Seattle: Do not say “brown bag” or “citizen,” for they are offensive and, yes, racist

Posted by: Phineas on August 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”

Once again, I’m relieved to know my beloved California doesn’t hold the West Coast monopoly on moronic political correctness. In Seattle, aka “San Francisco North” (1), the city Office of Civil Rights sent a memo around to Seattle employees and… Well, read on, but try not to hit your head against the tabletop too much:

The memo went on to offer politically correct alternatives that could be used in official documents and discussions.

‘Luckily, we’ve got options,’ Elliott Bronstein wrote in the internal memo, according to Fox News. ‘For “citizens”, how about “residents”?’

Mr Bronstein defended the ban on a Seattle radio station, and said that the term ‘brown bag’ had historically been used as a way to determine skin color.


To avoid bringing up its racist connotations, city workers in Seattle must now use ‘sack lunch’ or ‘lunch-and-learn’, according to Komo News.

Oh, for Pete’s sake. The memo says some workers were offended by the use of “brown bag” because it reminded them of a test for acceptable skin color used more than 50 years ago, and so obscure that I bet 90% of the nation hasn’t even heard of it.

You know what? “Mickey” and “Mick” were mildly offensive terms for Irishmen many years ago. My ancestors were Irish, and so this offends me. I demand everyone in Seattle with those names immediately stop using them.

But wait, there’s more!

They must also replace ‘citizen’ with ‘residents’ because many people in the northwest city are not U.S. citizens.

‘They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn’t include a lot of folks,’ Mr Bronstein said.

According to City Data, 94,952 – or 16 per cent – of the city’s inhabitants are foreign, with most coming originally from Asia.

Call me a reactionary racist hater, but I thought “citizen” was a term of honor, something one aspired to become. It not only meant that you lived in a place, but that you that you had a special stake there in its governance, its prosperity, and, indeed,  in its fate. It was part of your identity.

The ancient Greeks took pride in being citizens of their city-states; Roman citizenship was a mark of distinction, something non-citizens sought to earn. Tens of millions have come to America over the centuries, leaving behind their old lives and striving to become citizens here.

And yet now for Seattle’s government, a government founded by citizens, “citizen” has become a word to be shunned for fear of giving offense.

This is another expression of the vapid multiculturalism the Left finds so attractive: not only that all cultures are equal, but that to assert any special distinction on the part of one’s own culture is somehow arrogant and chauvinist, something to be condemned. In fact, it’s a denial of American culture or civilization, for how is this culture defined and set apart? Not by land or language or religion, unlike much of the rest of the world, but by a set of shared ideals, among which is the concept of citizenship, of being a “citizen.”

Something which, in Seattle, is apparently a bad thing.

RELATED: At Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson discusses brown bags, chinks in the armor, and other weapons of control wielded by the Language Police.

(1) Or is that title held by Portland, now?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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10 Responses to “Seattle: Do not say “brown bag” or “citizen,” for they are offensive and, yes, racist”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    Here is a phrase the fine citizens of Seattle should learn: “Get a fu*king life!”

    “O let us love our occupations,
    Bless the squire and his relations,
    Live upon our daily rations,
    And always know our proper stations.”–Charles Dickens, from “The Chimes”

  2. This is from the “open borders” ideologues, who want to flood our country with poor immigrants so that we can shower them with welfare benefits. The way they see it, American is rich because we stole it from the third world, and so we owe them just compensation. They are ashamed of their own citizenship, and want to do away with the concept.

    Sounds crazy, but that’s really how they think.

  3. H Hazell says:

    Surely they don’t want to use the term ‘sack lunch’ in place of brown bag.

  4. Steve Skubinna says:

    How long can a civilization survive when a preponderance of its members are ashamed of their heritage and culture?

    Well, I live west of Seattle in an urban area, and damn these chestless metrosexuals. When the collapse comes they won’t get anywhere trying to flee in my direction. Not that I expect them to flee, they’ll outfit their wives and daughters with burkhas and humbly greet their new overlords.

  5. Carlos says:

    Portland can’t be “San Francisco north” because it doesn’t have a big bay, only a couple of rivers.

    However, it is run by like-minded idiots, just like both SF and Seattle, is deeply midnight blue, and has the distinction of having the genius noted in a post last week that walked into a gun shop to rob it using a bat as the weapon that was going to scare the clerk into a quivering mass of jelly. Neither SF nor Seattle has come up with a better one than that in a long time, if ever. All they can claim is San Fran Nan and Patty “the Professor” Murray as their versions of genii.

  6. Linda Shuman says:

    Glad to read that intelligent people do live in Seattle and inspire to stay Citizens of the US of A! Those who are offended, please, go reside elsewhere…in another Country.

  7. Tex says:

    Does that mean that “Citizen Kane” is now banned from being shown in the Seattle area?


  8. ALman says:

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Is it not the case that a brown bag lunch is nothing more than a brown bag lunch?

    All residents are not citizens.

    I’m fairly certain that any public official who trys to manipulate and control the language which people use has some serious issues. I wonder how they’re going to refer to “brown shirts’?

  9. H Hazell says:

    I wonder if almonds from California are still shipped nationwide in large nut sacks.

  10. tommy mc donnell says:

    another liberal attack on free speech. did you ever think that in the “free country” a government oficial would tell you how to talk? this guy’s job should be eliminated because he obviously has nothing important to do.