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City Of Seattle To Employees: ‘Brown Bag’ and ‘Citizens’ Offensive Terms, Usage Banned

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Mikael Thalen
August 2, 2013

A memo sent out to Seattle Public Affairs Officers this week listed new rules that included a ban on the words “brown bag” and “citizens” due to their “offensive nature.”

In a report entitled “On ‘brown bags, ‘citizens’ and language” by Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights, Bronstein goes on to say that both terms are potentially offensive, especially “brown bag” since Black American’s skin was compared to brown paper bags 100 years ago.

“The term ‘brown bag’ doesn’t bother everybody, but . . . there is a history behind the use of it,” Bronstein told the Seattle PI.

The City of Seattle has used the phrase “brown bags” for years, a term referring to meetings where participants bring a lunch from home, usually in brown paper bags. Bronstein suggested that “lunch-and-learn” and “sack lunch” are more viable options.

Bronstein went on to call for the end of the word “citizens” which could be offensive to people who aren’t legal citizens, noting the city’s decision to change the Citizens Service Bureau into the “Customer” Service Bureau several years back.

“For ‘citizens,’ how about ‘residents?’ Just thought I’d bring this up. Language matters, and the city has entrusted us with the keyboards,” said Bronstein.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“Although I respect Mr. Bronstein’s passion for fighting racism and protecting people’s civil rights, It sounds more like someone is looking for racism where it doesn’t exist,” said Seattle activist the Rev. Melvin T. Neifert.

“As for the use of the word ‘citizen’ being offensive, I’ve never heard of anyone complaining about it and I spend a lot of time listening to my fellow activists discuss the appropriateness of various words and terms. It seems as though Mr. Bronstein is bored out of his mind and seeking attention.”

While the vast majority of citizens hope to increase human rights across the board, the over the top politically correct mindset continues to grown, with its followers seemingly hell-bent on finding racism and sexism in any situation possible, almost always creating division that was not present prior.

Washington state’s governor Jay Inslee signed legislation earlier this year to make Washington statutes “less sexist” by changing words that included “man” in them. “Freshman” became “first-year student” and “penmanship” became “handwriting.”

Last May, David Olander, a member of a Missouri human relations commission, filed a complaint after he found a dried-out batch of asparagus at a grocery store, alleging that the store, which was in a black neighborhood, was racist for not keeping their asparagus in better condition. Olander later admitted that he ” just felt like stirring it up a little bit.”

Last yea, police in the U.K. were ordered to stop using the words “blacklist” and “whitelist” after police leadership claimed the words to be inappropriate.

Mikael Thalen is the new head writer for Secretsofthefed.com. His articles have been featured on sites such as Natural News, Activist Post and Occupy Monsanto. During his time at Examiner.com, he was frequently ranked the number one political writer.

This article was posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:55 am


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