Don’t say ‘hold the fort’…it’s offensive to Native Americans, warns state department diversity chief
Daily Mail: Political correctness has just claimed another victim – saying ‘hold the fort’ has now been deemed offensive to Native Americans. That is the view of the U.S. State Department’s Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson, who has penned a column explaining why that phrase and many others can cause offensive – offering advice on how citizens can watch what they say.
Explaining, wrongly, that ‘hold the fort’ derives from defending homesteads and seeking refuge from raging Native American’s in the 19th century, Robinson advises his readers in State Magazine to be aware that the phrase is now negative and racist.
‘How many times have you or a colleague asked if someone could ‘hold down the fort?’ wrote Robinson.’You were likely asking someone to watch the office while you go and do something else, but the phrase’s historical connotation to some is negative and racially offensive.‘
‘To ‘hold down the fort’ originally meant to watch and protect against the vicious Native American intruders.’In the territories of the West, Army soldiers or settlers saw the ‘fort’ as their refuge from their perceived ‘enemy,’ the stereotypical ‘savage’ Native American tribes.’
In Robinson’s firing line was another phrase that is in everyday use: ‘Going Dutch’. Instead of a fair way of dividing the restaurant bill among friends, the top diversity officer in the country has deemed the phrase as a ‘negative stereotype portraying the Dutch as cheap.’
And instead of referring to a non-exact average ‘rule of thumb’ is offensive to women all across the world. This is because the phrase derives from ‘an antiquated law, whereby the width of a husband’s thumb was the legal size of a switch of rod allowed to beat his wife,’ wrote Robinson.’ If her bruises were not larger than the width of his thumb, the husband could not be brought to court to answer for his behaviour because he had not violated the ‘rule of thumb’.
Drawing attention to this, Robinson hopes that everyone, men and women think before they say this popular phrase.
Moving on to those with disabilities, Robinson urges caution over the word ‘handicap’. This is because some in the disabled community, ‘believe this term is rooted in a correlation between a disabled individual and a beggar, who had to beg with a cap in his or her hand because of the inability to maintain employment.’
‘Choose your words thoughtfully,’ wrote Robinson wrote.’Now that you know the possible historical context of the above phrases, perhaps you will understand why someone could be offended by their use. Let us agree that language will continue to evolve with continually improving consciousness and respect for others.’
Going Dutch is now offensive? And how many people think of a man beating his wife when they say “rule of thumb”?
PC madness…next on the Chief’s agenda: anyone who believes in traditional marriage is deemed to be offensive. Someone needs to grow some thicker skin.