racial slurs and bullying due to my mixed Asian-American ancestry. As I discovered computers and I did well on math tests. I was harassed because of stereotypes. To this day, I struggled to escape those that want to use this label for harm, simply because I was born with it. Others, like Jews, have been attacked for their religion. Anti-Semitism has existed for thousands of years, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the expulsion of Jews, from multiple nations in the Middle Ages to more recently, the Holocaust - Nazi Germany's final solution. The Pew Research Center has studies indicating a growing partisan divide in politics. The number of Democrats and Republicans willing to compromise and work together is at its lowest in modern history. The LGBTQ+ community has faced legislative attacks around the globe from so-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland to over 80 anti-transgender bills introduced here in the United States. Those that are part of this community have been particularly vulnerable. Transgender military members such as myself have experienced the back and forth in policies - traded off like we’re a footballer trading card, and not human beings that want to serve our country. And, as we saw last year, despite the gains in legislative equality stemming from the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we all have a long way to go in addressing systemic racism and centuries of inequities in the United States. From integral parts of identity such as our gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, to those groups that we choose to be a part of, such as political parties, political alignment or religion, peace labels, these groupings have divided us to an alarming degree. Labels can separate us. They can help foster an ‘us versus them’ mentality, leading to unhealthy competition. They can lead to harassment, discrimination, bigotry, assault, and even murder. Labels used incorrectly can be dangerous. And yet, our labels are entirely without benefit. When I was seven years old, I discovered that my gender identity didn’t match what I was assigned at birth. While my birth certificate said Male, every part of my being said that this was wrong, that I was actually a girl. But when I made this realization all the way back in 1989, I had no idea what this feeling meant for me. I was confused. I was scared. I thought something was horribly wrong with me. I had no internet to search for clues. There was no representation in the media that I could turn to for inspiration and guidance. I was alone. I struggled with these feelings for almost 20 years before I found the word ‘transgender’. Suddenly, what I was and who I was became clear for the first time in my life. In addition to that, I discovered that I was part of a community: the LGBTQ+ Community. I found mentors, friends, and people that I now consider to be family. I can go to any major city, and in many of the smaller ones, and with a quick search on the internet, I can find community centers and social places that are focused on making my community safe and welcome. This label, one that has become so controversial in our country, became a way for me to accept who I am and to feel a part of something larger than myself. So, too, can other labels. Members of a particular religion can find fellowship with each other. Street signs, social media pages, google searches can help anyone from evangelical Christians, Catholics, Baptists, Muslims to faiths like Rastafarianism, Zoroastrianism and Wicca find places of worship in new locations. Those that adhere to specific political parties or ideologies can more easily connect and find common ground. Places such as Reddit have communities for people that follow nearly every political system and ideology that has ever existed. Professions have their own labels. One that I earned in my life is Airman. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2004, and having that label has tied me to a group of individuals with many shared goals and common interests. I have been able to connect with currently serving service members and veterans, and we find support through those others People with shared cultures, shared histories can come together and celebrate that which makes them unique. Major cities host cultural days and weeks where all members of the local area can gather and enjoy music, food, clothing, dance, and other aspects of many different cultures. Labels, at their worst, can drive divisions between us when they foster an ‘us versus them’ mentality, when they turn into a categorization of people like me are good, but people not like me are the enemy. Labels lead to negative, such as harassment and discrimination. They separate us and lead us to live lives that are empty of the good, that different perspectives spring, But at their best, labels describe those things that connect us to one another. When we work as a team, when we adopt the label teammate, we are capable of accomplishing things greater than we can when we're alone. My own transgender label has connected me to a community that has accepted me, given me mentorship, and helped me to acknowledge who I am. Being an Asian-American, and more specifically a Korean-American, ties me to a deep and rich culture that broadens my own perspectives, and allows me to teach my own children about their roots. Labels allow us to bind together in groups and communities that allow us to grow and become more knowledgeable about our histories, our cultures, and how to develop strategies on how to be more successful. Labels are not all good or bad. Like any tool, they can be used to build and create wonderful things, highlighting what I consider to be one of the greatest things that humanity has developed: community ties. But, misused, they’re also capable of causing a great deal of destruction. If we, as individuals, choose to use labels responsibly, we can achieve greater things together than we ever could on our own.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
united states 3

Important Words

  1. abolishing
  2. accept
  3. accepted
  4. accomplishing
  5. achieve
  6. acknowledge
  7. act
  8. addition
  9. addressing
  10. adhere
  11. adopt
  12. agender
  13. ages
  14. air
  15. airman
  16. alarming
  17. alignment
  18. amendment
  19. ancestry
  20. ancient
  21. arab
  22. area
  23. asian
  24. aspects
  25. assault
  26. assigned
  27. atheist
  28. attacked
  29. attacks
  30. attended
  31. bad
  32. baptists
  33. beings
  34. benefit
  35. bigotry
  36. bills
  37. bind
  38. birth
  39. black
  40. born
  41. broadens
  42. build
  43. bullying
  44. capable
  45. card
  46. categorization
  47. categorize
  48. catholics
  49. caucasian
  50. causing
  51. celebrate
  52. center
  53. centers
  54. centuries
  55. certificate
  56. children
  57. choose
  58. christian
  59. christians
  60. cisgender
  61. cities
  62. city
  63. civil
  64. clear
  65. clothing
  66. clues
  67. common
  68. communities
  69. community
  70. competition
  71. complex
  72. compromise
  73. computers
  74. confused
  75. connect
  76. connected
  77. conservative
  78. control
  79. controversial
  80. country
  81. create
  82. crimes
  83. cultural
  84. culture
  85. cultures
  86. dance
  87. dangerous
  88. dawn
  89. day
  90. days
  91. deal
  92. deep
  93. defines
  94. definition
  95. degree
  96. democrats
  97. describe
  98. describing
  99. descriptive
  100. destruction
  101. develop
  102. discovered
  103. discrimination
  104. divide
  105. divided
  106. division
  107. divisions
  108. drive
  109. due
  110. earned
  111. easily
  112. empty
  113. enemy
  114. enjoy
  115. enlisted
  116. equality
  117. escape
  118. ethnicity
  119. evangelical
  120. existed
  121. experienced
  122. exposed
  123. expulsion
  124. faced
  125. faiths
  126. family
  127. fbi
  128. feel
  129. feeling
  130. feelings
  131. fellowship
  132. female
  133. final
  134. find
  135. focused
  136. follow
  137. food
  138. footballer
  139. force
  140. foster
  141. friends
  142. gains
  143. gather
  144. gender
  145. georgia
  146. girl
  147. globe
  148. goals
  149. good
  150. google
  151. great
  152. greater
  153. greatest
  154. greeks
  155. ground
  156. group
  157. groupings
  158. groups
  159. grow
  160. growing
  161. guidance
  162. harassed
  163. harassment
  164. harm
  165. hate
  166. hatred
  167. helped
  168. heterosexual
  169. highest
  170. highlighting
  171. histories
  172. history
  173. holocaust
  174. homosexual
  175. horribly
  176. host
  177. human
  178. humanity
  179. idea
  180. identifying
  181. identity
  182. ideologies
  183. ideology
  184. inability
  185. include
  186. incorrectly
  187. increasingly
  188. indicating
  189. individuals
  190. inequities
  191. inspiration
  192. integral
  193. interests
  194. internet
  195. introduced
  196. jew
  197. jews
  198. kindergarten
  199. knowledgeable
  200. label
  201. labels
  202. language
  203. larger
  204. lead
  205. leading
  206. led
  207. legislative
  208. level
  209. liberal
  210. libertarian
  211. life
  212. live
  213. lives
  214. local
  215. locations
  216. long
  217. lowest
  218. major
  219. making
  220. male
  221. march
  222. marginalization
  223. match
  224. math
  225. meant
  226. media
  227. members
  228. mentality
  229. mentors
  230. mentorship
  231. middle
  232. military
  233. misinformation
  234. misused
  235. mixed
  236. modern
  237. multiple
  238. murder
  239. music
  240. muslim
  241. muslims
  242. nations
  243. nazi
  244. negative
  245. number
  246. orientation
  247. pages
  248. part
  249. parties
  250. partisan
  251. parts
  252. peace
  253. people
  254. personal
  255. perspectives
  256. pew
  257. phrase
  258. places
  259. poland
  260. policies
  261. political
  262. politics
  263. power
  264. professions
  265. progressive
  266. queer
  267. quick
  268. race
  269. racial
  270. racism
  271. rastafarianism
  272. realization
  273. reddit
  274. religion
  275. representation
  276. republicans
  277. research
  278. responsibly
  279. rich
  280. rights
  281. rise
  282. romans
  283. roots
  284. safe
  285. scapegoat
  286. scared
  287. search
  288. searches
  289. separate
  290. serve
  291. service
  292. serving
  293. sexual
  294. shared
  295. signs
  296. simple
  297. simply
  298. slavery
  299. slurs
  300. smaller
  301. social
  302. solution
  303. specific
  304. specifically
  305. spread
  306. spring
  307. states
  308. stemming
  309. stereotypes
  310. strategies
  311. street
  312. struggled
  313. studies
  314. successful
  315. suddenly
  316. support
  317. system
  318. systemic
  319. teach
  320. team
  321. teammate
  322. terms
  323. tests
  324. thought
  325. thousands
  326. tied
  327. ties
  328. time
  329. tool
  330. traded
  331. trading
  332. transgender
  333. turn
  334. unhealthy
  335. unique
  336. united
  337. urges
  338. variety
  339. veterans
  340. victims
  341. vulnerable
  342. weeks
  343. white
  344. wicca
  345. widespread
  346. wonderful
  347. word
  348. work
  349. world
  350. worship
  351. worst
  352. wrong
  353. year
  354. years
  355. young
  356. zoroastrianism