Here's an article with some quotes from the aforemetioned Diversity Officer:State Department: 'Hold down the fort,' other common phrases could be offensive
I can sorta see where the State Department has to be hyper-aware of things that might cause offense, since they're in the diplomacy business. This does make them look a tad silly, though.
The comment about "melting pot" vs "patchwork quilt" -- I have mixed feelings about this. The way the commenter has worded it, I think he's missed the point.
...the great "patchwork quilt" where every national, religious and subversive culture is celebrated with fanfare, except our own. ...
The point of the melting pot is that there's no such thing as "our own" culture; there's just a constantly-changing mix as new immigrants bring in new bits of their own culture. Ideally, we are continually updating "our" culture with the best imported bits, and throwing out the worst bits (new or old).
Anyway, I don't want to drag this thread completely off-topic. So getting back to how we moderate the forum...
Generally speaking, we ask two things of our members:
- Try to avoid giving offense.
- Try to avoid taking offense.
We aren't going to ban the word "handicapped" -- everyone on this forum has Internet access and is able to look up the real origin of the term
, which has nothing to do with "cap in hand". But if someone uses "handicapped" in an obviously offensive manner, we'll certainly take action.