Seattle Workers Told Not To Use Offensive Terms Like “Citizen” Or “Brown Bag”

brown-bag-lunch2Seattle_sealWe have previously followed government officials who are ordering the removal of basic words that they deem offensive. Thus, we saw how “hold down the fort” have been declared unacceptable by Obama Administration officials as racist. In Seattle, the language police have added terms like “citizen” and “brown bag” as racist or offensive. They are to be banned from public documents and discussions by order of the Seattle officials in the city’s Office of Civil Rights. By the way, they might want to start with the city council, which routinely holds “brown bag” lunches.

We have seen media organizations ban the use of “illegal aliens” or “illegal immigrant” to describe people here illegally. Indeed, you cannot use “illegal” but rather “undocumented” in publications or statements in major media outlets. However, now even the term “citizen” is unacceptable as offensive even though it describes a legal status. It is also found in the United States Constitution. It is not clear whether the Office of Civil Rights will now substitute words in such passages as:

Article 1: “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. . . . No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.”

Article 2, Section 1:“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Fourteenth Amendment: Section 1. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . “

I am not sure what we will do with showings of movies like “Citizen Kane” at the public library. “Documented Worker Kane” or “Resident Kane” just doesn’t seem to capture the spirit.

Then there is “brown bag.” This term originated with . . . wait for it . . . the use of bags that are brown. That’s right, paper bags have been brown. People have taken their lunches in brown paper bags for decades. However, the office of Civil Rights found someone offended by that term because “the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used, I understand, to determine if people’s skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home.”

I find this perfectly insane but Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights assures everyone that “Luckily, we’ve got options” and can use other words instead. For example, the office is telling workers that instead of using “brown bag” city employees should use the terms “lunch-and-learn” or “sack lunch.” Lunch-and-Learn? I am not even sure what that is.

300px-Sack_of_Rome_by_the_Visigoths_on_24_August_410_by_JN_Sylvestre_1890As for sack, it is not an option for me. I find it offensive. I am half Italian and I am still smarting over the sacking of Rome not once but repeatedly in 3990 BC (Gauls), 410 (Visigoths), 455 (Geiseric), 546 (Ostrogoths), 846 (Saracens), 1084 (Normans) and 1527 (Holy Roman mutineers). When ever I hear “sack” I am instinctively thrown into a panic and try to flee to a catacomb. I cannot pass a “sack a suds” without instinctively looking for Visogoths. Indeed, due to the prior sackings, I find the use of “gall” and “normal” offensive as too close to those people in 3990 BC and 1084.

What I do not understand is how in a period of economic difficulty with people without jobs and basic services, we still have people spending their time trying to outlaw “brown bag” and “citizen” from common usage. That is what I find offensive.

Source: KOMO

61 thoughts on “Seattle Workers Told Not To Use Offensive Terms Like “Citizen” Or “Brown Bag””

  1. The saying “Brown Bagging” goes back even further than you state in your blog. It goes back to a time when persons bought liquor to bring into places to mix with their choice of other non-alcoholic drinks. It was done because, when liquor became legal again, many places couldn’t “serve” liquor or sell liquor by the drink but, a person could bring their own. Since it was illegal to carry liquor openly on the street, the bottles were placed in bags. Back in the day, the only shopping bags were BROWN.

    Then persons started carrying lunches in bags instead of metal lunch boxes and the bags they used were the small retail brown bags. Then these small brown bags were sold as “lunch bags”.

    Just my two sense,

  2. Shall we so cleanse public debate in order to be palatable to only the most squeemish among us? Seattle has been reduced to the absurd.

  3. I could understand a few years ago when some people objected to the terms “master” and “slave” for hard drives.

    But objecting to “citizen”? If that’s “inappropriate”, what exactly are people born in or naturalized to a country?

    Next thing you know, some idiot will object to the term “blue collar” and pretend it has some political meaning….

  4. The NAACP can say their name but I cant say mine here without the Pig Latin.

  5. Brown bag gets by Word Press. How about boogers from the nose? Hemie, Jerry rigged, friggin Kraut, Dick Cheney. Well, I tried some more and they did not make it by WordPress. Everything in moderation on this blog its worse than seatle. Here are some words in Pig Latin which are verboten: itchBay, astardBay, artFay, Dick ixonNay.

  6. Thanks, I’ll make it a point to use those words more. I’ll also make sure I don’t ever use the word “Seattle” anymore since that word has been banned, since it is offensive.

  7. i guess they would have to do that now since its a one world corporation and the united states has always been a corporation only now the truth is coming out. along with the elites real plans for the people

  8. The only thing offensive about “hold down the fort” is the terrible grammar. Is it going to blow away?

  9. Pete:

    The song would be more accurate if the lyrics instead were:

    “The grayest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle.”

  10. If I wanted to be, I could be offended by “when the fat lady sings” and I am offended by Oh My God or OMG at a high level. Think I will sue next time I hear “fat lady” and become a rich fat lady. :=0

  11. If the sequester ever makes the trek across the country to Seattle, I nominate Elliott Bronstein to participate. Clearly, he does not have enough value added work to do for the benefit of the taxpayers.

  12. Glib, can I call this writing glib? Or a rant?
    I watch a tacky British Sitcom – Coronation Street. One of the current story lines is about the use of an old deragatory term used by older Brits which is offensive to people with not white skin. A hapless Brit manages to use the term and insult a family of Caribbean Islanders, now living in Weathersfield England.
    Jonathan, a sitcom does a better job of exploring the issues intelligently. Was the hapless idiot a racist, maybe not, but we would be a much more compassionate and evolved civilization if we discussed history, admitted where the bigoted terminologies originated and moved ahead rather than stay “it’s always been that way, what’s your problem?” mode. That’s how the story line is playing out, with resolution and understanding by the offended and the offender.
    Seriously, better writing on a British sitcom….

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