Tim Murphy at Mother Jones "Making The Effort" to Drop The I-Word!

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NOTE: If you signed the Drop The I-Word Pledge, yet, please do so.

UPDATE: I just started a twitter petition asking @ezraklein to drop the I-word.

I'm happy to report that progressive-leaning journalists continue to move away from using the word "illegal" to in-effect dehumanize people.   I reported here on Citizen Orange that Adam Serwer of the American Prospect dropped the I-Word after previously using it.

Now, it looks as if Tim Murphy of the liberal magazine Mother Jones is moving in the same direction.  Just over a month ago, when describing the Alabama immigration law, Murphy used the phrase "illegal immigrants."  It's always been grating for me when Murphy uses that phrase because he does some otherwise pretty admirable reporting on a subject that too few people take interest in.  As readers of Citizen Orange will know, thanks to my co-blogger and talented immigration lawyer Dave Bennion, the phrase is not only dehumanizing, it's innaccurate and effectively waves away the due process that all migrants are entitled to.
To get back to Murphy at Mother Jones, recently, he did some great digging on the horrific comments State Representative Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) made regarding undocumented rape victims, which I have been asking folks to sign my petition for.

I held my breath for our communities to get hammered with the phrase "illegal", again, only to breathe a sigh of relief when the only dehumanizing phrases I could find were those uttered by Rep. Fattman. It seems Murphy has been starting to settle on the term undocumented, which is the term migrants generally prefer. If journalist feel undocumented is too partisan, I also suggest using the word unauthorized. Even nativists groups will agree that phrase is accurate.

I followed up with Murphy through email and he wrote me this:

I think you can say I'm making an effort to use "undocumented" vs. "illegal," since I believe it's more accurate.
Tim Murphy - Email (14 June 2011)

I hope everyone will join me in tweeting @timothypmurphy thanks for making the effort. Let's see if our encouragement and love can get him to drop the i-word altogether. Following Murphy, I think one of the most important people we have to get to drop the I-word is Ezra Klein at the Washington Post, who was one of the most vocal opponents of the Drop the I-Word campaign. I've confirmed that both of the people he cites to defend his position in his post, Nicole at PostBourgie and Adam Serwer have dropped the I-word, and it's time that Klein does so, too.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on June 14, 2011 11:25 AM.

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