Bureaucrats ban list of phrases including ‘citizen’ to avoid insulting immigrants and ‘brown bag’ as it may be considered racist

  • Seattle workers given list of alternative  terms to avoid offending anyone
  • ‘Sack lunch’ to be used because of  historic test to determine skin color
  • Political correctness has also led to bar  on ‘penmanship’ and ‘freshman’

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 16:34 EST, 2  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:05 EST, 2 August 2013

People living in Seattle can no longer enjoy  a brown bag lunch after city bureaucrats banned the term from official use for  being racist.

A memo sent out from the Office of Civil  Rights also banned the word ‘citizen’, claiming it could lead to people feeling  excluded in the multi-cultural city.

The memo went on to offer politically correct  alternatives that could be used in official documents and discussions.

Politically correct: Seattle now has residents instead of citizens and sack lunches instead of brown bags 

Politically correct: Seattle now has residents instead  of citizens and sack lunches instead of brown bags

 

 

‘Luckily, we’ve got options,’ Elliott  Bronstein wrote in the internal memo, according to Fox  News. ‘For “citizens”, how about  “residents”?’

Mr Bronstein defended the ban on a Seattle  radio station, and said that the term ‘brown bag’ had historically been used as  a way to determine skin color.

Memo: Elliott Bronstein, of the Office of Civil Rights, has suggested alternatives to the terms 

Memo: Elliott Bronstein, of the Office of Civil Rights,  has suggested alternatives to the terms

 

 

Paper bags had once been used as way to  decide if African-Americans had what was considered to be a light enough skin  tone to be admitted to certain college teams and houses.

‘For a lot of particularly  African-American  community members, 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,’ Mr Bronstein  said.

The practice was described in Future of the  Race by Henry Louis Gates Jr., who says he experienced the brown paper bag test  when he started at Yale in the 1960s, according to theSt Petersburg  Times.

The chairman of Harvard’s Afro-American  studies department, said: ‘Some of the brothers who came from New Orleans held a  “bag party”. As a classmate explained it to me, a bag party was a New Orleans  custom wherein a brown paper bag was stuck on the door. Anyone darker than the  bag was denied entrance.’

According to Seattle  PI, Mr Bronstein claimed  workers had raised concerns about the term brown bag in the past.

To avoid bringing up its racist connotations,  city workers in Seattle must now use ‘sack lunch’ or ‘lunch-and-learn’,  according to Komo  News.

Many city employees have attended what used  to be known as brown bag lunches – informal meetings where staff bring their own  lunch to keep catering costs down.

 

 

Word of warning

The ban is the latest in a list of terms  that have been replaced in Washington state:

Brown bag – Sack  Lunch or Lunch and Learn

Citizen – Residents

Freshman – First  Year

Penmanship – Handwriting

Journeyman plumber – Journey level plumber

Citizens Service Bureau – Customer Service Bureau

Fisherman – Fisher

They must also replace ‘citizen’ with  ‘residents’ because many people in the northwest city are not U.S. citizens.

‘They are legal residents of the United  States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term  like citizens in common use, then it doesn’t include a lot of folks,’ Mr  Bronstein said.

According to City Data, 94,952 – or 16 per  cent – of the city’s inhabitants are foreign, with most coming originally from  Asia.

The city had already moved away from using  the word ‘citizen’ a few years ago, when it rebranded the Citizens Service  Bureau as the Customer Service Bureau.

Being politically correct is not just  confined to Seattle. State lawmakers also voted earlier this year to change  terms including ‘freshman’ and ‘penmanship’ to avoid gender  discrimination.

‘Words matter. This is important in changing  hearts and minds,’ Liz Watson, a National Women’s Law Center senior adviser,  said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2383814/Bureaucrats-ban-list-phrases-including-citizen-avoid-insulting-immigrants-brown-bag-considered-racist.html#ixzz2arXaqxog Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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