There was some minor uproar earlier this year when the Associated Press announced it would no longer be using the term “illegal immigrant,” saying the word “‘illegal’ should only describe an action,” not a person. Now the University of California, Los Angeles has jumped into the fray, with the university’s undergraduate student government unanimously voting to condemn the use of the “racially derogatory” term.
UCLA campus paper The Daily Bruin reported on the vote last week, which was called in response to ex-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano being named the next president of the University of California, as well as “general concerns about undocumented students feeling unwelcome on UCLA’s campus.”
Members of the Undergraduate Students Association Council argued the language change is the right thing to do.
“Calling someone illegal is calling them someone that does not deserve to exist,” [Omar] Arce said. “Words have power. Words have the opportunity to define people and create context.”
[Maryssa] Hall said the resolution is just one step that needs to be taken to promote more inclusive language on campus.
The official resolution calls the term “racially derogatory,” arguing that “the use of the term illegals (the ‘I-word’) and its derivatives when referring to people dehumanizes and divides communities.”
h/t Campus Reform
[Image via Bogdan Migulski]
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