Colorado State American

University Warns Students Not to Say ‘American’ Because It Oppresses Weaker Countries

Colorado State University has released a guide to “inclusive language” that discourages students and staff from using allegedly problematic terms like “America” and “American.”

The guide, published by Colorado State’s Inclusive Communications Task Force, claims not to be about “political-correctness or policing grammar.” Rather, its stated aim is “helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.”

According to the document, the words “America” and “American” can be offensive because they exclude people from North American and South American countries that are less powerful than the United States.

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“The Americas encompass a lot more than the United States. There is South America, Central America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean just to name a few of 42 countries in total,” the guide says. “That’s why the word ‘americano’ in Spanish can refer to anything on the American continent. Yet, when we talk about ‘Americans’ in the United States, we’re usually just referring to people from the United States. This erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.”

In place of “American,” “communicators” are urged to say “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.”

Colorado State knows lots of offensive words

Colorado State also warns against using words that imply biological sex, including “freshman,” “policeman,” “male” and “female.”

“Male and female refers to biological sex and not gender,” the guide says. “In terms of communication methods (articles, social media, etc.), we very rarely need to identify or know a person’s biological sex and more often are referring to gender. In these cases, using gender identity terms is preferred.”

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In addition, the language gurus frown on the pronouns “he” or “she,” which they say imply that gender is binary, i.e. exclusively male or female. Instead, they suggest gender-neutral options, like “They/them/theirs/ Ze/hir/hir.”

The guide also seeks to eliminate many phrases related to common medical conditions, such as “The blind/The Deaf,” “Epileptic” and “Handicapped/Disabled/Crippled” because they “generalize the population and minimize personhood.”

Other forbidden words and phrases include “Cake walk,” “Eenie meenie miney moe,” “Hip hip hooray,” “Hold down the Fort,” “Rule of Thumb” and “Starving.”

Even as some progressives have waved away concerns about free speech on campus, observers have in recent years warned that a censorious and anti-American social justice culture is sweeping U.S. college campuses. Similar attitudes have also increasingly constrained what is acceptable to publicly say and do both online and in the real world.

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