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22 Aug, 2019 23:02

From ‘felon’ to ‘justice-involved person’: San Francisco fights crime with PC language

From ‘felon’ to ‘justice-involved person’: San Francisco fights crime with PC language

Amid a rising tide of crime, inequality, and literal human waste, San Francisco, California has chosen to sanitize – language. Felons, offenders and addicts will now have to be called new, more politically correct names.

The new “person-first” language guidelines were recently introduced by the city’s Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. From now on, a convicted felon released from jail will be called a “justice-involved person” or a “returning resident.”

A juvenile delinquent will now be delicately referred to as a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.” A drug addict will be called “a person with a history of substance use,” while someone out on parole will be called a “person under supervision.”

The resolution aims to combat “societal stigmas, attitudinal barriers and continued negative stereotypes,” which “only serve to obstruct and separate people from society and make the institutionalization of racism and supremacy appear normal.” Including a nod to racism is par for the course in 2019, but the board did not clarify exactly why it chose to associate terms like “felon” with racial minorities. A racist slip of the tongue in itself, perhaps?

Although set out in a non-binding resolution, the city’s district attorney supports the new language, and Mayor London Breed has promised to work with the board on the issues. 

Aside from their own crimes against brevity and the English language, the all-Democrat Board of Supervisors have more serious problems to contend with than mean words for people who’ve had trouble with the law. According to the FBI, San Francisco leads the nation in burglary, larceny and vandalism, with 148 property crimes committed every day. Violent crimes on the city’s BART mass transit network have more than doubled in the last four years, and citizens have pleaded with lawmakers to take a tougher stance on the brazen assaults.

Thanks in part to a 2014 California law that downgraded minor theft and personal narcotic use to misdemeanors, petty crime is rampant and used syringes litter streets, parks and playgrounds. Indeed, an NBC investigation last year found the city’s streets to be filthier than some third-world slums.

Compounding the problem, San Francisco is literally drowning in human waste, with reports of human excrement on the streets more than quintupling between 2011 and 2018.

Though the sidewalks are covered in feces of the estimated 8,000 homeless residents, San Francisco remains the country’s second most expensive city to live in. Only 17 percent of households can afford to buy a median-priced home, and the squalor of Tenderloin district is in stark contrast to the cartoonish wealth in nearby Silicon Valley. Only two classes exist in San Francisco, vagrants and billionaires, Chapman University fellow Joel Kotkin told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Wednesday. 

The change to politically correct language is also hypocritical for the criminals – sorry, “justice-involved individuals” – who actually get picked up for serious crimes and incarcerated, and it won’t make a lick of difference to their treatment by the justice system. Under California’s ‘three strikes’ law, a college kid doing time for pot dealing can be sent to a low-security prison, get in two fistfights, and find himself serving 25 to life in a level four yard in San Quentin.

The state’s prisons are violent institutions, and no cuddly language is going to stop our hypothetical offender from having to ‘hoop’ a bag of heroin across the prison yard for a swastika-tattooed shot-caller in the Aryan Brotherhood, for example. 

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California has got into headlines for its “woke” legislative efforts, such as banning plastic drinking straws in a state that’s home to eight of the top ten most polluted US cities, or punishing those who call transgender people by the “wrong” pronouns more severely than those who knowingly and deliberately infect others with HIV/AIDS. It has also ordered the cover up of a mural of George Washington – painted by a Communist – because it features slaves, while paying mostly minority inmates a dollar an hour to risk their lives fighting wildfires.

Doing something about actual problems takes money, effort and ideas. It’s much easier to signal one’s virtue by passing draconian laws and policing language.

By Graham Dockery

Graham Dockery is a journalist based in Ireland working for RT 

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