What is “offensive” about the term “illegal alien”?


Eleanor Clift, of that once-upon-a-not-quite-Time-wannabe used-to be magazine called Newsweek (rhymes with Leftspeak), publicly criticized the host of the McLaughlin Group on TV just two days ago for having referred to illegal aliens as … well, just that. Sweet Eleanor said “let’s call them undocumented…

What makes the term “illegal alien” offensive is the way a person perceives the intended meaning. If a person becomes so ingrained with notions and ideas about a person or subject the personal choice of words reflect so. Personally I try to use the phrases the writer is using, I find doing so is less complicating and leaves a smaller margin for misunderstands.

I am offended when called Chief, Indian dude, horse or some other moniker a stranger feels comfortable using? No, I could be called redskin or savage. So just because Ms. Clift finds the term “illegal alien” as offensive, it does not make the term offensive to the rest of the world.

As for calling a spade a shovel, I am the type that if we were working together and you ask for a shovel I could on my own decide what type of shovel you might need. But a shovel could be of plastic made for the main intent of snow removal, where a spade is metal, pointed and made for digging. But hey who knows maybe there is someone out there that can dig a hole using any shovel handed them.

In terms of being political correct or as “new terms” when is the last time a grandparent called his grandchild a “bastard” because the child was born out of wedlock? When did you last hear the term spinster to describe a younger woman not yet married? Is anyone calling their daughter easy or a whore because she is having sex before being married? Why are there alcoholics and not just drunk bums or drunkards. Are people today unemployed or “just to lazy to find a job”?

The answer to most of these political correct or as “new terms” is the “time”. Surely there was a time that an underage child having a child was not only shameful to the child but an embarrassment to the family. In today’s world such a scenario is not only celebrated but accepted to the point of TV shows like Unwed Mother, 16 and Pregnant, High School Moms and My Teen Is Pregnant and So Am I.

There were some men who were drafted into service, some answered and served others ran and hid. In my opinion these dodgers were cowards afraid of dying. Today they are thought of as pacifists and protesters. If I ran during the 60’s I doubt that I could walk with any self pride yet I have meet dodgers, heard their stories and try not to judge them with the same harshness of my past.

You asked this question.

“Why does Y!A censor the “N-word” from historical documents, destroying source links?”
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;…

And I agree the use of the word is not outlawed yet those that feel there is still a need to show its past and present use are limited by others offensive to the word, the same holds true here. I am mystified by your use of the descriptive “outlaws”. When by definition outlaw is, (in part)

“1: a person excluded from the benefit or protection of the law
2 a : a lawless person or a fugitive from the law
b : a person or organization under a ban or restriction
c : one that is unconventional or rebellious
3: an animal (as a horse) that is wild and unmanageable

Illegal aliens certainly, but which of these definitions makes them “outlaws”?

The term was chosen to dehumanize and generate anger toward a group of people. We don’t have a department of “Aliens” , we have a Dept of Immigration (which sounds more human) . The increasing use of these words/phrases correspond to increasing hate crimes due to physical appearance.

“By becoming judge, jury and executioner, you dehumanize the individual and generate animosity toward them. New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes says “illegal” is often “a code word for racial and ethnic hatred.””

“The term “illegal immigrant” was first used in 1939 as a slur by the British toward Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and entering Palestine without authorization. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel aptly said that “no human being is illegal.””

Well let’s see. Call them undocumented immigrants? Immigration (legal immigration) is a process. Therefore those engaged legally in this process are documented immigrants. Those who do not participate legally are not immigrants in the strict sense of the word so how about illegal immigrants? Or maybe we just drop the niceties and call them invaders, occupiers, criminals?

But of more concern are those we actually “document” and fail to monitor in terms of their “promise” to obey our laws.

For instance, the US can’t even track those who we let in legally (i.e. student visa, tourist visa, etc.) So these “legal” aliens never bother to enroll in school, work illegally “under the table” for three years, con an American to marry them, get a green card by not telling USCIS about that first arrest for theft, commit student aid fraud, commit four additional acts of theft. Oh, maybe that’s just my ex? Or maybe that isn’t JUST her.

Because the term illegal alien does not confuse people as much as undocumented worker.

You need to know the new terms!
Illegal alien is now undocumented immigrants
Child rapists are now premature sexual partners
Dope dealers are now unlicensed pharmacists
etc.
God forbid that we hurt a criminals feelings! Of course no one cares about the victims! Only the criminals!

There is nothing offensive about the term, as it’s the official term used. Using any other term is rather confusing, so I use the correct term, always. Why calling a dog a 4-legged companion so that people need to figure out what the heck you may mean, if you can just refer to him as your dog?

In your example, you used a “thing” to juxtapose against a reference of a “person.” When speaking about objects, things that can be had and used, their improper name is not reflective of denigration of that object. Calling a human an alien removes the humanity of said individuals. Dehumanizing a person or group of persons to push a political agenda in this way has an effect on those who are listening. They, in fact, begin to see the people one is talking about, as objects, things, inhuman as you so eloquently demonstrated. But, based on your question and the way in which you asked it, I have a feeling this question is simply a rant by you and not genuine desire to understand how this rhetoric can affect the scores of people it intends to devalue.

I also find it absurd when people act like, 1.) Our country did not take over several indigenous groups of people who had rights to this land and we are in fact the real “aliens.” and 2.) that people who have no higher education than a sixth grader are to blame for their desire to feed their children, and not the person, who happens to be a citizen and understands our country’s laws, that is hiring the disenfranchised people to avoid paying taxes.

So ridiculous.

Absolutely nothing offensive

Meh, if some douche comes to this nation illegally, I call them an illegal alien, if someone doesn’t like that term, too freaking bad, I could care less.

alien- its just mean

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