“A Rose By Any Other Name…….”

By now I’m sure most readers are aware that the San Francisco Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution recommending that the local justice system “rebrand” convicted felons who are released from prison.

So as to not hinder this person in his/her attempts to become contributing citizens again (were they ever?), they should not be referred to as felons but rather, “a formerly incarcerated person.” Since even that has a perjorative word in it, you may also call them “a justice involved individual.” If that is still too harsh for your tastes, “a returning citizen” will do just fine. You know, kinda like someone who just came back from years in the Congo trying to save children from ravaging disease.

After thinking about this for a while, it occurred to me that if we are going to destigmatize these “returning citizens” we’ll also have to rebrand their crime. Victims must learn to use these new descriptions when recounting the act or it will be decidedly unfair to the felon (oops, I mean person involved in the justice system).

Here’s some suggestions that might help people explain why they are suffering from PTSD while still showing sensitivity to the perpetrator.

It’s not, “I was mugged!” Rather, “I encountered a person who was intensely interested in my financial worth.”

It’s not, “I was kidnapped!” Rather, “I took an unplanned road trip with a human relocation expert.”

It’s not,”I was a victim of a mass shooter!” Rather, “I was unknowingly interacting with a life deprivation enthusiast.”

It’s not, “I was raped!” Rather, “I was physically enticed to share in an  sperm recipient event with a returning citizen..”

It’s not, “My car was stolen!” Rather, “My auto has been inexplicably removed from my proximity for an undetermined amount of time.”

It’s not, “My store was robbed at gun point!” Rather, “An unscheduled audit of my cash register was conducted by a customer with a compelling rationale.”

It’s not, “I was tortured!” Rather, “I was made cognizant of the upper limits of my pain threshold for an extended period.”

There you have it. That should totally complete the rehabilitation process of those unfortunate formerly incarcerated persons. I humbly suggest that their first job as newly productive citizens should be cleaning up the human excrement from the streets of San Francisco. The commissioners don’t seem to be as tuned into that problem.

Please remember, if this person moves in next door, he is not a “Parolee” he is “An individual with a supervisory need.”



21 thoughts on ““A Rose By Any Other Name…….”

  1. Al, this is an extremely well written blog…I highly agree with your thoughts and comments. It seems as a nation we think we can solve or address problems by merely renaming them or redefining them but the truth is more challenging than that. Plus…there has to be repercussions for wrong behavior…

    I am always willing to give someone a second (or third or whatever chance) but the road back has to begin with acknowledging wrong actions taken and being committed to living differently. I understand that there may be greater mountains to climb in the quest for a new life after inappropriate behavior but trying to make it appear that no wrong was done is simply not the way to do it. Thank you for your thoughts. jfh

    • Thanks, Janet. I am so tired of the criminal getting more understanding and attention than the victim. Always good to hear from my biker chick friend.

  2. The world is going nuts as there are more important things to tackle surely?? Careful my Bro, with your linguistic skills you could be headhunted! ❤

  3. Be very careful Al….with your skill at rewriting (creatively I might add) definitions of the crimes..the government might be wanting to hire you!!! Pure genius- those definitions!
    Did you have these creative responses when your mom asked you, as a kid, what you had been up to and where you had been? LOLOL

    • Funny, Faye. I don’t think anyone got rich as a professional euphemiser. I’d better keep my day job. Wait…I don’t have one. Oh well.

      As for my mother the response was always yes, ma’m. She was a tough customer.

  4. Great post Al ! A typical example of a snowflake government ! Personally, I would send both the snowflakes and ex-felons on a very, very, very long holiday to the Syria/Iraq border. Sunbeds optional. 🤔

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