Hello my KG loves! As we celebrate the birth of America this week, Kindness Gems believes it is so very important to also celebrate ALL of the people that make up this country. We must highlight the ideals of Juneteeth to commemorate African American freedom, families, heritage, and the becoming of the ancestors’ dream. This week, more than ever, we need to act as an ally to fight with all minorities and come together as one force to better this country. When it comes to being an ally, we must understand how words and phrases we often use may be harmful to others. Today we want to give you a list of words to remove from your vocabulary in order to be a better ally!
- Colored. It is very offensive to single out one person as “colored.” This stems back to the segregationist history prior to the 1960’s when “colored-only” restrooms and water fountains existed.
- Retarded. Mental retardation was once a clinical term to label those who have intellectual disabilities. Using this word to mean “stupid” degrades those who have disabilities.
- Illegal. This word can be used to refer to the act of stealing someone’s property, however it should not be used in reference to migrant populations. Those advocating for harsher immigration policies have abused phrases such as “illegal aliens.” These phrases are racist & can be replaced with “undocumented.”
- OCD. Often, the term “OCD” is used by people who prefer a tidy work area or bedroom. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, however, is a mental illness that goes beyond having an affinity for organization. OCD affects those who possess it by removing their control over certain thoughts or activities. Therefore, it is impolite to use it when referring to a clean person.
- Ghetto. The term is often used to describe something/some place that is unfavorable or cheap. It refers to the poorest and most segregated parts of cities. It has almost become synonymous with poor and black, which is why it carries negative connotations that can be insulting.
- Tranny. This word is a derogatory slur used to refer to transgender people. There is a history behind the word of violence and oppression inflicted upon transgender bodies that we must recognize and respect to overcome it. This word should not be used as it dehumanizes transgender people.
- Exotic. Exotic is a term used to describe things that are foreign or unfamiliar. When used to describe a person, it has underlying racist connotations and can be very insulting. The word should be used to describe plants and animals, not humans.
Our KG community is one that stands together to fight for those in need. Being an ally for those underrepresented is so important, however we need to make sure we are educated and understand the vocabulary to help us be a better ally. This week I am recommending the gemstone, Amethyst, as it is one of purity, compassion, and strength. Use this stone this week to help you show compassion towards our large, diverse American family.