Tag Archives: language

Language, Fear, & Leadership

Without notice or comment, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) recently removed from its mission statement a century-old introductory phrase… “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants…” At the same time, it added, “protecting Americans” and “securing the homeland” begging the question “From whom?” The implication is that Americans all must of a sudden now be protected from refugees, asylum seekers, and those seeking freedom and opportunity – just as our own grandparents did. It’s a chilling shift in attitude. The most destructive weapon against civil discourse lies in a leader’s effort to generate irrational fear. All the great autocrats have done this – fear of minorities, immigrants, women, the poor, intellectuals, the mentally handicapped, the “other.” A fearful …
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