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.
The debate on the terminology used to describe the accused or convicted is not just confined to the criminal justice system, however. 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.”
The newest debate around the language used to describe suspected or confirmed offenders in the media comes after a wave of flash mob robbery incidents in the San Francisco area over the weekend that saw criminals block off city streets and bum rush department stores and grab possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and then flee 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 be 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.
As indicated in the headline, our intelligence is being insulted again by our supposed intellectual betters in the mainstream media. 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. Knowing this information is a vitally important tool for solving crimes in our communities, no matter the race/criminal history of the suspected perp/perps.
The same goes for looting and rioting. 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. Plain and simple looting, which both the public and businesses need to know 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:
MSNBC reporter just now: “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”
The guy is literally standing in front of a burning building in the middle of a riot. pic.twitter.com/IzCV6On4sF
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 29, 2020
Trust in the media is at an all-time low for a reason, and garbage hot takes like the one above and those revolving around the Word Police urging us not to call something for what it is are a huge part of it. Sadly, the media keeps on demonstrating that they will never learn.
One word whose meaning will not 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.”