Charlotte, NC — The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has a “Words Matter Task Force.”
The WMTF, set up by the school’s Information and Technology Services (ITS) department, has declared that it finds more than two dozen words and phrases possibly offensive to people, including “picnic,” “brown bag” and “blacklist.”
The WMTF offers alternative words to use, for instance urging people to say “gathering” instead of “picnic” and “lunch and learn” instead of “brown bag.”
“To effectively communicate with customers, it is important for ITS to evaluate the terms and language conventions that may hinder effective communication, harm morale, and deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted to foment a healthy and inclusive culture,” the task force said in a memo.
The group also advises that people should avoid using so-called problematic words such as “privileged account,” “handicapped,” “blacklist,” “crazy,” “grandfathered,” and “dummy.”
Seriously. Maybe that’s why out-of-state tuition costs more than $66,000 a year.
“The word ‘picnic’ appears to be banned because of false suggestions on the internet that it originates from the racist, extrajudicial killings of African Americans,” The Daily Mail reported. “The word picnic actually comes from the 17th-century French word ‘pique-nique,’ a term used to describe a social gathering in which attendees each contributed with a portion of food.”
Inclusive language means not using sayings such as “long time no see,” “crack the whip,” “low man on the totem pole,” “off the reservation,” and “sold down the river.”
Also on the chopping block, no doubt another term that will be offensive after Leftist trolls read this article, is the term “low-hanging fruit. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort.” This is now racist.
“For African Americans, if you say ‘low-hanging fruit,’ we think lynching,” said Mae Hicks-Jones, an adjunct faculty member of Elgin Community College in Illinois.
“Grandfathered” is also racist, she said, according to a report in the College Fix. To Hicks-Jones, the phrase is reminiscent of a grandfather clause, which privileged white people’s right to vote over that of Black people during the Jim Crow South. There’s no word on if there was anyone else offended by this or if Hicks-Jones was the only one who had her feelings out playing with them that day.
The task force also said “off the reservation” should be replaced with “outside the norms” or “rogue.” Of course, they fail to realize that using the term “rogue” in this matter is obviously offensive to those who drive certain Nissan Crossover SUVs.
The language police have had a busy year in 2020. They killed the NFL team name of the Washington Redskins, which has so far been replaced only with “Washington Football Team.”
Adding to the hysteria earlier this month and saying the team name was also offensive, Cleveland Indians team owner Paul Dolan indicated the team was changing it’s name. “Our role is to unite the community,” Dolan told MLB.com. “There is a credible number of people in this community who are upset by our name, are hurt by our name, and there is no reason for our franchise to bear a name that is divisive.”
Then there was the “Masters” golf tournament. Rob Parker wrote a Deadspin headlined “We’ve Lived with ‘The Masters’ Name Long Enough.”
“Augusta National was built on grounds that were once a slave plantation and was the property of a slave owner. And according to a 2019 New Yorker piece about the course, it’s believed that enslaved Blacks were housed on the property,” he wrote.
Oh, there’s more. The largest cosmetics company in the world announced that it will remove words like “whitening,” “fair,” and “lightening” from the packaging of its products.
“The L’Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products,” the French cosmetics giant said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.
The Words Matter Task Force wants to “create educational animations/short videos for ITS staff” with three purposes:
- To encourage empathy for how others may feel when words have negative connotations.
- To spur curiosity about why words matter, and direct people to other educational resources.
- To provide a nonthreatening, quick resource that is easily shared/disseminated.
The “educational” short videos would use “neutral characters” such as “stick figures.”
In September, the University of Michigan-Dearborn apologized for organizing a virtual cafe event for students that were segregated by race.
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