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Tipsheet

Stanford Professor Pushes Back on University's New Forbidden Term

AP Photo/David Goldman

Stanford School of Medicine Professor Dr. Jay Bjattacharya is pushing back on absurd new guidelines from the university which urge faculty and students to avoid calling themselves "American."

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According to the Stanford University Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, the term "American" is "often refers to people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)."

The goal of the initiative is the following

The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI) is a multi-phase, multi-year project to address harmful language in IT at Stanford.

The goal of the Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative is to eliminate* many forms of harmful language, including racist, violent, and biased (e.g., disability bias, ethnic bias, ethnic slurs, gender bias, implicit bias, sexual bias) language in Stanford websites and code. The purpose of this website is to educate people about the possible impact of the words we use. Language affects different people in different ways.

This website focuses on potentially harmful terms used in the United States, starting with a list of everyday language and terminology.** Our "suggested alternatives" are in line with those used by peer institutions and within the technology community.

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Fellow immigrant Elon Musk, who is originally from South Africa, is also weighing in. 


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