By Lillian Tweten
Daily Caller News Foundation
Democratic Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a 24-page guide for inclusive language on Thursday that provides sanctioned terms for city officials to use.
Atlanta now has official government definitions for terms such as “microaggressions” and “gender identity,” and lays out specific phrases government officials should and should not use, according to the guide. Dickens claimed that the guide would help change culture in Atlanta to be more “welcoming” and urged city residents to also rely on the guide in their everyday lives.
“We begin with language because behavior change begins when we shift mindsets. We do that by helping people communicate more thoughtfully, effectively, and inclusively,” Candace Stanciel, the Chief Equity Officer for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, said at the conference announcing the guide, according to a video. “This is not about being politically correct, but seeing people as whole humans with complex identities.”
The mayor of Atlanta has released an inclusive language guide that rejects color-blindness and teaches that white supremacy is ubiquitous in the United States: pic.twitter.com/v0t61QdjWJ
— Steve McGuire (@sfmcguire79) September 8, 2023
The guide promotes critical race theory as a recognition “that racism is more than the result of individual bias and prejudice,” and defines racism as an issue promulgated in the U.S. by white people. It argues that “white dominant culture” has used white supremacy to establish “cultural norms, practices, and functions” to force everyone to behave under its “authority.”
Atlanta’s guide also urges government officials to practice “cultural humility” and to avoid cultural appropriation from “personal use” of “symbols, art, language, [and] customs” from other groups. It labels race and gender as “social constructs” used to categorize people who fall outside of “societal norms.”
The guide lists a plethora of terms it deems “offensive,” including “illegal immigrant,” “homosexual,” “man-made” and “waitress.” It also argues that deportation is a “threat to human rights” and is a weapon used to harm immigrants.
“Deportation [is] [t]he forced removal of an immigrant from the country they immigrated to typically because of a ‘crime’,” the guide claims. “However, immigrants are more harshly criminalized thus deportation is weaponized. Deportation is a threat to human rights including the right to family unity, the right to seek asylum from persecution, the right to humane treatment in detention, the right to due process, and the rights of children.”
After laying out 13 pages of extensive definitions on topics such as LGBTQ issues and environmental justice, the guide establishes how government officials should speak and write in official communications. It restricts terms such as “poor” and “homelessness,” encouraging employees to instead say “low-income” or “unhoused.”
“As we continue to grow and evolve, so does our language, and with it, the power to shape perceptions and attitudes,” Dickens wrote in the guide. “This guide represents an important step toward ensuring that our communication prioritizes care for each other when navigating the extensive diversity that enriches the city of Atlanta.”
The guide does not mention if or how the inclusive language will be enforced, and also fails to note what consequences there will be for government officials who choose to disobey the guidelines.
Dickens, the city of Atlanta and the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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