Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Term "Illegal Alien"

A Florida state legislator, Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, wants to ban the use of the term "illegal alien" from official state documents because "An alien to me is someone from out of space." She goes on to say "There are students in our schools whose parents are trying to become citizens and we shouldn't label them," she said. "They are immigrants, through no fault of their own, not aliens."

Apparently, she feels that the word "alien" has some sort of denotative derogatory meaning that "immigrant" doesn't (beyond the fact that her language skills are apparently so rudimentary that she thinks the word "alien" necessarily refers to a person not originating from the planet we know as Earth). Oddly, she feels that in the term "illegal alien", the word 'alien' is worse than the word 'illegal' even though her statement seems to focus on the fact that children are labeled as "aliens" "through no fault of their own." Apparently, it's alright is a child is illegal through no fault of their own, but it is not alright if they are "not from here" through no fault of their own.

This is obviously not a big issue except insofar as it is another example of political correctness run amok (with bad command of language for icing) - I wonder if some day we will not be able to refer to people as "tall" since it's not their fault. Sometimes I really think that political correctness is nothing more than the attempt to pretend that everyone on the planet is exactly the same in every respect to the point where the use of adjectives in conjunction with words that denote a certain person are irrelevant (notice that I don't say "or groups of people" since the only way to group people would be to introduce adjective denoting how they are different).

OK. I'm done now.


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