In a world where freedom of choice reigns, in liberal states like New York and Washington “my body my choice” includes everything except for what one chooses to put into and come out of one’s mouth.
In New York, the Department of Education is not only slowly implementing vegetarian-only school lunches, but they’re also banning certain words from standardized tests. In Seattle, Washington, the city is advising workers that certain words be avoided in official documents and discussions.
Seattle city personnel recently received an internal memo from Elliott Bronstein, chief spokesman for the Office for Civil Rights. Mr. Bronstein strongly suggested that offensive or disruptive words such as “citizen” and “brown bag” be abolished in the workplace.
Bronstein, grateful that “Luckily, we’ve got options,” requested that instead of “brown bag,” city employees substitute the words “lunch-and-learn” or “sack lunch.” As for the distasteful word “citizen,” Mr. Bronstein recommended considering the feelings of non-citizens by referring to everyone as “residents.”
Despite good intentions, a problem does arise; let’s face it, especially in government, nobody’s perfect 100% of the time. So hopefully there’s money available in state and city budgets to utilize – and someone wise enough to suggest – that some gentle punishment in the form of shock collars be integrated into ongoing sensitivity training.
In the case of a forgetful mishap, a gentle jolt of electricity should break the habit for those foolishly referring to skin color when talking about lunch bags and pocketbooks. As for thoughtless Seattle citizens, if they should lose their heads and casually mention to coworkers that over the weekend they watched the old Orson Welles movie Citizen Kane, such offenders would be guilty of unruly speech.
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