QUESTION: What do these words have in common?
ANSWER: The Trump administration advised those at the HHS and CDC seeking federal funding against using these terms if they wanted greater chances of receiving that funding.
- For context follow the link here for an article in STAT.
- This is an article by CNN explaining the initial reporting and the later administration clarifications of the policy.
- It contains a link to pages from one of the original memoranda in question, which I have included here.
Some of these instructions were handed down in meetings, some in official government documents, like the Instructions For Preparing The FY 2019 Congressional Justifications (CJs), which specifically listed words to be “avoided.”
While initial reporting describing a “ban” on these words was hyperbolic, the explanation from the Trump administration itself were in no way reassuring to me.
Words represent concepts and attempting to remove them is an attempt to remove a concept, an attempt to remove and shape thought.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It is my opinion that: No government should, through prohibition or implication, suppress the ability of its people to think.
In part, we think in words. Regardless of how we might feel about any single word, we should be able to use them, whether right or wrong.
I want all of the words.
As an artist and a carver, the best way I can think of to keep them is to set them in stone.