Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Call them "Temporarily Dislocated Patriots"

Bush doesn't like the word 'refugee':
In the debate about how to describe those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush is joining those who don't like the word "refugees."

The president tells reporters, "The people we're talking about are not refugees, they are Americans."

And he adds, "They need the help and love and compassion of our fellow citizens."

He's probably half-right:

ref u gee -- One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.

Seeks refuge. Like, say in the Astrodome, where you can find Barbara "Let Them Eat Cots" Bush.

UPDATE. The Washington Post has an interesting story about how the term is being perceived -- negatively, apparently, by those who have been displaced. Many news organizations have stopped using it. I thought this was an interesting take:

The term has been the subject of much discussion on the Internet among members of the American Copy Editors Society, a professional group of media wordsmiths. Brian Throckmorton, copy desk chief at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, says his paper has stopped using the word in headlines and display type "to avoid provoking those who object to it, but our policy is that it is not a tarnished word and we're allowing it in body copy."

He added, "I do not agree with those who see it as an insult. In fact, I think they are insulting the world's asylum seekers by implying that it's shameful to be lumped under the word 'refugee' with people whose refuge is from other people instead of from nature. Sure, many of the world's refugees are poor and come from Third World conditions, but . . . there's no shame in being poor and Third World anyway."

I agree.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:33 PM

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