Fort Collins, CO - Colorado State University has included the words “American” and “America” on a list of phrases to avoid because they are not inclusive.
The colleges’ “Inclusive Communications Task Force” created several terms in an Inclusive Language Guide that it claims will create an atmosphere of “inclusion, respect and social justice,” according to Townhall.
The suggested terms are not mandatory.
“The guide is not about political-correctness or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued,” the document stated.
The guide stated that American/America were not inclusive and “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.” would be more preferred language.
“The Americas encompass a lot more than the United States,” the guide stated. “There is South America, Central America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean just to name a few of 42 countries in total. 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.”
Other words to avoid included:
“Takes the cake” and “cake walk”: The website states that white slave owners would hold dances where black slaves would dance for entertainment and the winning slave would win a cake.
"Freshman," “Policeman,” and “Fireman”: The website states using “man” terms excludes women and non-binary gender identities.
“Handicap parking”: The website states that it can “minimize personhood.”
“Hold down the fort”: The website states it historically refers to guarding against Native American “intruders” and “feeds into the stereotype of ‘savages.’”
“Peanut gallery:” The website says that peanut gallery names the most cheap and worst areas to sit and where may black people sat during the time of Vaudeville.
“I’m broke:” The website recommends saying, “I’m low on cash right now” because “I’m broke” appropriates “real situations of hardship and can cause harm to individuals who are experiencing extreme poverty or hunger crisis.”
Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, said "even though these guidelines are suggested and not mandatory, they place students in the uncomfortable position of reciting politically correct talking points that they may not agree with,” according to Campus Reform. “Words like 'American,' 'male,' and 'female' are used every day by billions of people around the world. When these students graduate, they're in for a rude awakening!"