Political correctness tells us that it’s mean to call people who sneak into this country “illegal aliens,” overweight people “fat,” and people who howl at the moon “lunatics.” We can now add another one to the list of banned words because it is apparently terribly offensive to suggest people who commit crimes are “criminals.”
Here’s the deal: Malkia Cyril is the executive director of the Center For Media Justice, a group that I guess is upset that the mainstream media isn’t owned by gay black people. On a website for San Francisco residents to complain about their liberal utopia, she scolded people for calling a bicycle thief a criminal.
SFGate was nice enough to pick up the conversation for us:
In a recent thread on NextDoor, a group of neighbors living in the Noe Valley-Glen Park area debated whether labeling a person who commits petty theft as a “criminal” is offensive.
In the site’s Crime and Safety area, where residents share strategies for fighting crime, Malkia Cyril asked her Noe Valley neighbors to stop using the label because it shows lack of empathy and understanding.
Cyril suggested that instead of calling the thief who took the bicycle from your garage a criminal, you should be more respectful and call him or her “the person who stole my bicycle.”
“I [suggest] that people who commit property crimes are human and deserved to be referred to in terms that acknowledge that,” wrote Cyril.
“I think we should think twice before speaking in disparaging terms about ‘those criminals,'” commented Cyril later in the thread.
And the reason why Cyril thinks it’s offensive to call them criminals is because people shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. Duh.
Cyril started the thread because she wanted to shift the NextDoor conversations about security cameras, alarms and the police to more thoughtful discussions about strategies for addressing the cause of crime. In her posts, she blames our societal problems — gentrification, economic inequality, lack of affordable housing, the defunding of public schools — for pushing people into lives of crime. And because these criminals are trapped in a troubled society, she seems to feel it’s unfair to give them a demeaning label.
“Police can’t stop what desperation will drive folk to. Imagine risking your freedom to steal a few thousand dollars worth of goods. A cell phone. Most folk here don’t know that life. But perhaps, if you took a moment to look around and see what this city has become, you’ll understand,” Cyril wrote.
Normally I would laugh something like this off as being utterly ridiculous, but strangely enough I’m totally on board with it. In fact, with there being so many types of crimes, I think we need a whole slew of kinder and gentler terms to take the stigma out of lawbreaking:
Robber: Redistribution of Wealth Navigator
Car Jacker: Ride Sharer
Drug Dealer: Pharmer
Arsonist: Global Warming Skeptic
Kidnapper: Surprise Travel Agent
Rapist: Consent Dissenter
Child Molester: Kid-Friendly
Cop Killer: Black Lives Matter Activist
Terrorist: Registered Democrat
See, if you give something negative a fun-sounding name it solves the problem without any effort whatsoever. And the best part is, nobody’s feelings get hurt.