Echoing woke universities, CDC releases ‘non-stigmatizing language’ guide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a “non-stigmatizing language” guide.
For years, top colleges across the United States have issued similar guides to students.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently unveiled a lengthy “non-stigmatizing language” guide.
As Campus Reform has repeatedly reported, universities across the United States frequently implement "inclusive language" guides. The University of Michigan, for example, published a list of words that “are, or can be construed to be, racist, sexist, or non-inclusive.” Words such as “man,” “crazy,” “picnic,” “dummy,” “grandfathered in,” and “long time, no see” were deemed offensive in various ways.
Now, the nation’s top agency for addressing viral diseases has created a similar list of “Preferred Terms.”
“Language in communication products should reflect and speak to the needs of people in the audience of focus,” explains the CDC. “The following provides some preferred terms for select population groups; the terms to try to use represent an ongoing shift toward non-stigmatizing language.”
For example, the agency suggests replacing the phrase “smokers” with “people who smoke” and “alcoholics” with “persons with alcohol use disorder.” Similarly, they recommend swapping “homeless people” for “people experiencing homelessness” or “persons who are not securely housed.”
With respect to mental health, the CDC recommends using “specific disorders” whenever possible. Instead of “crazy” or “insane,” American should use “people with a diagnosis of a mental illness” or “people with a pre-existing mental health disorder.”
For the category of immigration status, the CDC counts terms like “alien” as “stigmatizing in some contexts.” Therefore, Americans should call illegal immigrants “migrants” who live in “mixed-status households.”
Americans who live in the countryside should not be called “rural people.” Instead, they are to be referred to as living in “sparsely populated areas.”
Similar stipulations can be found within university language guides often reported on by Campus Reform. One of the earliest instances reported of such a guide involved the University of New Hampshire, which instructed students not to use terms like "illegal alien" or "healthy."
Like the University of New Hampshire guide published in 2015, the CDC now advises against using the phrases "foreigner" or "illegal immigrants" and recommends "asylum seeker" or "refugee" instead.
The CDC's guide also bears resemblance to a recently reported guide out of Florida International University. Both discourage using variations of the term "homosexual," and encourage opting for terms like "gay" or "LGBTQIA2" instead.
In language that echoes that of university diversity departments, the CDC states that its “Inclusive Communication Principles” serve to “confront the systems and policies that have resulted in the generational injustice that has given rise to health inequities.”
The agency therefore seeks to “emphasize the importance of addressing all people inclusively and respectfully."
"These principles are intended to help public health professionals, particularly health communicators, within and outside of CDC ensure their communication products and strategies adapt to the specific cultural, linguistic, environmental, and historical situation of each population or audience of focus," explains the agency.
The Biden administration has previously nodded toward leftist approaches to so-called "inclusive language." For instance, the White House’s first budget used the phrase "birthing people" in a section about the importance of addressing “race-based disparities in maternal mortality.”
Top universities — including Harvard Medical School — were among the first to popularize the term.
Campus Reform reached out to the CDC for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.