Seattle city government bans racist terms ‘citizen’ and ‘brown bag’

Charles Rollet Contributor
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Seattle’s government workers better watch their language: according to an internal memo, the terms “citizen” and “brown bag” could be offensive and are banned from use in official documents and discussions, KOMO-TV reports.

Elliott Bronstein of Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights reassured workers that other “options” exist: “for ‘citizens;’ how about ‘residents’?” read the memo.

The memo also suggests using terms “lunch-and-learn” or “sack lunch” instead of “brown bag,” which Bronstein described in an interview as pejorative to “a lot of particularly African-American community members.”

In the past, Seattle officials have tried to bowdlerize other potentially controversial terms, ranging from “Halloween” to “dinosaurs.”

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Charles Rollet