It seems the American Heritage Dictionary had the audacity to revise its definition of the term “anchor baby” by labeling it as “offensive” and “disparaging” and that, according to Fox News, “is an attempt to manipulate the ‘linguistic landscape’ and push a leftist agenda, some opponents of illegal immigration say.” H/T Chris S
"Anchor baby” was one of 10,000 words added to the latest edition of the dictionary recently. As FoxNews.com tells it, Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center, was offended when she heard the American Heritage Dictionary’s executive editor read the dictionary’s original definition - "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."
Giovagnoli complained on her blog that the definition whitewashed the pejorative nature of the term and shortly thereafter, the definition was changed to: "Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."
After explaining the back story, FoxNews.com went on to quote three conservatives who are upset with the revision – and worked in attacks on illegal immigration and those who are more pro-immigrant while they were at it.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, was quoted as saying, "[An anchor baby] is a child born to an illegal immigrant… "I understand why people don't like the term, but I know lots of people who use it in a non-disparaging fashion. There really isn't a shorthand way of describing people like this, and there does need to be because it an important source of political debate: Should the children born to illegal immigrants get automatic citizenship?"
Bob Dane, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said, according to Fox, that “the revised definition panders to a small but vocal group of critics who are ‘manipulating the political, cultural and now linguistic landscape’ of the United States… This dictionary becomes a textbook for the open borders lobby."
The article concludes with a quote from William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration, saying, "The future of the United States is a place where you cannot speak your mind freely or engage in any terms or comments deemed inappropriate by the thought police… What's really offensive is how these pro-illegal immigrant groups are telling people how they can talk."
Comments on this thread seem to have disappeared. But given the sample our reader Chris S. captured, it’s easy to understand why that might have happened.
Mr Gheen should man up and keep using whatever language he wants to use and stop claiming the bogey man won’t let him talk, when what he really means is he wants to be free to use insults and hate speech without taking responsibility for it. Be man Mr. Gheen, its a free country—both for the speaker and the listener. That means you can speak as you wish, and I can decide whether that speech is naughty or nice.