In the name of inclusivity and anti-racism, it has become popular to stop using certain words.
But some of those attempts to be inclusive and ensure in no way, shape, or form anyone can possibly be offended are getting crazy.
And the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work (USC) is one of those institutions going to the extreme.
It now plans to remove the word “field” from its curriculum for anti-racism purposes.
A letter dated Jan. 9, reads, “We would like to share we are making a change… to ensure our use of inclusive language and practice.”
“Specifically, we have decided to remove the term ‘field’ from our curriculum and replace it with ‘practicum.’ This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language,” it continued.
The letter stated, “Language can be powerful, and phrases such as ‘going into the field’ or ‘field work’ may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign.”
Check out the letter below:
Today, @uscsocialwork sent out this letter announcing that they will no longer use the word “field” (as in “conducting field work”) because it’s perceived as racist. Is this with merit or empty virtue signaling? @elonmusk @IngrahamAngle pic.twitter.com/kgM9p4MAb5— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) January 10, 2023
It went on:
“Our goal is not just to change language but to honor and acknowledge inclusion and reject white supremacy, anti-immigrant and anti-blackness ideologies. Words are powerful, but even more so is action. We are committing to further align our actions, behaviors, and practices with anti-racism and anti-oppression, which requires taking a close and critical look at our profession.”
Finally, the letter stated, “We know that changing terminology can be challenging, and a complete transition will take some time, but we thank you in advance for joining us in this effort and for your patience as we transition.”
Trying to be inclusive and avoid unnecessarily offending people is a fine goal. There is no good reason to use language, knowing it would offend or hurt someone.
But come on.
This change seems like it was made after one person on Twitter without a profile picture and 33 followers claimed they were offended by someone using the phrase “going into the field.”
But it is a common phrase and a word that has a couple of definitions. And most people probably would not even associate the phrase or word with oppression.
This change seems ridiculous.