I really need to get this thought down because, subjective as it may be, I think it is very important. It's about bastardizing our language.
As a writer, words are everything. They convey our thoughts, tell a story, give facts, tell a joke... Words can tear a person down and just as equally uplift them. WORDS HAVE MEANING.
As a student of psychology and lifelong observer of people, how we express our words can make or break lines of communication.
There is a HUGE difference between the following language:
- You're a liar!
- I don't agree with what you said.
In some circumstances, we may be accused of being a liar for expressing an opinion. To say, "You're a liar!" is accusatory and aggressive. The person saying it has shut down. There is no debate and there is rarely any way to defend one's self from the accusation. (The exception being that you are dishing opinion as fact and really lying.)
To say, "I don't agree with what you said," leave the lines of communication open for debate or civil discourse. This is often a game of intellect, wit and coercion. Maybe you don't like what I said, but maybe I can convince you -- and equally, I am open to be convinced by your argument. Or, we can be civil and agree to disagree.
WORDS. LANGUAGE. COMMUNICATION.
Why is this on my mind?
I really believe that California's governor, representatives, and law makers have lost their damn minds, and if you've been following California news, you will know that in late August 2019, San Francisco has curbed their language to be more inclusive, gentler, and kinder... to criminals.
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors adopted a "language guideline" that was proposed by Sandra Lee Fewer, to make the following changes to their language:
FELON, OFFENDER, CONVICT, JUVENILE DELINQUENT = "justice-involved person"
PAROLEE = "returning resident" or "formerly incarcerated person"
ADDICT = "a person with a history of substance abuse"
Let's visit this for a moment.
FELON & THE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN
IF YOU ARE A LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN, YOU ARE ALREADY A JUSTICE-INVOLVED PERSON.
Here's the thing: According to a San Francisco Chronicler article, 1 in 5 California residents has a criminal record, and Supervisor Matt Haney has stated that: “We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done.”
But this kinder, gentler Board of Supervisors doesn't want to separate them, the criminal and drug addicted dregs, from our "justice-involved" society because to do otherwise makes us law-abiding citizens racist and supreme.
To label THEM as convicts, felons, delinquents and addicts apparently predisposes them to negative stereotypes.
But San Francisco's language would have YOU on the same level as a FELON.
Are you okay with that?
If a convicted person is out on parole, they are a "person under supervision.”
Our school children are persons under supervision. If we have a boss at work, we are also persons under supervision. If you are a law-abiding citizen, under the guidance and/or restrictions of your town, county, state or federal laws, you are a person under supervision.
Now, law-abiding citizens don't really consider ourselves to be under supervision because common sense, life experience and a moral compass actually guides us to stay out of jail.
Let's say I lived in San Francisco and a drug-addicted felony parolee decides to break into my house, I wonder what the police report would be like?
A returning resident currently under supervision, with a history of substance abuse, entered uninvited into the home of a justice-involved person.
What will they call rapists or pedophiles --
WHY IS THIS DANGEROUS
When you are assimilated into a culture or society, it is often the immediate community or circle of friends, not the government, that influences what is or is not appropriate in behavior and language. I do not condone stereotyping, bullying, shaming or bigoted language but I'm going to call a duck a "duck", and a criminal a "criminal."
If your government curbs your language and determines what labels are or are not appropriate then they are actually infringing on your First Amendment Right (free speech).
Let's wade a little deeper into the swamp.
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors wants to change the language.
Calling the felons and law-abiding citizens "justice-involved," everyone can feel included within that society and there is nothing to really differentiate us from the criminal element in the eyes of that justice system.
Now imagine that the law-abiding citizens are fed up with the people in office? What if there is civil unrest - or worst case - civil war? What if those law makers feel like their person or position is threatened?
They've already bastardized the language and grouped us all in the same category of inclusive citizens. What's to stop these law makers from declaring martial law if they feel threatened by all of us "justice-involved" people?
Are you all right with that?
The law makers and policy providers who purposefully change the language, and subsequently the meaning of words, are diligently chipping away at your Constitutional Rights.
Do your research.
Don't let anyone else think for you.
created by @kookyan
Cast your witness votes!
You have 30 votes. Make them count.