In yet another cringeworthy, woke edict emitted by our “authorities,” The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has asked people to stop using the term “homeless.”
Imagine the Department of Defense telling us the word “defense” is triggering. Or the Department of Homeland Security ordering us not to use the term “homeland” because its patriotic connotations might offend the sensibilities of liberals, who, as we know, are not particularly patriotic.
Our unhoused neighbors are human, and the language we use should reflect that.
Let’s abandon outdated, “othering”, and dehumanizing terminology- and instead, adopt people-centered language that emphasize personhood over housing status. pic.twitter.com/w3u2pfFbjf
— LA Homeless Services Authority (@LAHomeless) August 22, 2022
The word “homeless” is literally in the name of the department, which begs us to ask the obvious question: how do we now refer to LAHSA when writing or speaking about it? I’m so confused. It reminds me of the artist formerly known as Prince—his symbol was cool, but what was his actual name? Perhaps we could call the department, “The LA ‘Word We Should No Longer Use’ Services Authority.”
If we can’t call crazy people yelling at us on the street the “h-word,” what word would the Authority actually like us to use? They explain:
Our unhoused neighbors are human, and the language we use should reflect that. Let’s abandon outdated, “othering”, and dehumanizing terminology- and instead, adopt people-centered language that emphasize personhood over housing status.
Ah, yes. Let’s humanize those without shelter. Some have been victims of bad fortune, some of simple bad luck—and yes, some are just plain ol’ drug addicts or criminals—but they’re all human and shouldn’t be treated like animals. I agree. Leaving them on the street to die of drug overdoses, however, is not humane, no matter what you call these unfortunate souls.
Will changing what we call them actually do anything to solve the terrible “h-word” problem plaguing (mostly blue state) cities? After all, we’ve already changed the language repeatedly and I don’t see that it’s diminished “h”-lessness. We’ve gone from hobo, to tramp, to vagrant, to bum, to transient, to the now-banned “h-word.” Use any of those terms today and you expose yourself as the right-wing, hate-filled Q-anon supporter that you know yourself to be.
No, the preferred term is now evidently, “people experiencing homelessness.”
My God, the stupidity is sometimes breathtaking. It’s right up there with LA Health using our taxpayer funds to test pets for COVID. Should we now refer to people based on what they’re currently experiencing? Travelers would be “those experiencing airline flight,” and amorous folks would be “those experiencing sex?”
How about “person who is addicted and mentally ill lighting fires in the brush outside my house and walking into traffic naked in the middle of the night”? (True story, thanks to the 344 Metro line)
— Julie Hamill (@hamill_law) August 22, 2022
It gets sillier. You could also call “h” people, “those who live outside,” according to the LAHSA. Once again this is nonsensical because many “h” people are perhaps experiencing shelters, homemade structures, or campers. They’re not necessarily experiencing “outside.”
Changing language has been one of the main—and most effective—weapons of the left. Their greatest win was to somehow convince the media and a big chunk of the populace that “ending the life of an unborn fetus” should actually be referred to as “women’s health.” It is rare to hear a Democrat politician actually utter the word “abortion,” instead the entire issue is framed around women’s rights issues. Those who broke our laws and crossed our borders, meanwhile, are not “illegal aliens,” they are in fact “undocumented people” or, even better, “Dreamers.” As much as I despise the practice, it’s hard to deny that it’s not diabolically brilliant.
Changing the language never actually solves the underlying issue, even if it’s often effective politically. Shaming us into changing what we call the unhoused won’t do a thing to solve the um, homeless problem.