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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Take the Pledge to Drop the I-Word

The I-word, you ask?  Members of the press and journalists often use the word out of ignorance. Anti-immigrant talk show hosts use it to describe people they say don’t belong in “their country", people of brown skin color or people they hate.

As you might have already guessed, the word is “illegal” and it is more than just a word. It is a disgusting label and it's use has become a way to disparage and dehumanize the human beings it is directed.

The term “illegal” when referring to any human being is legally inaccurate, dehumanizing and a racist label that helps to prop up an ignorant and limited immigration debate, along with all of the violence and unconstitutionality the concept of an “illegal” human being engenders. The slur opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents a truthful, respectful debate on immigration.

The fact is, people may be out of status for many reasons, but that doesn't make them “illegal.” No one should adopt dehumanizing terms that are racially charged, legally inaccurate or denies people due process and their human dignity.

Take the pledge today by visiting COLORLINES.COM or linking here.  Then ask members of the media to do the same. Tell them,
“I will not call any human being “illegal.” The racially charged slur and related terms confuse the immigration debate, fuel violence and don't reflect my values. I join communities nationwide in challenging all media to do the same.”

Let’s all work to stamp out this epithet that promotes culture of intolerance and violence toward foreign nationals, undocumented immigrants, and people of color.


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