She’s a Democrat.

Not surprising, since she wants to take a perfectly good description and substitute something that’s the exact opposite.

Seems that Rosa Franklin is wanting to do away with “at risk” as a description of disadvantaged kids, and in its place use “at hope”.  I’m sure her heart is in the right place.  I’m sorry her head isn’t.

I’m not immune to the argument.  My favorite niece has Down syndrome, and people in her situation are different.  They learn at a slower pace.  It would be technically accurate to call her mentally retarded, in the sense of not being as advanced as others.  But that word has been abused over the years and has become a common insult.  The word has lost its descriptive value, and retains only the negative aspects.  Mark (here and here) and Angie are opposed to using that word, and I agree with them.  Caroline is more than an extra chromosome.  She’s a gift from God, a loving (and lovely) child, and an occasional stinker.  She has a big and bright future ahead of her, and that future is not summed up in a word like retard.

“At risk” does not rise to that level of abuse or misapplication.  It is a simple description, and seems to be correctly used in this case.  The kids being discussed do seem to be at risk of failing to achieve their potential.  “At risk” is not a playground insult.  But changing the description to “at hope” won’t alter the children’s situation in the least.  It seems like it would draw attention to the term rather than the children being described.

It makes me want to get out my “air quotes“.

I am at risk.  I’m at risk of not living to be 250 years old when I die (a rather large risk, that one).  And I’m at risk of winning the state lottery (a fairly low risk there, since I don’t play).  I’m not “at hope” for either of those.

In fact, since “at hope” is supposed to translate into “poor”, and I’m not in that category (either materially or spiritual-blessing-ly), you could say that I’m hopeless.

I never would have guessed.

Advertisements