Just days after the world noticed, Stanford University argues that it is not anti-”American.”
The Washington Times reported on Thursday that the elite northern California college balked at the suggestion that its new “harmful language” policy meant using the term “American” is out.
As The Free Press reported on Thursday, Stanford recently issued a language guide that referenced “Imprecise Language,” which suggested replacing the term “American’ with “U.S. citizen.”
The woke reason is that the word American, according to the guide, “often refers to people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the US is the most important country in the Americas.” Actually, American could be applied to citizens of any of the 42 countries between North and South America.
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In a statement, Steve Gallagher, Stanford’s chief information officer, told the Times that the Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, or EHLI, is not mandatory, nor is it actually university policy.
Instead, it was meant to spark a conversation solely within the university’s IT department.
“First and importantly,” Gallagher said, “the website does not represent university policy. It also does not represent mandates or requirements.”
“We have particularly heard concerns about the guide’s treatment of the term ‘American.’ We understand and appreciate those concerns,” Gallagher continued.
“To be very clear, not only is the use of the term ‘American’ not banned at Stanford, it is absolutely welcomed.”
Gallagher added that the EHLI entry for “American” was intended “to provide perspective on how the term may be imprecise in some specific uses, and to show that in some cases the alternate term ‘U.S. citizen’ may be more precise and appropriate.”
“But,” he added, “we clearly missed the mark in this presentation.”
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Regardless of intent, one of those who objected to Stanford’s substituting for “American” was medical school professor Jay Bhattacharya, an ally of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I remember how proud I was when I became a naturalized American citizen,” he tweeted in response to the controversy. “I’m still proud to be an American, and I don’t care that @Stanford disapproves of my using the term.”
The Times pointed out other examples of the wokeness embedded in Stanford’s EHLI guide.
The document suggests replacing “Hispanic” with “Latinx”; “grandfather” with “legacy”; “addict” with “person with a substance use disorder”; “people of color” with “BIPOC”; and “Karen” with “demanding or entitled White woman.”
It even blacklisted the word “blacklist,” saying that should be replaced with “denylist.”
Gallagher continued his attempt at damage control, telling the Times, “This guide for the university’s IT community is undergoing continual review. The spirit behind it, from the beginning, has been to be responsive to feedback and to consider adjustments based on that feedback. We value the input we have been hearing, from a variety of perspectives, and will be reviewing it thoroughly and making adjustments to the guide.”