I heard a recent NPR, (National Public Radio), news story today that was presented in their own special Politically Correct way.
I know that some folks think the term "illegal immigrant" is too mean for those poor folks just trying to find a better life for themselves, (and possibly their families), and "illegal alien" is just too harshly demeaning... so, they, (those kind folks that never want to make anyone feel bad), coined a new descriptor - "undocumented immigrant."
I think they are wrong. Buttt,,, if it makes them feel good about themselves, go for it. (but they are still wrong)
In the news story today, they were talking about the illegal alien that shot a young women in San Fransisco as she walked on Pier 14 with her father.
More story details - Pick the perspective you you want
It is reported that he has been deported 5 times, has spent 17 years in prison for various crimes, has four felony drug connections, (one source reported he has 7 felony convictions/arrests), and needs an interpreter to have a conversation in English.
This is not a poor soul just trying to find a better life. This man is a hardened criminal.
Yet, in its effort to be nice and PC - the NPR news person described this criminal as an... "undocumented man!" (I guess she understood he wasn't trying to immigrate, so she couldn't call him an undocumented immigrant)
Geez Louise... I don't need affirmation or a chorus - I know ridiculousness when I hear it.
Maybe, it's a simple as NPR doesn't have a political agenda which ensures every word within a report is vetted; to ensure it doesn't deviate from the opinions of the owner's who are dumping millions into media in order to attempt to sway public opinion. (i.e. Fox news)
Or, maybe it's as simple as San Francisco is considered a 'sanctuary city' and they were presenting things using the language that will be used by those defending this guy. Maybe, they were attempting to open a dialogue on whether sanctuary cities are going overboard in their protection of the rights of those illegal immigrants.
Of course, maybe you are right and the staff at NPR worry too much about being PC. I heard the segment and it didn't affect me like it did you. My main question at this point is what was he doing with a fire arm owned by a federal agent.
I looked everywhere. Even in the closet and behind the couch. I couldn't find a single hint or clue to help me decide if you were being serious, sarcastic, or joking.
The man is a convicted criminal, He has repeated;y entered the U.S. illegally.
He is an illegal alien.
In my opinion there are no rationalizations or justifications for the purposeful use of "undocumented man." That phrase sounds so awkward I cannot imagine it not being used without specific intent.
... and that intent, (as I perceive it), is an example of PC ridiculousness.
The whole controversy over illegal immigrants is open season for anyone who needs a crutch. You have the left catering to these 12 million potential votes by pulling on our heart strings about the poverty and abuses they have in their own country as an excuse to seek refuge in the US. You have the right struggling to exclude these people for mainly the opposite reason so as to exclude them from voting. Neither want to get at the causes for this mass exodus because it could hurt them financially. Since NAFTA millions have lost their jobs in Central and South America coming the US to at least survive and give their children a better chance. Our greed created this issue. Our greed precludes us from enforcing the immigration laws that would send them back. Just packing them up and sending them back has been fruitless as we see with the shooter in S.F. It is just like any other addiction that America suffers from. Cheap labor comes at a price we don't want to pay. A sure fire documentation process and a penalty system that includes high fines and imprisonment statutes to those who hire illegal workers is the only answer. Our for hire Congress lacks the will to enact such a policy.
The way we talk affects the way we think, thus intelligent people should attempt to eliminate negative labeling of groups, history teaches us that it has serious repercussions when we use language to create an "other" when we label groups like "illegals" we mentally make them something other than humans and once they are so dehumanized it's a much shorter and more likely step to committing atrocities against them.
Much like using the N word, it's just a good habit to get out of regardless of the context just like you still would not use the N word to describe a black person if they committed some terrible crime.
In summary there are positive effects to limiting our use of pejoratives and no negative effects to it so complaining about it is vapid and pointless.
Good Grief. Or Oh my Gawd or a dozen other colloquial expressions of incredulity.
Really? (yes, I do know you are serious)
In this instance, concerning this particular man - you are concerned about describing him negatively?
I understand your perspective, but I won't be reaching your level of "intelligence" because I think your explanation is a bunch of hogwash. The N-word is a slur, Illegal alien is an honest, accurate, and unbiased description, and does nothing to dehumanize him. (at least to my way of thinking, but remember I have not reached intelligent enlightenment yet)
Geez Louise Josak, I would have thought that rationalization would have been too much to swallow - even for you.
So you don't think describing a person as an illegal is dehumanizing? As I say that individual did something awful, throw him in jail, why can't we call him murderer though rather than an insult aimed at a whole category of people?
The reason of course is that you and people like you want to make political capital off the murder by focusing attention on the guys immigration status, which is pretty morally bankrupt in my view.
The aim of people bringing up his immigration status and using that pejorative is to use this case to smear millions of people and politicize a murder. Why don't you admit it instead of just hiding behind "it's fine in this particular case".
Edit: BTW not everyone in the country without documentation has committed a crime, while entering the country is a misdemeanor and thus illegal in the most minor fashion, entering the country and then remaining beyond your visa (which is how a massive portion of undocumented people get into the country) is not a crime ad thus not illegal. So much for accurate, honest and unbiased description huh? You certainly aren't enlightened, not well informed either.
We both know our perspectives are too far apart to waste time trying to convince the other.
But... What the hell, its late and I have some spare time.
I am not interested in making "political capital." The fact that you choose to lump me into a group you see as less than honest does show that one of us is not well informed. And I don't feel morally bankrupt at all. Is that how you see anyone that does not agree with your perception of how society should be?
I wasn't hiding behind anything. I said I didn't have a problem with others using euphemisms - if it made them feel better, but I also said they were still wrong. You may choose to see "illegal" as a pejorative if you want, but I see it as an accurate descriptor. Not a "smear" on millions of people that entered this country illegally. That you choose to use a different description doesn't change the facts.
As you say... BTW, I think those here illegally know it, so how is using the term an insult? Wouldn't it be an insult if illegal was used and they weren't here illegally?
I also think that the fact that you feel his immigration status is unimportant to the event is indicative of your political and social perspective. I feel confident that if someone not legally entitled to own a firearm committed a crime you would not have a problem pointing out that they were an illegal gun owner.
Given the impact of illegal immigrants on our society, I think illegally entering this country is more than a minor legal infraction. As to the folks that overstay their visas, I have no idea whether they are a "massive portion" of illegal immigrants or not, but I do know that anyone that overstays a visa is determined to be here as an "unlawful presence." Is something that is unlawful not illegal?
Resorting to insults;morally bankrupt, hiding true intentions, and being disingenuous, combined with denigrations like "not well informed" are usually tactics used by folks that have no legitimate foundation for their opinions or perspectives. Hopefully there is still time for one of us to become "enlightened," - but I am pretty comfortable where I am, so maybe you could give it a shot.
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