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  1. #1 DUmmies fight about a word. 
    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    David Zephyr (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 07:07 PM
    Original message
    Using the Term "Illegal Alien"
    There was a time when one hardly ever saw the term "illegal aliens" used here at the DU. I know. I remember that time. I remember that when that term was used, a kindly post here and there, gentle nudge from someone seemed to be more than enough to keep our language on a higher degree and reflecting higher values. I actually cringe now coming here seeing the use of this very insensitive term which has a very marginalizing tone to it.

    I'm not on some high horse here. It's inappropriate. People are not "illegal". The term "illegal alien" is a very repulsive term filled with xenophobia and bigotry. I think some don't know better, but I fear some sort of relish using this lousy language.

    Thankfully, the use of the term "retarded" which was rarely, if ever, used here in the beginning, but later had a period where it crept in to use, is now, for the most part, back to being rarely seen in posts again, as it should be. I don't know whether this is from the mods or, hopefully, from a heightened sense of values. But the word "retarded" is a reprehensible term loaded with hurt and cruelty. The same applies with sexist language. It never was here in the beginning (or very little) then as the site grew, that language appeared. Thankfully, it is, for the most part gone.

    The DU is a dynamic site where people come and people go. While the DU certainly is not as leftward as it was nine years ago, I hope we don't continue to slide into a comfort zone where hurtful slurs are tolerated by the larger community. Being a gay guy, I know that we've had our moments here when hurtful language was tossed around with great ease by a few -- again by some who didn't really know better and some that did. The truth is that we lost a some really good DU'ers who were GLBT who were not tomb-stoned, but who just left. That's really sad.

    I hope that through the language we use here, we are not also pushing away some of our Latino sisters and brothers or those who have families that are mixed as mine is racially. I am fortunate that no one in our family has ever had to live under the shadows of being without docuements and living in that fear. But I have known families that have been shattered and broken up because of our shitty immigration policies and it is a horror to behold beyond belief.

    A child or a woman or a man may be here without documents (undocumented), but they are not in and of themselves "illegal". Consider: This slur is never used against prisoners or those who commit crimes. In my near 60 years, I've never heard a criminal called "an illegal". The term is clearly reserved for xenophobic use. And it is hurtful.

    I hope we can do better. I wonder: How many here might have a grandfather or grandmother, an aunt or uncle who they love who never had "documents" and who lived in the shadows, working and paying taxes all of their lives? I wonder: What percentage of the DU community is Latino or Hispanic? I wonder: Is that percentage is as large as it truly should be at a progressive web site like this one? If it isn't, maybe we might ask ourselves why that is.

    I can tell you this: coming to a website where the term "illegal aliens" is frequently used is hardly a welcome mat for a lot of people. Words can welcome and words can shun. There are words that trigger a lot of pain and heartache.

    Ponder that, just a little, before you post. You might be accidentally hurting someone, you might be sending an unwelcoming message to those who visit the site. And that would be a real shame.
    Lots of bloviating. I'll save you some time. If you use the term "Illegal Alien" you need to off yourself.

    Much argument ensues.

    Bold Lib (129 posts) Wed May-19-10 07:10 PM
    Response to Original message
    1. It is an accurate term. I use, and will continue to use it.
    In standard DUmmie fashion, if you speak logic, they call you a troll.

    Bluebear (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 07:12 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    2. Yeah, just like "Lib"....a term I have *NEVER* seen a liberal use for themselves.
    Warren Stupidity (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 08:22 PM
    Response to Reply #2
    72. +!

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    devilgrrl (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 09:06 PM
    Response to Reply #2
    101. +1
    But that doesn't defer others.

    lumberjack_jeff (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 08:32 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    77. Agreed.
    Aliens are either visiting on a valid visa or not. If not, they are "illegal aliens".
    CreekDog (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 08:54 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    90. what about illegitimate children?
    how about that term?
    Bold Lib (129 posts) Wed May-19-10 09:00 PM
    Response to Reply #90
    97. I guess it is better than the original term Bastard. But that's not the point of the O.P. is it?
    Bold Lib (129 posts) Wed May-19-10 07:50 PM
    Response to Reply #39
    44. There is also the term Resident Alien for those that have permanent residency status. Like my fiance
    Edited on Wed May-19-10 07:52 PM by Bold Lib
    BTW, my fiance uses the term illegal alien also.
    Xipe Totec (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 07:57 PM
    Response to Reply #44
    48. How lovely. Glad you found your match
    blondeatlast (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 08:12 PM
    Response to Reply #44
    68. Well, if Ms. Future BOLD LIB uses the term, I'm convinced.
    Her credentials are as impeccable as yours are.
    Bold Lib (129 posts) Wed May-19-10 08:54 PM
    Response to Reply #68
    89. Don't really care what you think of my credentials. Really don't
    And she does use the accurate term ILLEGAL Alien. Since you brought it up, it really does piss her off that someone violates the borders of this country in an illegal way when she has gone through all the time, money and paperwork to stay here legally. I cannot blame her one bit.
    Monkster (9 posts) Wed May-19-10 08:59 PM
    Response to Reply #68
    96. How tolerant of you
    To attack him and his fiance simply because he doesn't share your opinion.
    BTW, whoevers mole this is, not quite the time to be poking the hive like that.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com...ss=389x8371323

    A fun read.
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    Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Wed May-19-10 07:20 PM
    Response to Reply #12
    14. It may be valid but it's disrespectful. You know darn well it is abbreviated to "illegal"!!

    A la wetback, a la foreigner, etc...
    It's interesting how the liberals all know and bandy about "racist" words like "wetback", when I haven't heard conservatives use that word. Maybe because they cannot help but think those racist words they figure those they like less, conservatives, actually say them.

    It's also interesting that according to some, you can't use the word ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, because although it simply describes the truth....it is an immigrant that is here illegally.......it connotates those "racist" words like "wetback", and now I guess "foreigner" is a racist word too.
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    msedano (615 posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Wed May-19-10 07:34 PM
    Response to Original message
    23. 5th and 14th Amendments, due process

    You can expand your analysis by noting the due process clauses in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Often paraphrased as "innocent until proved guilty," the concept of equal protection means no one is actually "illegally" immigrated until a court judges one's status fairly and within the protections of the Constitution.


    That pendejas and pendejos throw the term around illustrates the user's own intolerance for Democracy and democratic principles. But then, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the Unitedstatesian people.

    mvs

    political_Dem (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Wed May-19-10 08:38 PM
    Response to Original message
    79. Thank you. The term bothers me because it is similar to the n-word.

    Edited on Wed May-19-10 08:57 PM by political_Dem
    People who use the term, use it with such vindictiveness and hatred that it is not a benign term. I would even go as far to say that the people who revel in using the term to describe the undocumented ventures on bigotry.

    Sometimes, I think that people use that word because they can't say other racial slurs in which they would be ostracized for. And what is worse, it is a term laden with white supremacy and privilege.

    And it is equally repulsive when this slur is used in broadcast, print and other public venues in society.

    This type of crap would stop if the public would openly use "cracker", "honky", "peckerwood"** and other insulting terms in the media without batting an eye. How would white people feel if anchors, reporters, bloggers, pundits and commentators pontificated their views peppered with those racial slurs unapologetically? How would they feel if people unrepentantly defended their use of these terms openly because it "truly describes the people targeted and what they are"? How would they feel if the POTUS and other assorted politicians used this language openly without even thinking about the feelings of some of the members of their constituency?

    You know what would happen? Look to Arizona. After all, they passed a law to stop ethnic studies in order to prevent the "resentment of the white race". Go figure.

    So, kick and rec'd.

    **used for demonstrative purposes only.
    Surprise, Surprise, another liberals deciding what words are offensive based on their own biases and bigotry, and then condemning anyone who dares to use "that word".

    They remind me of the Muslims who are offended about everything in an effort to get their own way.
    Last edited by Carol; 05-19-2010 at 10:23 PM.
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol View Post
    It's interesting how the liberals all know and bandy about "racist" words like "wetback", when I haven't heard conservatives use that word. Maybe because they cannot help but think those racist words they figure those they like less, conservatives, actually say them.

    It's also interesting that according to some, you can't use the word ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, because although it simply describes the truth....it is an immigrant that is here illegally.......it connotates those "racist" words like "wetback", and now I guess "foreigner" is a racist word too.
    I have unfortunately. Had to have some discussions about it's use at another Conservative forum I moderate on.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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    Senior Member Dan D. Doty's Avatar
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    Just a couple of nitwits who think the problem is solved if people don't use the term Illegal Aliens; magic thinking at its worse.
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    [youtube]UqjfmUytFp8[/youtube]
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Illegal alien refers to a person's legal status, nothing else.
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    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph wiggum View Post
    [youtube]UqjfmUytFp8[/youtube]
    Beat me to it. I wish I could find the actual video though. It was classic.
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Beat me to it. I wish I could find the actual video though. It was classic.
    It wasn't available on YouTube. :(
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol View Post

    Surprise, Surprise, another liberals deciding what words are offensive based on their own biases and bigotry, and then condemning anyone who dares to use "that word".

    They remind me of the Muslims who are offended about everything in an effort to get their own way.
    Unfortunately that tendency is not limited to DU but sometimes happens in our own backyard...

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