September 6, 2005

Off-topic: Refugee

refugee, n. One who flees in search of refuge.

refuge, n. Protection or shelter, as from danger or hardship.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson has asked that we not call the people who were driven from their homes by Hurricane Katrina "refugees" because he feels that the term has racist overtones.


This is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States in years. Several hundred thousand people (at a minimum) are without homes and income as a result of this storm. These people are having to make a new life for themselves as a result. Several have given up hope of ever returning to their beloved towns due to the extent of the damage and the horrible memories that lie in wait for them should they choose to return.

We called those who survived the tsunami overseas "refugees." It is an accurate term. Why can't we call American citizens who experience a similar tragedy by the same term? A "refugee" is not a second-class citizen...but a closed-minded preacher who believes that terminology is of high importance during these trying times should be.

No comments: