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Musings on The Passing Scene
A light issue in the news is becoming almost impossible to find or so trivial as to be not worth comment. There is, however, more silly movement on the political correctness front. Now a group wants to ban the "i" word. In case you missed this bit of mindlessness, the "i" word is "illegal" when attached to the word alien. The group behind this is calls themselves ColorLines. They appear to have followed the standard procedure of picking a term at random, declaring that it is offensive, and saying that, therefore, you can't use it. Here, and I quote, is their reasoning: "Drop the I-Word is a public education campaign powered by immigrants and diverse communities across the country that value human dignity and are working to eradicate the dehumanizing slur "illegals" from everyday use and public discourse. The i-word opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration. No human being is 'illegal.' " And further: "A harmful slur -- "Illegals" is a racially charged slur used to dehumanize and discriminate against immigrants and people of color regardless of migratory status. The i-word is shorthand for "illegal alien," "illegal immigrant" and other harmful terms." Notice that they are defining the terms to suit themselves. According to the dictionary, the term is defined as follows:
1. a foreigner who has entered or resides in a country unlawfully or without the country's authorization.
2. a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, especially a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson.
Have you ever noticed that when they find a word to ban that, somehow, that word becomes "shorthand" or a "code word" for a distasteful concept, usually one with a racial component. It seems their preferred term would be "undocumented worker," which is like calling a burglar an "uninvited house guest" or a bank robber an " enhanced income recipient" or a stalker an "extended lingerer". Think about it.
The Mountain Curmudgeon