You had to see it coming. At a time when being white and/or male makes you persona non grata, when the Stars and Stripes is there to burn or spit on, when the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance are dismissed as relics of colonialism, it was inevitable that the other shoe would drop. And drop it has at Colorado State University.
Via Campus Reform, the word America and the demonym American are viewed as non-inclusive and hence to be avoided like the plague:
CSU’s online Inclusive Language Guide, compiled by the school’s Inclusive Communications Task Force[!], lists certain words and phrases to avoid while providing replacements in an effort to help “communicators practice inclusive language and [help] everyone on [its] campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.” The school’s Women and Gender Collaborative website directly links to the document.
CSU lists both “American” and “America” as non-inclusive words “to avoid,” due to the fact that America encompasses more than just the U.S. By referring to the U.S. as America, the guide claims that one “erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.” The school suggests using “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.” as substitutes.
Other terms that are now verboten are male, female, ladies and gentlemen, and Mr./Mrs./Ms.
“Male and female refers to biological sex and not gender,” says the guide. “In terms of communication methods (articles, social media, etc.), we very rarely need to identify or know a person’s biological sex and more often are referring to gender.”
The guide advises that it “is not about political-correctness [sic] or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.” I dunno, it sure sounds like political correctness (no hyphen needed, although that makes me guilty of policing grammar).
Despite its professed goal of facilitating communication, the guide does pose the occasional conundrum:
Aaron Allen, who is a third-year student at CSU, also reacted to the “guidelines,” telling Campus Reform, “what about the term ‘African-American’? Should I not use that term to describe myself?”
My answer, of course, would be no in any case since the term designates someone born in — not descended from people born in — Africa who emigrates to the United States.
On second thought make that “America.”