On ridding our language of discriminatory words

In an entry that was posted yesterday, I spoke of how the federal government, in order to remove the disproportionate impact that criminal background checks have on blacks, is making it impossibly burdensome on employers to do criminal background checks at all. Today Paul T. added to that discussion:

If we are to be truly egalitarian, we need to stop using the word “criminal,” which stigmatizes those who, through no fault of their own, are forced to define their own concept of existence and to support themselves by operating outside the constructed “rules” of society—rules which, traditionally at least, have largely rationalized existing power relations while having a disparate impact on the powerless. Instead of “criminal,” I propose “alternative life strategist,” or “altstrat.” This could also be used as a verb, as in, “Quantavius altstrated my car.” (Though in that case, “redistributed my car” would also do).

- end of initial entry -

Kristor writes:

Banning “criminal” from our language is just the first step. To be really PC, we ought to forbid all complaining about the acts of others. After all, “crime” derives from “cri-men,” a cry of distress (compare to “plaintiff”). Eliminating complaints altogether is a logical consequence of the requirement of toleration.

If we eliminated complaints, we could dispense with the whole judicial system, the police, and the prisons.

Ferg writes:

As I recall, the Marxist-Leninist position is that crime is “social justice” and the only way the poor and disadvantaged can get something back from their oppressors.

Paul K. writes:

Paul T. is on to something. I have long suspected that we will see a move to legalize crimes that are committed by the most oppressed of minorities. The rationale would be something like that advanced by Alvy Singer’s father in Annie Hall, when he berates his wife for firing the house cleaner for stealing. He shouts, “She’s a colored woman, from Harlem! She has no money! She’s got a right to steal from us! After all, who is she gonna steal from if not us?”

I heard someone suggest new politically correct terms for crimes to remove their stigma; for example, robbery could be renamed “affirmative acquisition” and rape renamed “affirmative affection.”

LA replies:

Off topic with a point I’ve made before: It is very strange to realize that Annie Hall, which came out in 1977, is further back in the past from our present moment in 2012 than, say, the Stock Market crash in 1929 was when John Glenn orbited the earth in 1962.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 28, 2012 06:53 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):