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Is the term "Refugee" racist?
September 6, 2005 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Is "Refugee" a racist term? The Rev. Jesse Jackson seems to think so.
posted by riffraff (117 comments total)

 
I think that if the survivors of Hurricane Katrina can refuse to be referred to as "refugees", then the people in other countries that have been displaced due to some overwhelming crisis should be exempt as well. I personally don't believe the term is racist; it simply defines a current state of existence. Methinks way too many people are looking too deeply into this word.
posted by riffraff at 2:59 PM on September 6, 2005


You may get yelled at for posting an AP story on Yahoo. I don't know if the special dispensation for Katrina goes that far.
posted by loquax at 3:03 PM on September 6, 2005


this is a non- issue that is pointless in this incident.
worry about people being fed and saved NOT what to call them.

Google Definitions
posted by Elim at 3:05 PM on September 6, 2005


Rev. Jesse Jackson needs to stop talking. He brings nothing to the table.
posted by Mach5 at 3:05 PM on September 6, 2005


Corrected link
posted by Elim at 3:06 PM on September 6, 2005


I think the problem is the inability of some people to accept the fact that we have refugees in our own country so they would rather deal with the situation by changing the language used to describe it rather than change the situation itself. Maybe we can call them involuntarily displaced?
posted by euphorb at 3:07 PM on September 6, 2005


And according to both the dictionary definition as provided and the UN, these people are not refugees as they are not fleeing war, violence, or religious or political persecution. So I agree with Jesse Jackson! Sort of.
posted by loquax at 3:07 PM on September 6, 2005


Aren't states someone sovereign, in theory? I would call any group large of people who had to travel from one US state to another due to a calamity a refugee.

Plus, I think it helps to underscore the very serious nature of the problem. "Refugee" has a connotation that fits with the treatment these people have been getting more then any other word, I think.

Finally, how is it racist to call black people "refugees"? As I recall, people who left the Balkans during the Kosovo war were called refugees also, and they were white as snow.

Jessie Jackson is an idiot.
posted by delmoi at 3:08 PM on September 6, 2005


The term might or might not be racist, depending on context and usage, but it is certainly inaccurate in that the term is usually applied to foreign nationals seeking refuge in another country, usually to escape political persecution.

Strictly speaking, our hurricane survivors are nearly all citizens of the United States, with very small pockets of exceptions, and so the term might be applicable if they are seeking refuge from their own country's ineptitude, which could be considered "persecution" if you believe that the system is still stacked against blacks and poor people.

Arguing about terminology could also be said to distract from the larger issue of whether we can depend upon the federal government to provide homeland security in exchange for reduced civil liberties and increased tax inequities. We may all find ourselves "refugees" one day, sitting in a pile of radioactive rubble, if we can't get answers from our elected officials on that question.
posted by Rothko at 3:09 PM on September 6, 2005


I see that some definitions require a war or persecution to be fled from, and some require an international border to be crossed.

But I think "Refugee" more then any other word underscores the serious suffering that these people are enduring. What other word can you think of that captures that?

"Displaced persons"?
posted by delmoi at 3:11 PM on September 6, 2005


Political correctness gravitates toward the most intricate terminology. From a PR perspective a label that invokes the most sympathy and response should be selected. For example, "Displaced Americans of the Gulf Coast Region" doesn't make me want to donate as much as "refugee". But this kind of nitpicking was inevitable given the racial implications.
posted by quadog at 3:14 PM on September 6, 2005


DAGCR doesn't work for me, quadog, let's work on it. For the time being "Displaced Americans of New Orleans" or "DANO" works good.
posted by cleverusername at 3:19 PM on September 6, 2005


The term is not even remotely racist. It generally means one who flees and crosses an international border, but it also means simply "one who flees".

And from Elim's link:

one who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, environmental destruction, or religious persecution.

Jesse Jackson needs to grow some skin.
posted by Specklet at 3:22 PM on September 6, 2005


Oh fer chrissake. Of course there's nothing racist at all about it. The only misuse of language here is the clown Jesse Jackson's use of the word racism.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:24 PM on September 6, 2005


I heard it was Coach Herman Boone {portrayed in the movie Remember the Titans} as the one blasting the line: not refugees, Citizens of the United States.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2005


Refugee
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"refugee is a person seeking refuge from a storm or hurricane. (or asylum). In common usage, the word refers to a person seeking asylum in a foreign country in order to escape persecution. Those who seek refugee status are sometimes known as asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering political asylum. The most common asylum claims are based upon political and religious grounds. The term has also been informally used to describe those fleeing natural disasters, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."

Racist? Only by stretching the imagination, and there are better things to get on with right now.

(but while we are with language, and informal language: from a dictionary of English slang:" ' jessie' Noun. A feeble, easily scared person, a softy. Derog." and what he is talking " 'Jackson Pollocks' * Noun. 1. Testicles.
2. Nonsense, rubbish.
* Rhyming slang on 'bollocks'. ")
posted by mayl at 3:30 PM on September 6, 2005


Jesse's just rying to keep up with quonsar.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:31 PM on September 6, 2005


We could make it all a wholesome and fitting them, free of race implications but true to facts:

The new homeless
posted by Postroad at 3:32 PM on September 6, 2005


We got some thing we both know it,
We don't talk too much about it
Ain't no real big secret, all the same,
Somehow we get around it

Listen, it don't really matter to me
Baby, you believe what you wanna believe
You see, you don't have to live like a refugee
posted by Smedleyman at 3:35 PM on September 6, 2005


A person seeking refuge. How difficult is that?
posted by Joeforking at 3:36 PM on September 6, 2005


It is racist to call American citizens refugees

I think the problem is that when you play the race card enough, sometimes it just slips out when you don't mean it to. The word "refugee" isn't racist, but it can be used derogatorily when you consider the implications that go beyond the mere textbook definition. Just like a spinster isn't just "an older unmarried woman" but rather "an old woman who missed her chance to get married and be happy, the poor thing", the word refugee for some people does carry some connotations beyond "people who moved because shit got bad".
posted by 23skidoo at 3:38 PM on September 6, 2005


It never occured to me to think of refugee as having negative connotations. I have been using the term as extremely distressed people, in great need, displaced from their homes by a disaster.

When refugee is used in its technical (or "correct", as some argue) sense, it means to me the same as the above except with political or religious qualifications. It's not occured to me to be a stickler about "only if crossing a national border" because a lot of times that's ambiguous and because of civil war there are often refugees within nations.

But however it's used, the term has never been distancing or alienated to me, I've never thought less of the people so described and, in fact, it's never had any racial connotations, either.

Frankly, I'm disturbed that this is obviously not the case for so many people.

It seems to me that the answer here isn't to find some more supposedly sympathetic term with which to refer to the Katrina victims who are displaced, but instead combat the negative connotations the term has for many people. One way to do that is to insist on using the word to describe the familiar and perhaps, later, those faraway folk who are refugees will not seem so unimportant and faceless.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:39 PM on September 6, 2005


. I agree with EB.

My Pet Goat - The Sequel
.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:47 PM on September 6, 2005


When all you've got is a hammer, etc.
posted by alumshubby at 3:50 PM on September 6, 2005


no, it is racist.
i have never in my life seen such over whelming racism in my own country (i'm only 26) this whole crisis is soaked in racism . . . and i used to call rev. jesse and others for what i thought was "crying wolf" no more, this surmounts it for me. you all can go back to thinking racism is isolated in america , i cannot. the way the people of new orleans where treated from day one has been a kind of indifferent racism.

this is racism.

i'm white, and even i was shocked when the media kept referring to the victims as "refugees."

if they were white , they would be , "homeless victims of katrina" ,
"evacuees", or
"victims of this monster storm, that has devastated these fine, fine citizens , which we must help , as they are our fellow americans . . . john , back to you"

no your right its not racism.*

*heavy sarcasm.
posted by nola at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2005


Words are vastly more important than actions. Or at least that's what Jesse wants you to think, because then you won't pay attention to what he's actually doing.
posted by darukaru at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2005


Rothko -- you need to re-read the definitions as quoted:
But the Webster's New World Dictionary defines it more broadly as "a person who flees from home or country to seek refuge elsewhere, as in a time of war or of political or religious persecution."
It seems to me that according to the Webster's definition the folks who have gone miles from their homes in New Orleans are, in fact, refugees, if you accept that a hurricane as being an event on the order of a war, etc. (note the definition says "as in a time" not, "exclusively in" or simply "in a time of war...")

At least that's the way I see it...
posted by incongruity at 3:54 PM on September 6, 2005


I don't think the objection here is that there is something inherently racist in the term "refugee," rather, he is suggesting that its use reveals latent racism in the people using it. I can see where he is coming from on this: the term "refugee" may conjure to mind an "otherness" or an "outsiderness" about the person to whom it is being applied. This isn't something inherent in its definition though, but rather owes to the context in which it's been used historically (insofar as the two can be seperated).

That said, I don't really buy it. There are plenty of better cases of racism to point out in all of this, both on the part of the government and the media covering the event. I find it hard to believe that people exhibit less sympathy for the victims depending on whether the term "refugee," "survivor", "evacuee", etc. is used.
posted by alphanerd at 3:54 PM on September 6, 2005


By the way, Jesse Jackson is also the genesis behind the term 'African American' which is not so bad.

But, as a New Orleans refugee, I would much rather be surrounded by blacks than rednecks.

I hate fucking rednecks.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:56 PM on September 6, 2005


Refugee defined by FEMA. And Barabara Bush. Apologies to Tom Petty. And Mr. T.

We got something we both know it,
We don’t talk too much about it.
Ain’t no real big secret, all the same,
Somehow we get around it.

But, you know, you were underprivileged, too, so this -
This is working very well for you...
You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee, fool!

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have
Kicked you around some.
Tell me why you wanna float there,
Revel in your abandon?

Honey, it don’t make no difference to me,
Baby, everybody’s had to fight to be free -
You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee.
No baby, you don’t have to live like a refugee.

Baby, we ain’t the first,
I’m sure a lot of other cities been ruined.
Right now this ain’t real to you.
It’s one of those things you got to feel to be true.

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have
Kicked you around some.
Who knows, maybe you were left behind,
Left for dead, robbed, raped, and drowned some.

But, you know, you were underprivileged, too, so this -
This is working very well for you...
You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee, fool!

-- (on Preview, Smedlyman beat me to it)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2005


The Wikipedia entry prior to September 2nd:

A refugee is a person seeking refuge (or asylum) in another country in order to escape persecution. Those who seek refugee status are sometimes known as asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering political asylum. The most common asylum claims are based upon political and religious grounds.

Under the 1951 Convention on Refugees and 1967 Protocol, a nation must grant asylum to refugees and cannot forcibly return a refugee to their nation of origin. However, many nations routinely ignore this treaty. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is dedicated to protecting the rights and wellbeing of refugees. As of 31 December 2004, the agency reported a total of 9,236,500 official refugees (excluding an additional 4 million Palestinian refugees) [1].

Globally, about 16 countries (Australia, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States [2]) regularly accept quota refugees from places such as refugee camps. Usually these are people who have escaped war. In recent years, most quota refugees have come from Iran and Iraq, which have been in various wars and revolutions, and the former Yugoslavia, due to the Yugoslav wars.
posted by mahniart at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2005


I remember reading that children in rural Minnesota caught in a storm were assigned a family in town where they could weather out the storm. (Maybe from a Garrison Keillor story.) These children were called "Storm Orphans."

So what about Katrina Orphans?
Storm Folk.
The Levee Lost.
People Interrupted.
The Unsettled.
The Dispossessed
Abandoned Americans
Katrina Exiles
Hurricane Houseless

We could come up with all sorts of clever names, but I imagine they will continue to be called Refugees but it fits them exactly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:09 PM on September 6, 2005


It seems to me that according to the Webster's definition the folks who have gone miles from their homes in New Orleans are, in fact, refugees, if you accept that a hurricane as being an event on the order of a war, etc. (note the definition says "as in a time" not, "exclusively in" or simply "in a time of war...")

At least that's the way I see it...
posted by incongruity at 6:54 PM EST on September 6 [!]


As I said, it's not a rhetorical stretch to call them refugees if you, in turn, accept that the government waged war on its people for being black or poor, by ignoring their needs during a crisis situation. In that case, if you agreed with that position, and some in this country evidently do, these people would then meet the technical definition of "refugees".

On preview: mahniart's quote suggests the Wikipedia might not be the best resource for agreed-upon terminology.
posted by Rothko at 4:11 PM on September 6, 2005


It is racist to call American citizens refugees" the Rev.
Jesse Jackson said,

Man you're so dumb ! Obviously it's a lot better to call the _victims_using their nationality, AMERICANS , to better point out that the event isn't happening somewhere in some place very few seriously cares about. It's not like a thousand Iraquis died..some people need to think it's happening in their backyard to pay any attention.

It seems to me that using the racist theme is utterly useless right now, better point out that many of the victims are probably poor and elder people and most importantly it's U.S. that showing up as a trainwreck...that'll slam some of the selectively compassionate people back into reality
posted by elpapacito at 4:15 PM on September 6, 2005


EB its the fact that "refugee" is a new term for people in the US to be calling fellow citizens.
this is not the first time people have lost their homes to a hurricane, it is the first time i have ever watched my fellow citizens wait for days for help that should have arrived no more than 24 hours after the storms landfall.
this is the first time my fellow citizens get a new "term" ("refugee" ) to describe their separate but equal status here in our united states.

yes i know this event is different than past events that are like it. that does not warrant a new term for our citizens. unless it makes you feel better to call them "refugees" as opposed to "victims" like we have always called those in our country who have lost their home , or suffered a loss due to war, famine , terrorism, etc.
posted by nola at 4:15 PM on September 6, 2005


Which is to say, an "Act of God" (from its legal definition: hurricane, earthquake, etc.) is not an Act of War, which is perpetrated by one group of people against another.
posted by Rothko at 4:16 PM on September 6, 2005


According to the random house, it's "one who flees for refuge or safety" as the primary definition. Unfortunately I don't have a better dictionary handy.

A lot of racist crap got stirred up by this storm, but the word 'refugee' isn't part of that.
posted by mosch at 4:17 PM on September 6, 2005


Is colored a racist term? How about negress or octoroon?!

All are arguably not, if all you're going strictly by the definition. That's not the problem, here. The problem is the association and the connotation.

Jackson is right that the term refugees does carry some negative connotations, and he suggested that people realize that these people are Americans and use a phrase which doesn't have such connotations. Evacuees, survivors.. just not refugees.

Words matter. If calling those who escaped Katrina survivors imparts on them a little more dignity, a little more self-respect, or grants them a little more caring from the general public, who is all too quick to forget about society's victims, I'm all for it.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:17 PM on September 6, 2005


on preview:

i know its a small thing, but it is part of the whole.

on the whole , this entire thing stinks of racism.
posted by nola at 4:18 PM on September 6, 2005


It sounds nobler to give aid to the "refugees" than the homeless. Hey, it's the world's globalization aid thinking maybe. I think they should be called what they are, homeless. Though the homeless are usually the last having domestic aid given to them in the USA...so it's whitewashed with another word imho.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:20 PM on September 6, 2005


Rothko writes "it's not a rhetorical stretch to call them refugees if you, in turn, accept that the government waged war on its people for being black or poor, by ignoring their needs during a crisis situation. In that case, if you agreed with that position, and some in this country evidently do, these people would then meet the technical definition of 'refugees'."

You're misunderstanding incongruity's point, as well as the definition itself, I think. The Webster's definition does not, in fact, require a refugee's status to have been caused by war. It merely mentions war and persecution as examples of situations that might cause people to become refugees. Incongruity argues that a massive natural disaster is an event of similar proportions, and people fleeing such a disaster can therefore be referred to as refugees.

In other words, war is a sufficient but not necessary condition for the application of the term "refugee".
posted by mr_roboto at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2005


According to the random house, it's "one who flees for refuge or safety" as the primary definition. Unfortunately I don't have a better dictionary handy.
posted by mosch at 7:17 PM EST on September 6 [!]


Just for fun:


posted by Rothko at 4:23 PM on September 6, 2005


Many people are saying there is no racism to "refugee", yet we have:

Rev. Jesse Jackson needs to stop talking

Jessie Jackson is an idiot

Jesse Jackson needs to grow some skin

...the clown Jesse Jackson...

...'jessie' Noun. A feeble, easily scared person, a softy. Derog." and what he is talking " 'Jackson Pollocks' * Noun. 1. Testicles.
2. Nonsense, rubbish....

Nice ad hominem attacks. Why the hate?
posted by mahniart at 4:25 PM on September 6, 2005


Even the OS X dictionary isn't consistent with common usage. The person would have to leave the country — which means the hurricane survivors are right out — but it is still applicable to a natural disaster. Hmm.
posted by Rothko at 4:27 PM on September 6, 2005


mahniart: "Nice ad hominem attacks. Why the hate?"

Sorry. We thought we were talking about Tito.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:30 PM on September 6, 2005


Slightly off-topic, but I wish people would stop referring to Wikipedia as if it were some kind of authority. It's good for getting quick information on things, but a lot better at reporting common knowledge than at reporting truth. This sneaky change in definition of "refugee" is a good case in point.
posted by speicus at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2005


> unless it makes you feel better to call them "refugees" as
> opposed to "victims" like we have always called those in our
> country who have lost their home

So let me get this straight, nola. Are you saying that the term 'refugee' should only apply to those from other countries, and shouldn't be used to apply to Americans regardless of how accurately their circumstances meet the dictionary definition?

Because to me, your argument seems to imply that it's OK to use such a term to refer to those inferior foreigners from third world countries, but we've got no business at all using it to describe the situation of God-fearing Amer'kins, regardless of whether they've left their homes seeking refuge from disasters or not?

And *that* seems kinda racist to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2005


I still don't get what the big deal is. Victim/refugee, potato/pah-ta-toh.

Whether or not a "refugee" has fled his own country or his hometown, none of these definitions has any mention of race. (Ahem, nola.) A refugee is searching for refuge.

I think the word has a connotation of a dire need, and for that reason is better than "homeless" or "displaced".

If Jesse Jackson wants to get his panties in a bunch, he should hang out with Barbara Bush.
posted by Specklet at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2005


I won't argue that there's racism, nor that it doesn't figure to some extent in recent events, but "refugee" sounds pretty race-neutral to me. I'm not going to join a Jesse Jackson bashfest, but "It is racist to call American citizens refugees"? I think he and I can agree to disagree.

Since other people have submitted alternate suggestions, "displaced person" was what they were called after World War II -- DP for short. That'll probably be decried as anti-Semitic, though, what with all the Jewish European refugees called DPs who were trying to get into Palestine and create Israel.

I give up. Call 'em "future Democratic voters"?
posted by alumshubby at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2005


speicus: "Slightly off-topic, but I wish people would stop referring to Wikipedia as if it were some kind of authority. It's good for getting quick information on things, but a lot better at reporting common knowledge than at reporting truth. This sneaky change in definition of "refugee" is a good case in point."

I couldn't agree more. It's not the first time I've seen dueling Ministries of Truth.
posted by mahniart at 4:40 PM on September 6, 2005


speicus writes "This sneaky change in definition of 'refugee' is a good case in point."

And an excellent case in counterpoint is the fact that the definition for refugee has already been repaired to remove said sneaky change....
posted by mr_roboto at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2005


Wow. Considering that "pathetic" means "deserving of sympathy", people should maybe start paying a little more attention to "semantics" and stop stigmatizing their own groups or others. And --

well, PeterMcDermott has it and it bears repeating:

Because to me, your argument seems to imply that it's OK to use such a term to refer to those inferior foreigners from third world countries, but we've got no business at all using it to describe the situation of God-fearing Amer'kins, regardless of whether they've left their homes seeking refuge from disasters or not?

And *that* seems kinda racist to me.


Me too, Peter.
posted by dreamsign at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2005


"Katrinists"? Naaah, sounds like a cult.
posted by alumshubby at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2005


A point I don't think I've seen addressed here, yet, though - I think the primary reason that the term "refugee" is being so widely used by the media is that it implies a scale that "victim" or "survivor" or "homeless" does not. It implies the very real fact that an entire major population center has been, for all intents and purposes, completely destroyed, and that those being referred to are among a very large number of dispossessed.

A further point against the term being inherently racist is simply that there is nothing about any of the definitions offered by anyone here that stipulates that the origin of the "refugee" has to be a third-world country. There have probably been as many refugees of European decent over the years as of any other background.

There are many, many racist (and even more classist) overtones to this entire affair, but I don't think the use of this term is necessarily reflective of that.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:47 PM on September 6, 2005


Having worked in international refugee policy, I think there are in fact really good reasons to use the word "refugee." As has been noted, the technical legal definition of refugees requires: 1) well-founded fear of political, religious, or ethnic persecution in your home country; and 2) flight across international borders. The protections accorded those who qualifiy under this definition is actually in theory quite strong: under US and international law, they simply cannot be returned to the country they fled from. This is the one of the few pieces of international human rights law that is relatively well enforced (which is not to say that it isn't frequently violated, of course.)

But the international law definition actually leaves out a great many people -- those who flee persecution within national borders (eg, Sudan); those who flee general conditions of warfare (because they aren't being specifically persecuted for their beliefs, they don't qualify); and those who flee natural disasters. Since the protections for international law "refugees" is so relatively strong, advocates in fact try to extend refugee status to as many groups as possible, either by trying to define new types of persecution to fit the existing definition (eg, gender violence) or by carrying over the standards to entirely new groups (eg, "internally displaced people" who haven't crossed international borders). In this light, calling the Katrina victims refugees is no insult at all.

Using the term "refugee" is also defensible because in many ways the structure of situations of mass displacement is identical, no matter what the cause. If US authorities had immediately thought "refugee crisis" (as I did the second I heard about the Superdome plan) then they may have also been clued in to the inevitable scenes that were to follow -- the internal security problems, angry refugees, etc etc. Had they consulted with refugee agencies, they would be much better situated to deal with the technical problems. There's a sizeable literature on refugee management and thousands of people across the world who know about dealing with refugee flows; not to use this expertise evinces a horrific lack of foresight.
posted by footnote at 4:47 PM on September 6, 2005


The reason people are balking at the term is because in america, "Refugee" has never been used to refer to other americans, because everything has been peachy here since the civil war. Refugees come from a third world country.

And that's the reason to keep using the term, because America has become like a third world country.
posted by delmoi at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2005


I never considered there to be negative connotations to refugee -- it's just someone seeking refuge, something that people of probably every ethnicity ever have done at some point in human history. If the Big One hits Northern California, I could be a refugee tomorrow.

The racism charge seems bizarre to me.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 4:53 PM on September 6, 2005


But the international law definition actually leaves out a great many people -- those who flee persecution within national borders (eg, Sudan); those who flee general conditions of warfare (because they aren't being specifically persecuted for their beliefs, they don't qualify); and those who flee natural disasters. Since the protections for international law "refugees" is so relatively strong, advocates in fact try to extend refugee status to as many groups as possible, either by trying to define new types of persecution to fit the existing definition (eg, gender violence) or by carrying over the standards to entirely new groups (eg, "internally displaced people" who haven't crossed international borders). In this light, calling the Katrina victims refugees is no insult at all.
posted by footnote at 7:47 PM EST on September 6 [!]


Interesting and insightful points, and thanks for making them. It changed my opinion a great deal.
posted by Rothko at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2005


what a total and utter wank.
posted by wilful at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2005


This term is being invoked under such conditions for the first time in this country on this large a scale. Even though this usage seems consistent with its definition, people seem squeamish over the fact that it's been used almost exclusively in other contexts, to the point where they are taking the coincidental fact of it never having been applicable before to mean that it is not applicable by definition or something close to it, under these circumstances. This seems odd to me. I agree with PeterMcDermott that construing the term this way is cheauvanistic.
posted by alphanerd at 5:02 PM on September 6, 2005


He thinks refugee is a racist term because many refugees end up being black. That's like saying criminal is a racist term because most criminals end up being black.

If anything, it shows racist tendencies on his behalf, not the rest of the world's.
posted by jmccorm at 5:05 PM on September 6, 2005


PeterMcDermott, you have missed the point.

this is the first time we have called citizens of our country "refugees" . . .a person seeking asylum in a foreign country . . . this casts them as outsiders.
if i show you a picture , and ask you to say one word that comes to mind, that one word is a small part of your internal workings. a part that taken on the whole sheds light on the person.

"refugee" is the "freudian slip" if you will, of the media.
posted by nola at 5:08 PM on September 6, 2005


A problem with the technical legal definition provided is "Refugees should receive at least the same rights and basic help as any other foreigner who is a legal resident"

As Bush said "The people we're talking about are not refugees," he said. "They are Americans and they need the help and love and compassion of our fellow citizens."

Calling them refugees might imply they don't have the same status of American citizens - and if they are disproportionately of one race (or are perceived to be), that may seem racist.

The name "refugees" might imply that they should not be treated with the rights afforded to American citizens. Note that many definitions involve the crossing of international borders. Calling them evacuees may not create the same perception.

This is a simple, small issue to grant - why would anyone not want to give hurricane victims as much dignity as they can, to anyone that would care about such a thing? To those arguing that "refugee" is not racist, what is the harm in not using the term?

And if there is a harm in not using the term, how does it balance with the harm caused in using the term?
posted by mahniart at 5:09 PM on September 6, 2005


anyway i'm done with this , i only posted my thoughts because , i thought it was racist the first time i heard them called that. its a gut reaction, i could very well be wrong, but i'm not prone to make such a call. in fact i never have, till now.
posted by nola at 5:13 PM on September 6, 2005


We could come up with all sorts of clever names, but I imagine they will continue to be called Refugees but it fits them exactly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy


Aridly Challenged?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:14 PM on September 6, 2005


To those arguing that "refugee" is not racist, what is the harm in not using the term?

What's the harm in calling the wet stuff falling from the sky "pludge" instead of "rain"?

The only harm is lack of accuracy, I suppose. They are also "victims," "evacuees," etc. I don't think anyone has argued they aren't accurate terms, nor that those terms couldn't be used as well.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:17 PM on September 6, 2005


Can't we just call them "wetbacks"? I mean, it rained a whole lot there.
posted by wakko at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2005


what wakko said
posted by nola at 5:23 PM on September 6, 2005


this is the first time we have called citizens of our country "refugees" . . .a person seeking asylum in a foreign country . . . this casts them as outsiders.

It's strange, but this doesn't make the word racist in general, nor does it make its usage in this particular instance racist.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:25 PM on September 6, 2005


Refugee DOES have a negative connotation, but you know what? Something negative happened here. Trying to tip-toe around the fact they're refugees is just trying to candy-coat the magnitude of the crisis we have on our hands. It's just a bunch of feel-goodism to convince the public, "if we don't call them refugees, then we won't hurt the self-esteem of the country." This is a load of crap. Next we'll be hearing that we should say that New Orleans faced a "flood", because that sounds like something that would happen in the 3rd world. Instead we had a "civil drainage failure," which sounds more appropriate for an American city.

And to those who are criticizing Jackson, keep quiet, yourselves-- the man arranged, himself, for the charter of 4 buses to help the refugees escape New Orleans. Dumb as I think his "refugees" comments, were, his first instinct was "let me get off my ass and help people" when the crisis hit.
posted by deanc at 5:28 PM on September 6, 2005


Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson...

...idiot opportunists who deserve each other.

"Not of this country" (a requirement for the misunderstood term refugee) does not imply "black". Not even close.

Hey, does loathing Rev Jackson make one a racist? I once got a MeTa thread for posting about revenge schemes against Nigerian 419 scammers. Apparently it was offensive b/c the recipents were black. Funny stuff.
posted by dhoyt at 5:35 PM on September 6, 2005


What's Jackson's MeFi handle?
posted by dhoyt at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2005


Although not explicitly addressing the race issue, this and this seem insightful. From Michael Klare's Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS) website.
posted by slow, man at 5:43 PM on September 6, 2005


The Jesse Helms : "I hate fucking rednecks."

Try using a bit more lube.
posted by mischief at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2005


Is troll a racist term? Or snarky, or fuckwad, or Rothko's Mum?

I've know refugees, people escaping from a bad situation, people seeking refuge, of many skin hues. There is no race at any rate...except when someone wants to make a point and needs the term.

But if there are folks that object to the the term, let them come up with something else. "Heros" is still available as is "DPs", or the "Weather Challenged".
posted by stirfry at 6:00 PM on September 6, 2005


Jesse Jackson jumped the shark a loooong time ago. Remember when people listened to what he had to say? Remember when what he had to say was worth listening to?

And "refugee" is a technically incorrect term, but only because this situation wasn't caused by war, but by natural disaster.

How about a new term, "Act of God refugees"?
posted by zardoz at 6:05 PM on September 6, 2005


"To those arguing that 'refugee' is not racist, what is the harm in not using the term?"

The more I think about this, the more I balk at switching to another word because I'm having a big problem perpetuating the negative connotations of refugee.

One thing that the people that object to the use of the term agree upon is that "these are Americans, they are not refugees". The technical definition of the word is cited over and over again to support this contention, but how many here actually knew that the definition of refugee specifically connoted "persons displaced from their nation"? I didn't. I hear "refugee" and I think of a bunch of people in a really bad situation that are forced to leave their homes for a long period of time.

I could be wrong and maybe everybody is well familiar with the legal use of the term and so, in that context, it would seem that using it would have to be an intentional or subconscious disowning of these people. But I'm not at all convinced of this.

Because if everyone is not familiar with the technical, legal meaning of refugee, then the argument that "Americans can't be refugees" requires that there must be some other reason why they can't.

And I am convinced that this reason is that for many people, "refugee" implies "all those dark-skinned people in far away places who are always getting into trouble and someone has to take care of them".

That I think this is so, at least to a degree, is the real reason why "refugee" as applies to the New Orleans refugees makes people so squeamish.

This being the case, and because I haven't thought of "refugee" in these terms, supporting the argument against refugee validates that, yes, racist disregard for so-called "real" refugees. And I have a big, big problem with that.

I'm trying to think of a specific parallel, but doesn't this sort of thing happen all the time with regard to two groups, both oppressed, but one seen as having a lower status and so the other takes great pains to disassociate themselves from the "worse" group? I understand why, but that's validating the underlying bigotry.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:07 PM on September 6, 2005


Here's the thing. The unfortunate people trapped in New Orleans - largely those who couldn't afford to get out - got fucked badly by nature. Then they got fucked harder by their own various levels of government, who fumbled the ball in terms of getting them food, water, medical care, and/or evacuation. If you were in this situation, homeless, hungry, and probably still in shock, you can bet that you would feel, live and act pretty much like a refugee all right.

Seems that some people reserve this word to mean something like "funny brown people thousands of miles away who got their mud huts washed away when some river whose name I can't flooded like it does every ten years". Well guess what? Thanks to systemic poverty, cost cutting of flood control systems, dedication of resources to the war on Iraq, and gross incompetence at Homeland Security, refugee-hood happens to Americans too. It has not escaped the notice of CNN watchers everywhere that most of those who got hit hardest in America were also brown skinned.

The word refugee is racist? Don't make me laugh. Language is language. The deep, systemic racism revealed by this disaster is much more pernicious than mere words.
posted by theorique at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2005


Hey, I have no problem with the term refugee. But then again, I *am* one. As are most of the people I care about. Race has not one damn thing to do with it.

As far as people being uncomfortable referring to other Americans as refugees: get over it. You should be uncomfortable when you think about them. Thousands of families have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their pets, and their loved ones. They've lost everything.

Me, I am extremely fortunate. I had a way to get out and I have a place to stay that isn't costing me what's left of my savings. But friends of mine are still missing and I'm devasted by that.

If people are uncomfortable with the negative connotations that are associated with the term refugee - good. Maybe they'll think about how criminally out of whack our priorities have become in the U.S. Maybe their discomfort will spur them to agitate for change.

I can hope. I sure won't hold my breath...
posted by djeo at 6:14 PM on September 6, 2005


The technical definition of the word is cited over and over again to support this contention, but how many here actually knew that the definition of refugee specifically connoted "persons displaced from their nation"? I didn't.

This part of the definition is in many dictionaries, including OED:


posted by Rothko at 6:18 PM on September 6, 2005


Um, yeah, I think we all know that by now. Who knew it before?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:19 PM on September 6, 2005


An OED definition: Someone driven from his home by war or the fear of attack or persecution; a displaced person. Also fig. Let's not forget the "Also fig.," ok, folks? Also, usage that calls the word back to its incredibly transparent etymology (looking for refuge) is hardly going out on a limb.

Racist? That's too weird to touch with a 10' pole, as it seems to assume that "refugee" derogatorily associates hurricane victims with... wait, who is it whom we so despise that it's insulting to make this association? That's not very nice!!
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2005


A hurricane in a teacup...
posted by pompomtom at 6:26 PM on September 6, 2005


Nice ad hominem attacks. Why the hate?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ahh, that was good.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2005


Look, words are changed by popular usage. Dictionaries are revised periodically to reflect this. If the moniker "refugee" sticks in common usage in regard to the people under discussion, then the definition will eventually more explicitly accomodate that. People will use words however they want to, you can't stop them.

Personally I think the word refugee is a good one in this case, and is not racist.
posted by beth at 6:34 PM on September 6, 2005


Um, yeah, I think we all know that by now. Who knew it before?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:19 PM EST on September 6 [!]


Um, several people, myself.
posted by Rothko at 6:35 PM on September 6, 2005


Monday's NewsHour hit upon this topic. (Wade Henderson is executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Dawn Trice is with the Chicago Tribune, Marta Tienda is a sociology professor at Princeton. Gwen is the moderator):

GWEN IFILL: I want to ask you all three a language question, because it's a debate that a lot of people have been having with me over the last few days as a journalist, which is the use of language. The people who have left New Orleans have been described as evacuees, or as refugees. And there's loaded intent, people infer, from the use of those two words. Where do you come down on this?

WADE HENDERSON: Well, I think these are displaced American citizens, who have, of course, because of their circumstances been shipped to places around the country. And I think there is a sensitivity among African-Americans in being characterized as refugees within their own country because it seems to suggest that they are the victims of these natural disasters or wars, as in other parts of the world, and it fails to recognize their legitimate claim to protection by the federal, state and local government as citizens entitled to the full benefits of American citizenship. And there's a sensitivity there.

GWEN IFILL: Dawn Turner Trice, I go to you once again from the on-the-ground point of view from Mississippi. By the way, so viewers know, we still haven't been able to establish contact with Congressman Jefferson. Is that the sort of thing people are talking about down there, "I can't believe they're calling me a refugee"?

DAWN TURNER TRICE: Oh, absolutely, they were really hot about this topic, that specific language. And as many of them said that they understand that there is a definition that would say that a person without a refuge or a place or a home would be... could be considered a refugee. But that word is such a loaded word and when we think about it we think about it more in the international context, in that definition. And I think that a lot of people I talked to felt that they were being considered less than American, and that stung.

GWEN IFILL: Marta Tienda, do those words matter, does that language matter?

MARTA TIENDA: Yes, it does. I was stunned to see the word "refugee" used initially to describe the victims of this catastrophic storm. But there is a lesson here from the immigration literature that could be used to good purpose. We have had refugees in this country and we have learned how to incorporate them into the U.S. fabric so that they can then be very productive citizens.

And I think this is the time to rise to the occasion to look at how we have treated refugees, the political refugees in particular, and given them all of the support of our infrastructure, and made it possible for them to transcend their origins.

With our native population, the African-American population has been displaced by this horrific experience; they should have every possible solution that we have used in the past to produce successful citizens from international refugees. And I think we should use the word "evacuee," but we do have much experience producing very productive citizens, and it is long overdue for the individuals that have been victimized both by poverty and by segregation.

posted by justkevin at 7:12 PM on September 6, 2005


justkevin: wow, that's food for thought.

I'm white, so maybe my response to this whole thing is going to be reflective of my upbringing. I don't know. But I'll acknowledge the possiblity.
posted by djeo at 7:19 PM on September 6, 2005


Refugee != not American.
Not American != less than American.
Not American != unimportant.

"American refugees" is a phrase that should be repeated and repeated until it is burned into every American's brain, until it is well and widely understood that we are not perfect, we are not special, that we are not necessarily superior, and that we are certainly not invulnerable. We need to learn this, so that we all understand a little better the next time a refugee crisis hits in some far-off place, that it's not so far off really. That those people suffer like we suffer now. Yes, these people whose homes and hometowns have been destroyed, whose lives are in disarray, who live in squalor and fear of an uncertain future, who are seeking refuge among their countrymen, they are refugees, and they are our own.

We have tens of thousands of American refugees who need aid, shelter and resettlement. We need to get to get used to the concept, and quick.

On preview: My parents were both refugees when they were children. Does that make a difference in my outlook? Maybe.
posted by skoosh at 7:33 PM on September 6, 2005


it fails to recognize their legitimate claim to protection by the federal, state and local government as citizens entitled to the full benefits of American citizenship.

Actually, it effectively recognizes the degree to which their national government has failed to protect them and in turn makes their claim to protection stronger.

I guess I sort of understand that those who immediately equate "refugee" with "noncitizen" would be offended, given the history of african americans and citizenship in this country. (The Dredd Scott case infamously declared that even a free black person could never be a citizen.) But on the other hand, coming from the perspective of international human rights, it's perplexing to see "noncitizen" as an insult, since the whole point of the movement is that people should have human rights, not rights based solely on their citizenship status.
posted by footnote at 7:42 PM on September 6, 2005


There are a lot more important things to worry about now then what to call these refugees.
posted by Ron at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2005


The Jesse Helms : "I hate fucking rednecks."

Try using a bit more lube.
posted by mischief at 9:56 AM ACST on September 7 [!]

Hidden among the blather about nothing, mischief shows us the danger of misplaced modifiers.

And it's hilarious.
posted by bwg at 8:56 PM on September 6, 2005


Accosted by an American
A short play featuring two country gentlemen:

Scene opens on a small house on the outskirts of town.

Citizen A: "Good evening, Sirrah. My home was destroyed by the storm. I seek refuge.

Citizen B: "I see. You are then a refugee."

Citizen A: My word! How DARE you! Sirrah, I take umbrage at that remark!"

Action - Citizen A punches Citizen B in the mouth for indulging in rude racism.


Fin
-----

American refugees works for me.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2005


the most correct term would be "internal refugees," It gets 44,000 google hits and clearly describes the displaced victims of Katrina.
posted by afu at 9:49 PM on September 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


Hey, does loathing Rev Jackson make one a racist?

No. Just acutely ignorant.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:53 PM on September 6, 2005


How about prospective Scientology recruits?

Seriously, I have to agree with Bligh on this. And on preview also afu.

As for the dictionary definitions, especially the OED, remember that they are descriptive not prescriptive; that dictionaries track usage, they don't dictate it.

Or at least that's what many people often tell me when I point out their 'misuse' of the phrase "beg the question".
posted by davy at 10:32 PM on September 6, 2005


Then too, I doubt "Hymietown" is any worse than "Billytown"; the latter doesn't offend me, and my parents were born rural white Appalachian Southerners whose parents moved their families to city neighborhoods comprised largely of people of like origin.
posted by davy at 10:45 PM on September 6, 2005


(When I was in elementary school my parents moved us out to a "better" neighborhood with better schools, which by the way happened to be comprised mostly of Jews, but Grandma and Pop-Pop still lived in the old neighborhood -- and I spend a lot of time there being raised by them as much as by my parents.)
posted by davy at 10:53 PM on September 6, 2005


I just want to repeat that I'm very disturbed that we should spurn the term refugee because there's the implication that refugees aren't important (or us). Dammit, I hate that kind of thinking and I hate, hate, hate how, in America's eyes, 1 American live is worth 1000 lives in the developing world.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:23 AM on September 7, 2005


First off: if they're calling it a 'mandatory evacuation' -- so the proper word to use is 'evacuees.' Plain and simple.

I've found Jesse Jackson to be a bit touchy at times, but I can relate to where he's coming from on this one. Jesse is just fighting the massive gentrification of NOLA post Katrina.

Just look at the word. "Refugee" automatically puts the subject in a very needy spot. Having to seek 'refuge' means that you have to escape to find a new place. This is just another step towards keeping those pesky coloreds from coming back after the reconstruction.

"Evacuee" on the other hand, suggests that you've taken an Emergency Vacation. At least with that terminology people may have the opportunity of getting their homes back.

I've heard of some folks whose homes weren't flooded by Katrina, have plenty of supplies on hand, but that the 'mandatory evacuation' would chase 'em out of their homes anyway.

There are more important questions that need to be asked about this kind of language, and how it is framing the whole fuckin' debate, man.
posted by snakey at 12:42 AM on September 7, 2005


And I think there is a sensitivity among African-Americans in being characterized as refugees within their own country because it seems to suggest that they are the victims of these natural disasters or wars, as in other parts of the world, and it fails to recognize their legitimate claim to protection by the federal, state and local government as citizens entitled to the full benefits of American citizenship. And there's a sensitivity there.

Yeah exactly. The term is not racist (in fact there is something a bit dodgy in suggesting it is racist because that's like accepting the implication that it's not such a big deal to be racist as long as it's with foreigners) but I can understand why people would object to its use in this case, because the most common use of the word is about people displaced from a country to another, so here it almost seems to imply the people are foreigners whose legal status as refugees could be accepted or refused, and not citizens who are inherently entitled to assistance and compensation. Even it's not intentional, and it is after all the most convenient term, the association is there and if the people who survived don't like it to be used for them then they have a right to find it inappropriate.
posted by funambulist at 2:28 AM on September 7, 2005


The survivors of the tsunami were taken to "refugee camps" and were called "refugees" by the entire world media. I wasn't under the impression that those people had fled their country to escape war or political persecution. Their cities, villages, and homes were destroyed, and so they ended up in shelters in their own countries and often quite close to the area of destruction. Aside from scale of natural disaster, their situations (tsunami and hurricane survivors) are nearly identical ... natural disaster destroys large area, many people die and area is unlivable, people are forced to leave area and live in camps/shelters within their own area/country for extended periods of time. Could someone explain to me why it was/is acceptable to call the survivors of the tsunami "refugees", but not the survivors of the hurricane?

As far as the word "refugee" being racist ... sorry, but I am just not seeing it.
posted by Orb at 3:14 AM on September 7, 2005


On a tangent, the fact they're called "refugees" instead of "displaced" or "victims" or "hoompa loompa" is so so so so so so friggin important for all these very very very important legal and semantical reasons...

..but don't worry they'll be dead soon while the argument over the correct word or form to fill is exquisitely debated ad infinitum.
posted by elpapacito at 4:31 AM on September 7, 2005


I think a whole lot of people have a collective chip on their shoulder.
posted by alumshubby at 4:53 AM on September 7, 2005


Of course it's not such a vital thing and whatever words are chosen doesn't change the situation and there are tons more important things etc. etc. etc. but when it's the very people who are being called refugees who don't much like it, what's there to argue?
posted by funambulist at 6:07 AM on September 7, 2005


Orb: I just remember the term victims, victims of the tsunami, or suvivors of the tsunami, or population hit by the tsunami, etc. I don't really recall the term refugee being used.

I think alphanerd is right in that it's not the word itself but the context. And what zarah said in the other thread.

Given the situation it's not hard at all to me to see why people would be complaining at the word being used. And I don't think it's just Jesse Jackson, I saw people on the news telling reporters they don't like to be called that instead of survivors. Sure it's a trivial matter all considered but it's not just a theoretical debate on semantics.
posted by funambulist at 6:19 AM on September 7, 2005


For me, the word expresses the idea that these are people in need of a refuge.

I (now) know the legal implications that they are foreign, but the first and emotional response to idea of "refugee" are of people in need of refuge and help through absolutely no fault of their own - no one could have any argument why you shouldn't help a refugee. Whereas "evacuee" sounds like they are living in the country somewhere, generally comfortable.
posted by jb at 8:49 AM on September 7, 2005


I have to agree with Orb. A quick search on google for tsunami + refugee has many results. On a quick view though, most of them seem to specifically refer to "refugee camps."
posted by chrisubus at 9:01 AM on September 7, 2005


I suspect that a Lexis search would show that victims of past natural disasters in the US have also been called refugees, regardless of race.
posted by footnote at 9:23 AM on September 7, 2005


if they were white , they would be , "homeless victims of katrina"

Many major newspapers and TV stations regularly referred to people displaced by hurricanes over the past 15 years as refugees. But since we're being mindlessly politically correct this time around, how about replacing "refugee" with:

The Valiant and Courageous Survivors of Hurricane Katrina as well as Society's Oppression.

By the way, how many thousands of people are still homeless, suffering, hungry and in pain while we all waste time arguing over semantics?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 12:33 PM on September 7, 2005


August 28 was the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s I have a dream speech:
One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2005


when it's the very people who are being called refugees who don't much like it, what's there to argue?

That they might be disparaging others?
Or are we back to the 9/11 mentality of the wronged can do no wrong?
posted by dreamsign at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2005


I think what lies beneath this is how people percieve the word refugee - It seems like a fitting word to me, in that is creates (in my mind) the image of unimaginable human suffering that force people to flee for to survive. I don't think it is helpful to get hung up a word, havent we been thru that already? People are people, and americans are americans. Many people who have used the term refugee cared enough to donate to the relief effort. Be helpful and thankful - thats what makes a positive difference!


posted by msthinker at 8:23 PM on September 7, 2005


The refugees, evacuees, displaced americans, etc. consist of a mix of whites, biracial, african americans, colored people, blacks, whites, honkeys, people of color, and negros, the list goes on....AMERICANS
posted by msthinker at 8:30 PM on September 7, 2005


dreamsign: no I was not suggesting that "the wronged can do no wrong" and I honestly don't even see the parallel with that kind of 9/11 mentality anyway. People made homeless by the disaster are not itching to bomb other countries are they?
I'm just saying that although in the end it's just a word, it's the context that matters too, and if that word contributes to a feeling of being treated as less-than-citizens then those on the receiving end of that treatment have a right to be bothered by that.
posted by funambulist at 12:10 AM on September 8, 2005


At least nobody said "niggardly".
posted by w0mbat at 12:22 AM on September 8, 2005


"I think a whole lot of people have a collective chip on their shoulder."

I do not, you insensitive nazi! If you threaten me like that again I'll call the ACLU!
posted by davy at 8:08 PM on September 8, 2005


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