Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hispanic Journalists: Don’t Use “Illegal”

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has some definite advice about how to refer to illegal aliens.

Key thing: don’t refer to them as “illegal.”
Illegal alien

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented worker,” or “undocumented immigrant.”

Illegal alien

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented worker,” or “undocumented immigrant.”

Illegal

Avoid. Alternative terms are “undocumented immigrant” or “undocumented worker.” This term has been used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. The term criminalizes the person rather than the actual act of illegally entering, residing in the U.S. without documents.

Illegal immigrant

While many national news outlets use the term “illegal immigrant,” this handbook calls for the discussion and re-evaluation of its use. Instead of using illegal immigrant, alternative labels recommended are “undocumented worker” or “undocumented immigrant.” Illegal immigrant is a term used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. People who are undocumented according to federal authorities do not have the proper visas to be in the United States legally. Many enter the country illegally, but a large number of this group initially had valid visas, but did not return to their native countries when their visas expired.
These politically correct folks have a point where the word “alien” is at issue. Legally, it’s a perfectly correct term, but has taken on a variety of threatening connotations.

Many of us have seen those movies where hideous creatures chase Sigourney Weaver around this or that space ship.

But trying to ban the word “illegal” is simply an insistence that honest language be avoided.

That the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is demanding biased news reporting is most unfortunate. It tends to stereotype Hispanics in the same way that blacks in journalism have already been stereotyped: as affirmative action trophies proving the “diversity” of this or that news organization rather than working reporters who can cover a story fairly.

Just as journalism doesn’t need more Eugene Kanes, neither does it need more Ricardo Pimentels. (Pimentel, by the way, agrees with the demand for dishonest journalism in the statement quoted above.)

Journalism could certainly use more honest black and Hispanic reporters, or black and Hispanic columnists who say things at odds with what the white liberals who hired them want to hear. In other words, people different from Eugene Kane.

But even more, it could use more conservatives, Christians and people with military experience. Those sorts of people would provide the kind of diversity that matters.

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3 Comments:

Blogger J. Gravelle said...

Why stop there?


Burglar = "Uninvited House Guest"

Bank Robber = "Inverse Depositor"

Car Thief = "Non-Designated Driver"


-jjg
DailyScoff.com

6:17 PM  
Anonymous joe stalin said...

This is nothing new.
Don't call Democrats....
Liberal,
Socialist,
Communist,
Unpatriotic,
Dead beats,
Blood suckers,
Panderers,
Unethical.
Call them "Progressives".

10:48 PM  
Blogger James Pawlak said...

Better: "Illegal Invader Of USA Shot Dead At Border"

12:11 PM  

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