AN "ALIEN" IDEA
By Chip McLean
March 3, 2007
I suppose it was inevitable. Bound to happen. And it has. We’ve actually reached a point in this country where an elected official wants to regulate what her fellow legislators may say in any “official” documents.
The official in question is one Florida State Sen. Frederica Wilson, (D-Miami), who recently introduced a bill that would do just that. It seems the ever-so-sensitive Ms. Wilson has a problem with the word “alien” when used in conjunction with the word “illegal.”
Actually she has a problem with the phrase “illegal alien”, but really hates that terrible second word:
“I personally find the word ‘alien’ offensive when applied to individuals, especially to children. An alien to me is someone from out of space.”
It doesn’t appear that Ms. Wilson has spent much time with a dictionary. I checked and came up with the following definitions – “alien” as an adjective:
“1. Owing political allegiance to another country or government; foreign: alien residents.”
And, as a noun:
“1. An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen.”
In both cases, the primary definition most definitely applies to people who are not citizens of this country, whether they are legal or not. Ms. Wilson can choose to be “offended” all she wants, but the plain fact is that alien is the correct term to use for these people.
As far as “illegal” goes, she said the following: “’Illegal,’” I can live with, but I like ‘undocumented’ better.”
“Undocumented.” If that isn’t an example of politically correct nonsense, then I haven’t seen any. Ms. Wilson and her ilk, which also includes most members of the MSM, prefer phrases like “undocumented workers” to “illegal aliens” because it sounds so much nicer. In fact it helps take the onus off of Pedro the “undocumented worker” because it sounds like it’s not Pedro’s fault. It makes it sound like some callous, uncaring bureaucrat down at the immigration office either lost or forgot to complete poor ‘ol Pedro’s citizenship papers. Using such politically correct wording is a way of disguising the fact that Pedro broke the law in the first place by crashing the border.
People like Frederica Wilson are part of a growing problem in this country. We are rapidly becoming the “United States of the Offended,” with hordes of people who “feel” rather than “think,” trying to shift the national dialogue to one that suits their agenda. Instead of speaking the plain truth about issues such as immigration, border security and so on, they find ways to twist the language to their favor. And in this case, an official has gone so far as to try and mandate the language in state documents too fit her agenda. What’s next? Bills that will mandate not using certain words or phrases on the Florida Senate floor? Bills that will prohibit the use of the phrase “illegal alien” in public? In homes?
With any luck, Ms. Wilson’s bill will be shot down by the Florida Senate for the utter claptrap that it is. Even so, people like Ms. Wilson are a menace to free speech. Not only do they want to change the dynamics of public discourse by insinuating nonsensical PC phrases such as “undocumented” in place of “illegal,” they apparently also want to regulate the expression of plain speech whenever it “offends” them.
Immigration – both legal and illegal – is a very serious issue. So is border security. Trivializing these and other vital issues with political correctness – especially when done by elected leaders – is doing the country a great injustice. For an elected official to even suggest mandating the removal of words that “offend” her, is beyond the pale – it flies in the face of the principles the nation was founded on. Such a thought is indeed, an “alien” idea.
© 2007 Chip McLean - All Rights Reserved
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Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House. Chip is a former broadcaster.
His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH, Chip's columns have appeared in a number of online conservative publications.