Now I am all for increasing awareness of the often subtle and hidden prejudices that are the elements of our society.
And I understand that issues such a transgenderism, sexual orientation, and gender identity are complex issues often lost in the political hyperbole of the moment.
But I do think there is a difference between what is necessary and what is kowtowing to fear of offending anyone.
In the course of my writing, I use a number of programs to do grammar and spell check. While editing a recent project for a client author, Microsoft Word flagged the following as an “Inclusiveness” issue.
Flagging the line “illegal alien” Word suggested the replacement “undocumented immigrant.”
I never realized Word had a category for “Inclusiveness” in the editor function.
Now Dictionary.com defines immigrant as:
“a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence”
While it defines illegal alien as:
“a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, especially a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson.”
Thus, it hardly seems a reasonable suggestion given the obvious difference between the terms.
I have empathy for those so desperate for safety for themselves and their families that they risk a treacherous journey to reach the United States. I have empathy for those who provided aid to American troops in countries like Afghanistan and were promised our assistance should they need to leave their country. I have empathy for those who are the victims of totalitarian regimes, victims of gang violence, or threatened with kidnapping and murder at the hands of thugs.
(Interestingly enough when I ran Word’s editor against this piece it also flagged thug. It offered no suggestions but even thugs need the inclusivity hug.)
Those people deserve our help. They deserve to claim asylum and seek recourse under the law and we should do everything in our power to ensure those who are eligible for such asylum receive it.
But…that does not include those who would come here simply because there is more opportunity with no intention of seeking either citizenship or contributing to the multi-cultural juggernaut that makes America great. They are not immigrants by any definition of the word, undocumented or not.
Now at the risk of becoming the latest victim of another politically correct phenomenon, cancel culture (the subject of another column soon), there is no inclusivity needed for someone who comes to this country illegally with no intention of ever seeking a legal recourse for remaining here.
I think I will be more judicious in relying on Word or any other program to determine what or who should be entitled to inclusivity.