Calling all moral reprobates, insensitive cads, yahoos and those who rarely bathe and never brush their teeth.
Your moral superiors — the ones with a self-proclaimed monopoly on virtue — have more unsolicited advice on how those who fall in those categories, and most certainly others, can find a place in the rarefied air of the nouveau woke.
Yes, the anointed have another list of banned words that must be cast aside because they torment the most emotional among us. The good news is that they have suggested replacements that will soothe the jangled nerves of the discomforted.
Last time, it was Brandeis University that suggested new language moral pygmies should embrace. This time, it’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has taken it upon itself to cast their moral judgments on common words of the day.
You know, words like “dummy,” “picnic,” “man.” Of course, if those in need of improvement weren’t such dummies, they’d already know this. But they don’t. Crazy, eh?
That’s why the CDC recently issued language guidance that “confront(s) the systems and policies that have resulted in generational injustice that has given rise to health inequities.”
This list will, no doubt, grow over time. What’s woke today may be racist/sexist/homophobic tomorrow. Consider yourselves warned.
The CDC’s goal is to bar the use of “stigmatizing language.”
But its definition of stigmatizing is sometimes at odds with reality.
For example, instead of using the words “male” or “female,” the CDC suggests the unenlightened get with the program and adopt words “assigned” or “designated” male or female at birth.
Strangely, it doesn’t explain who does the assigning or designating.
The CDC’s bad-word list runs the gamut, covering categories from “corrections and detentions” and “health care access” to “older adults” and “mental health.”
For example, if an ex-convict breaks into your house and tries to steal the television, call the police and tell them that a person “who was formerly incarcerated” just did a bad thing.
If you have to step over a street drunk to get into a local restaurant, express your sympathy for those who have alcohol or drug “use disorders.”
Do not call smokers “smokers.” They are “people who smoke.”
If someone complains to you that they are medically “uninsured,” explain that they are really “medically underserved.”
Poor people aren’t poor or poverty-stricken, they are “people with lower incomes.” But that’s relative. What’s multibillionaire Gov. J.B. Pritzker to say in situations like that? Almost everyone has a “lower income” than he does.
Those in their dotage are not “elderly,” “senior,” “frail” or “fragile,” they are older adults or elders or in “numeric age groups.”
The now-banned words for “race and ethnicity” are real stunners. “Native American” — words once embraced by so many — is out. So are Eskimos, Afro-Americans, Caucasians, Blacks, Hispanics and Latinos. Curiously, the CDC indicates that it is permissible to identify members of these groups as Asian, Black, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islander and White persons.
If those purported improvements seem confusing, remember it’s not easy being a word policeman — whoops, police officer. There are so many of what Hillary Clinton describes as “deplorables” and so few who occupy the moral high ground necessary to tell them what to say and think.
Anyhow, readers should get the picture. There are endless new ways to offend those who are hoping to be offended by their insensitive social inferiors.
Unparalleled ignorance is no longer an excuse, thanks to the word police at, among other citadels of wisdom, the University of Michigan, Brandeis and the CDC. Such fine work ordinarily would trigger a round of applause, but the word “trigger” was recently added to the list of banned words.
Jim Dey, a member of The News-Gazette staff, can be reached at email@example.com or 217-393-8251.