Twitter now considers ‘illegal alien’ to be ‘hateful speech,’ will punish offenders

Twitter now considers ‘illegal alien’ to be ‘hateful speech,’ will punish offenders

Among the other charming traits of the Left, one that I never get tired of writing about is their fondness for words intended to mask some of the harsh realities of life. For example, when Barack Obama was still president, his Justice Department announced it was banishing the terms juvenile delinquent and youth offender in favor of the far more pleasant-sounding justice-involved youth.” In a similar vein, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) proposed in 2014 that the government do away with the unflattering term welfare. Her recommended replacement? Transitional living fund.

The problem with some of these euphemisms is that they tend to be inaccurate. Take the earliest iteration of the term for someone who enters the country illegally. The formulation undocumented worker was originally agreed upon, that it fell out of favor when it was pointed out that not all of the stalwart individuals who arrive in the U.S. by climbing over a fence or wading across the Rio Grande come here to work.

For a while, liberals were content to use undocumented immigrant even though that, too, is a misnomer. The term immigrant historically has been used to refer to an individual who enters a nation through legal channels with the intention of taking up permanent residence.

While all this has been going on, our judicial branch has been content to use the correct and legal term for someone who enters the U.S. at a point other than a recognized port of entry. That term is illegal alien. The Supreme Court has used it and so have our lower courts. It is also the term of choice in the Code of Federal Regulations, the “codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government.”

Yet, a revolt against the use of the term in common parlance is now being waged by the Left. According to Campus Reform, “the University of Colorado at Boulder has removed the term ‘illegal aliens’ from its library catalog in favor of ‘more ethical subject headings’ to foster an “inclusive atmosphere.”

And Twitter, it appears, has now joined the fray.

Restricting the use of a legally accepted term and calling it hate speech not only flouts the spirit of the First Amendment but the precise language of the law as well.

Back in July, during congressional hearings on social media filtering practices, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said that social media platforms need to “do a better job explaining how they make decisions to filter content and the rationale for why they do so.” Now would seem like as good a time as any to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before that committee and ask him exactly how this decision was made.

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Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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