RedState editor at large Kira Davis wrote Sunday about a very dumb yet predictable move by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board to stop referring to sex offenders as “sex offenders” because of hurt feelings and stigmatization and whatnot.
The term was changed to “adults who commit sexual offenses.”
Unfortunately, as Kira also noted, the language police have been running wild in recent years as it relates to both the “transgender rights” debate as well as criminal justice matters, like using “justice-involved individuals” to refer to criminals and using the term “person” to describe convicted felons, because apparently changing the way these people are referred to will decrease the likelihood of them becoming repeat offenders or something.
But the discussion about terminology for describing accused and convicted people isn’t just limited to criminal justice. The debate has also played out perhaps even more extensively in the mainstream media, with one notable example being the AP’s decision last October to encourage media outlets to not refer to riots the likes of which we saw during the Antifa/BLM-led “protests” as “riots.”
After a series of flash mob robbery attacks in San Francisco over the weekend, the latest debate about the terminology used in media to describe suspect or confirmed offenders comes as a result of criminals blocking streets and rushing department stores in an attempt to grab hundreds of thousands in merchandise. They then fled the scene.
The incidents – and some in the law enforcement community referring to what happened as “looting” – apparently unnerved ABC7, which consulted “experts” who suggested the use of the term “looting” was not only technically wrong according to California law but was also supposedly stigmatizing to people of color and should not used:
The penal code defines looting as “theft or burglary…during a ‘state of emergency’, ‘local emergency’, or ‘evacuation order’ resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot or other natural or manmade disaster.”
To some, the distinction may be small, but Lorenzo Boyd, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice & Community Policing at the University of New Haven, and a retired veteran police officer, emphasized that words matter.
“Looting is a term that we typically use when people of color or urban dwellers are doing something. We tend not to use that term for other people when they do the exact same thing,” said Boyd.
That’s a strange comment to make, considering in the very next sentence ABC7 acknowledged that “we don’t know the identities or races of the majority of the thieves involved in this crime wave” while also pointing out that “the crimes did follow the contentious verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial Friday.”
Gee, I’m sure this was all a coincidence.
Our intelligence is being insulted by the media’s supposed intellectual superiors, as the headline indicates. I’ve seen white people who are looting referred to as “looters” (as happened after Hurricane Katrina) and saw them referred to as “looters” during instances here in North Carolina that were caught on video as reporters were speaking right in front of the stores getting looted by a mixture of people, white, Hispanic, and black.
It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway. If we can’t call something for what it is out of fear that we are going to “stigmatize” people then everything falls apart. When I watch the news at night and hear about crime happening in a neighborhood, I don’t want the description of the suspect(s) left out for fear of “stigmatization.” If a suspect is white, that’s never left out, and it shouldn’t be left out if the suspects are of another race, or are known sex offenders no matter their race. It is vital to have this information in order to solve crimes in communities.
Looting and rioting are the same. Maybe what happened in San Francisco over the weekend wasn’t “technically” looting in the eyes of the law and the “experts,” but in the eyes of most people who have seen looting happen in their lifetimes in either news stories or in person – or both, it was looting. It is simple looting that both businesses and the public should know about for future reference.
Just like smashing storefronts, vandalizing properties, and setting buildings on fire is a RIOT, regardless of whether or not it is “politically motivated.”
Lastly, this post would not be complete without noting the rampant media use of the term “peaceful protests” and related Baghdad Bob-esque wording to characterize rioters who are looting businesses and burning down buildings, sometimes seen in live shots behind the very “reporters” who are telling us this. Flashback:
Just now, a MSNBC reporter said: “I just want to clarify how I describe this. This is mainly a protest. This isn’t generally unruly.
He is standing right in front of the burning building during a riot. pic.twitter.com/IzCV6On4sF
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 29, 2020
Trust in the media is at an all time low. There are garbage hot take like this one and others involving the Word Police, which urges us to not label something as it is. Unfortunately, the media continues to prove that they won’t learn.
What is the meaning of one word that will never change? “Resist” – which I encourage everyone to do when it comes to being told what to say and how to say it by the MSM and their supposed “experts.”
Related: AP ‘Struggle Session’ on Judge Schroeder Raises Fresh Questions on Media Coverage of Rittenhouse Trial
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