In polite and educated contemporary society, you can't say ni--er or sp--. Further, Jews can't be referred to as k--es, and it's really not acceptable to call an Italian a d--o. In the past few years, even fag--t has fallen into disfavor. These are considered taboo terms, and most Americans agree that they constitute a form of profanity.
And since people who use them are commonly frowned upon, you can bet your last dollar that many who passionately desire another immigration amnesty, would love to add the terms illegal aliens and illegal immigrants to this list.
In fact, the folks at ColorLines.com feel so strongly about this topic, they have sponsored a Drop The I-Word Campaign, that is endorsed with a spiffy website (DropTheIWord.com) and nicely produced video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6GcPft7mqU)
Now, in fairness to self-styled progressives, the people at Colorlines.com, who describe their website as one that provides award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today's racial justice issues, are hardly the first illegal alien cheerleaders to promote this notion.
Now some listening to the comments of Mr. Lopez and Ms. Murguia might be a bit befuddled. Why are they arguing about the language? If illegal aliens are so great, why don't they tell us how important they are to the nation, and necessary for our continued prosperity? And the answer to that question is: They already did that and it didn't work.
That's why they're now hurling accusations and complaining of "hate speech."
The reality is that people who want a broad scale amnesty for millions of illegal aliens have been completely unable to persuade a majority of American voters. In fact, they really haven't even gotten close, although it certainly hasn't been due to a lack of effort. Specifically, U.S. citizens have been told that illegal aliens:
A) ...only take the jobs that Americans won't do.
B) ... are just another addition to a nation built by immigrants.
C) ... only came here for a better life.
D) ... are doing what American citizens would do, if they had been born into poverty in another country.
E) ... will be a net gain of over a trillion dollars if they're put on "a pathway to citizenship."
F) ... are crucial to the health of the American economy.
H) ... are a fundamental component of a multicultural society of which we can be proud.
I) ... who are legalized by "comprehensive immigration reform," won't really be receiving the benefits of an amnesty. Rather, they'll be acquiring "earned citizenship."
And all of these assertions (and others) have failed in the marketplace of ideas. Sure, some people buy into them, but most don't. Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to sell this package, and people simply haven't been lining up to buy it. National polls repeatedly show that a majority of Americans want current immigration and employment laws enforced.
More simply, intimidation and speech regulation are the far left's substitutes for a convincing argument. These things are intended to silence those who disagree.
In support of this censorship effort, people who visit DropTheIWord.com are presented with a trio of substantively bankrupt assertions. The term "illegal" is 1) racist, 2) dehumanizing, and 3) a legally inaccurate term that confuses the debate and is never used by judges and attorneys
Almost needless to say, these positions are transparent nonsense. Firstly, "illegal alien" describes a foreign national who is unlawfully in the United States. Illegal aliens come in every skin tone and members of the public are more than aware of this. Proponents of the "racism" argument will assert that although illegal aliens come in different colors, most of the undocumented here are Latinos, and therefore it is associated with people wrapped in brown skin. That's true. Most illegal aliens are Latin Americans ... and the large majority of serial killers are white, and a disproportionately high number of people engaging in security fraud offenses are Jews. Does that mean "serial killer" and "stock swindler" are now bigoted hate references for caucasians and Hebrews?
Secondly, "illegal alien" is hardly a "dehumanizing" term. Everyone knows what an illegal alien is. When a listener hears the phrase, a picture pops into his head, and it isn't of an insect, bear, reptile or little green man hopping out of a flying saucer. When people think of illegal aliens, they think of large families, children in need of schooling, and people bearing a host of consumer wants and desires - all very homo sapiens specific traits. Indeed, there are pejorative words used to refer to those who come here unlawfully. Cockroaches, locusts, and parasites are all derisive references to the undocumented that suggest sub-human characterstics. "Illegal aliens," however, falls well outside the boundaries of the territory occupied by such ill-concieved language.
Thirdly, there is nothing "confusing" or "inaccurate" about "illegal aliens." The general public is not unclear or "mixed-up" about what the term means. Further, the assertion that legal practitioners don't use the terms "illegal aliens" or "illegal immigrants" is outright fiction, period (http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/pdf/111cv1804_order.pdf).
It is our hope that this blog's readers will see the Murguias, Lopezes and Colorlines.com folks for what they are. Would-be bullies who would love to pressure you into just keeping quiet on a topic about which they don't have a chance of winning a real argument.