Friday, November 12, 2010

It's. A. Slum.

I love academia. At the same time, academics fight over useless shit. We can't say, "Third World" anymore, let's say "developing world" (though, in my opinion, the West is still "developing." We certainly don't have all the answers). We can't say "tribe", it's "ethnic group" (though I notice the people who want to ban the word most are rich white people?). Now, it's not a "slum", it's an "informal settlement" (bullshit, even the UN calls it a slum. I mean, c'mon!).

OK, guys. Can we get real? I'm all for not sounded racist or condescending but is fighting over a word going to save people? Is calling it an informal settlement going to erase the fact that there's shit everywhere you put your foot down? Or the fact that you can have eight people in one house with two rooms and typhoid-water, if there's water at all? Or the fact that they're at risk for cholera and they very likely will mourn the death of at least one child? Or the fact that people have no claim to their land and that their government does not give a rat's ass about securing their rights? Or that women will find themselves pregnant and desperate enough to OD on toxic chemicals or perforate their cervices because they have no way to feed themselves, let alone a baby? Or that, even for those fortunate enough to earn a university degree, their future may still lie in selling fruit on the road side because they lack political connections to get a good job? Or that, if something bad happens, you have no recourse to go to the police because you're pretty much an illegal resident? Or that corruption hurts them the most?

Why are we worried about how nice or PC the word sounds? Shouldn't we be more worried that people have to live in their own excrement and that their government treats them like the refuse that fills their neighborhoods?

I mean, get real.

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