Our language has moral baggage.

I think a lot about this. The words and phrases we choose don’t exist in a vacuum. They refer back in time, to events and attitudes that we do not necessarily choose when we use them in the present. Words and phrases have the power to shape our thoughts and perspectives, and for this reason we have a duty to think carefully about the way we speak.

I’m not exactly talking etymology, which traces the origins of the roots of words. For example, the etymology of the word ‘salary’ is that it is from the Latin salarium, meaning ‘salt money’. In Roman times, people were often paid in salt because of its value in preserving food and health benefits. …


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Seventeen naked protestors outside of Rochester, NY City Hall following the death of Daniel Prude. Image by Larrymoss~commonswiki

The Need for an Intersectional Approach to the Defund the Police Movement

Daniel Prude’s brother called police to help Daniel during a mental health crisis. The officers who responded, trained to quell and respond to violence from neurotypical people, hooded Daniel and kneeled on his back until he lost consciousness. A week later, he died.

This is yet another unnecessary death of a person with a psychiatric, developmental, or intellectual disability from a police interaction. It is also another death of a person of color in a moment of nationwide protests against racialized police killings. …

About

Jennifer Sarrett

Access, social justice, diversity, inclusion, ethics. www.jennifersarrett.com

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