Thought Police

They’re metastasizing into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a guide to “inclusive language” in order to promote “health equity” and “inclusive communication.”

For instance, their “Corrections & Detentions” section “suggests”

replacing terms such as “Inmate,” “Prisoner,” “Convict/ex-convict,” and “Criminal” with terms such as “People/persons,” “Persons in pre-trial or with charge,” “Persons on parole or probation,” or “People in immigration detention facilities.”

The problem with euphemisms, though, is that they mean precisely the same as the word they’re intended to replace. Persons on parole or probation still are criminals. That’s the status of folks on parole or probation—they’re still criminals, felons, until they complete their sentences. People in immigration detention facilities remain illegal aliens—that’s why they’re being detained.

The substitutes may soften the language in a misguided attempt to disguise or obfuscate the facts, but that’s only a temporary condition, and the frankness of the underlying meaning ultimately (and quickly) comes through. That’s why there’s a constant search for euphemisms.

The problem with government agents—the men and women who populate government agencies—being the ones pushing for euphemisms is that their push becomes mandates, and government mandates are nothing more than restrictions on free speech, limits on one of our most basic individual liberties. When government agents presume to dictate how we must term concepts, they’re dictating how we must think about them.

Even the worthies in government know that. Which is maybe why they’re making their push.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *