The Center for Disease Control and Prevention was once an institution that oversaw the research and study of various diseases, viruses, and many other forms of biological baddies that could threaten humanity. Now, it wants to save us from something far more deadly and destructive.
According to Fox News, the CDC has released an “Inclusive Language Guide” that promotes “healthy equity” and “inclusive communication”:
The guide has multiple sections with suggestions for more inclusive language, including a section dedicated to “Corrections & Detentions” that suggests replacing terms such as “Inmate,” “Prisoner,” “Convict/ex-convict,” and “Criminal” with terms such as “People/persons,” “Persons in pre-trial or with charge,” “Persons on parole or probation,” or “People in immigration detention facilities.”
Other sections in the guide include “Disability,” “Drug/Substance Abuse,” “Healthcare Access & Access to Services and Resources,” “Homelessness,” “Lower Socioeconomic Status,” “Mental Health / Behavioral Health,” “Non-U.S.-born Persons / Immigration Status,” “Older Adults,” “People Who are at Increased / Higher Risk,” “Race & Ethnicity,” “Rural,” and “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity,” all which suggests replacement terms for common language typically used to refer to the groups.
“These terms are vague and imply that the condition is inherent to the group rather than the actual causal factors,” the guide explains. “Consider using terms and language that focus on the systems in place and explain why and/or how some groups are more affected than others. Also try to use language that explains the effect (i.e., words such as impact and burden are also vague and should be explained).”
Right off the bat, you can probably see the very real problem with this. Science and medicine, while oftentimes in a state of experimentation and discovery, need specificity in order to achieve peak efficacy.
For instance, if a disease is found to affect overweight people in particular, then we shouldn’t be replacing the word “overweight” with more “inclusive” language like “person who is at increased/higher risk.” Not only does it wipe the group most susceptible to the virus from the mind of the public, it just takes plain longer to say. Not only are you inefficient at helping those at risk, but you’re also inefficient at the English language to boot.
What’s more, if a disease has originated in Honduras and you notice that this disease is spreading at the border, what good is it to describe these Hondurans as “people in immigration detention facilities.” Sometimes, knowing the origin of a disease is oftentimes a solid way of finding the cure, or at least knowing how better to deal with it.
This isn’t science. It’s hardly disease prevention and research. It’s politics.
Precise language is necessary for science to thrive, but activists and the politically woke have never been concerned with it, or facts and reality for that matter. If it even has a whiff of offensiveness to it, it has to go. If it sets us back scientifically, so be it. If it gets people hurt, well that’s just necessary for the betterment of society.
There are organizations that should never become woke, and the CDC is one of them. If the CDC is more concerned with political messaging and narrative driving, then it isn’t a scientific organization anymore.