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New terms for old ones

Dear Editor:I’m often fascinated at how the use of a word changes how we think about things. In the interest of the transparency of the times, I’d like to offer a couple of alternate phrases for often-heard terms.”Terrorist” is a word that between television, radio, periodicals and newspapers the Associated Press keeps in front of us on an hourly basis. But how about every time we hear the word ‘terrorist,’ we think “person insane with a desire for justice.” “Person insane with a desire for justice,” gives us a more accurate handle to practice compassion and seek empathy for these distraught folks in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Another word is “illegal alien,” which we tend to think of when “illegal immigrant’ is said.I prefer the term “undocumented indigenous worker.” “Undocumented indigenous worker” rightfully defines these folks as the descendants of a 30,000-year-old culture that shared a common language and gene pool from Point Barrow, Alaska through the Darwin Strait of Columbia. The ancestors of the ‘undocumented indigenous worker’ maintained a pristine environment in North America for 30,000 years. Their healthy, sustained populations had graciously optimized the environment for comfortably living off the land when the Europeans showed up 400 years ago.Like, “person insane with a desire for justice” and “undocumented indigenous worker” give us a handle to better understand the predicament of these folks and, thus, to practice friendship and compassion.John HoffmannCarbondale


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