Jesse Singal: The AMA jumps the Woke Shark, introduces Medspeak

November 1, 2021 • 9:15 am

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association are now beyond redemption since they’ve decided to steep their organizations in “progressive” ideology and also to issue fulsome apologies for their past behavior. But this I found unbelievable:  tweets sent by Jesse Singal and forwarded by Luana. The AMA is policing language to conform to an extreme Leftist view of the world.  Welcome to Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s Medspeak:

I’ll just expand the text:

What the AMA is doing here is taking statements of fact and then politicizing them by ascribing those facts to various debatable ideological positions. In other words, they’re adding irrelevant ideological material in service of their viewpoint. This of course stifles any discussion. But since when is the AMA supposed to police language?

I’ll add a few more of Singal’s tweets from that thread; you can enlarge the text for yourself.  There are 15 tweets in the thread.

You can check Singal’s excerpts out by clicking below, which will take you to the 54-page document. It provides hours of amusement unless you have high blood pressure, in which case you’ll blow an artery.

They also have a convenient glossary where you can amuse yourself by turning up stuff like this. Note the “subjective” part, designed to denigrate an objective sexual binary (yes, of course there are very rare exceptions, like hermaphrodites, but they are not members of “a different sex”). The glossary doesn’t even give a hint that there is “biological” sex defined by relative gamete size, and virtually all humans can be classified as one or the other of two sexes. When I sorted flies, they were either male or female (with dissection invariably showing the correct gametes) or, once every six months or so, a gynandromorph, reflecting loss of a chromosome.

Throughout there is unquestioning endorsement of the ideas of Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo:

Why is that in there? Why would a doctor ever need the concept of “white fragility”? It’s in there to cater to the Woke.

More: an unquestioning acceptance of the tenets of Kendi, with no dissent permitted.

Enough for me. It appears we’ve lost this battle, but I still find value in pushing back, which may inspire others to follow.

[Added note by GCM: The AMA brochure is even nuttier than it appears on first view. It says not to use the words vulnerable, marginalized, and high-risk, but then uses the words repeatedly in its preferred usages!! It’s as though the approved and disapproved sections were written by two different people!]

84 thoughts on “Jesse Singal: The AMA jumps the Woke Shark, introduces Medspeak

  1. I do not understand why the medical establishment wants to get in the middle of this kind of stuff. Why don’t they take a stand on the states that refuse additional Medicare coverage for the poor? Maybe take a stand on the dark ages medical position of Texas or the Supreme Court for that matter. All they need to do is recognize the data that says minorities are dying at a higher rate during the pandemic due to poor health care. Why is America the only advanced country that does not provide health care to people? Or maybe that bankruptcies number one cause is health costs.

    1. Be careful with that phrase, “due to”.
      Minorities died at higher rates in Canada, too, even though everyone has free care from doctors and hospitals and both testing (if done by a test centre, not off your own bat because you want to travel, say) and vaccination are free everywhere. The government even made extra effort to get vaccination to remote northern fly-in communities and the urban marginalized, even setting up BIPOC-only clinics in some cities. No one without evidence of insurance coverage (e.g., illegals) was turned away sick
      Deaths were higher even among minorities who are not regarded as particularly oppressed or disadvantaged but had cultural opposition or apathy both toward vaccination and the attempts at stringent non-pharmacologic control measures that preceded it.
      (Because Canada does not collect health information by race it is not easy to verify my assertion by looking at weekly Covid statistics. Academic articles are starting to appear about this; the publication stream is only now beginning to catch up after priorizing treatment articles for two years. But everyone knows it is true.)

      America I think knew something that Canadians are just now figuring out. That “free” health care is essentially an enormous shift of wealth from wealth-earners to an expansionary medical industry on behalf of “those people”. Canadians would not build a system like we have today if we knew then (1960s) what we know now. The evidence for that statement is that demands from the Left to expand our list of free first-dollar universally covered services beyond doctors and hospitals to things like drugs, dentistry, optometry, and allied services like physiotherapy and psychological counselling go nowhere. Currently these services are covered by employer-sponsored private insurance plans which, as in the States, are a non-taxable benefit. People seem to like it that way.

      1. “Be careful with that phrase, ‘due to’.”

        Another reason to be careful with the phrase “due to” is that it’s often used ungrammatically, as it is in Randall’s post: “minorities are dying at a higher rate during the pandemic due to poor health care.” “Due to” is an adjective and can modify only nouns or pronouns–e.g., his death was due to poor health care.” The proper phrase here is “because of,” which is an adverb and can modify the verb “dying”–i.e., “minorities are dying at a higher rate during the pandemic because of poor health care.” My apology for the pedantry, but I wanted to beat Ken K. to the punch. 😊

          1. “You’re wrong” [about the correct usage of “due to” and because of”]

            Thanks for the link, Jim. It only serves to show that grammarians are like the priests of language: as every Catholic knows, if you shop around long enough you can find one who will condone just about anything.

      2. ‘That “free” health care is essentially an enormous shift of wealth from wealth-earners to an expansionary medical industry on behalf of “those people”.’

        What is a “wealth-earner,” as opposed to a wage earner or employee or member of the “working class”? (What does one call those who are not members of the “working class,” other than members of the “non-working” class?)

        1. “Wealth-earner” is imprecise, yes. I really mean people who do not have to spend every dollar they bring in and have some left over to invest and create wealth. These are not necessarily high-income earners but often are.

          Because you ask, I will give some numbers, to forestall a lot of to-and-fro-ing which annoys our host. Canada uses a steeply progressive income tax regime. The top marginal rate of ~55% (varies by province as the fed and prov tax regimes are blended) applies at CDN$220,000; mortgage interest and municipal property taxes are not deductible in computing this taxable income and income-splitting is not allowed for married couples until retirement. For all intents and purposes, taxable income = total nominal income on your salary letter less any contributions you make to a retirement plan.). In this scheme, the top quintile (family income CDN$186,875 and over) pays 64% of the total personal income tax collected nationally after earning 49% of the income earned nationally. The top 10% would all hit the top marginal rate and would pay an even greater share proportionate to income. I think most Canadians earning figures like this would consider themselves comfortably but not plutocratically well off. The traditionally defined “blue-collar working class” pays much less individually and collectively into the tax coffers. Even the third quintile, ($81-122k) pays 11% of the income tax on 15% of the national personal income. (“Working class” used to be used to describe those who had to work for a living as distinct from landed aristocrats who earned their living from rents. In the modern economy even Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos work. Hard.) There are other taxes as well, VAT 7% and steep excise taxes on motor fuel, alcohol, and tobacco but because well-off people spend proportionately less (and invest proportionately more) of their income, these consumption taxes fall more heavily on lower-income people and so make the system slightly less progressive. Very-low-income people get the VAT returned to them. Capital gains and profits are taxed also..

          So that’s where the money comes from. Where does it go?
          The proportion of total taxes spent to run the health care system is difficult to figure out. It consumes ~50% of provincial spending, nearly double that of all education, K to grad school. But provincial governments receive large transfers of tax money from the federal government for health and other purposes. So an educated guess would be that at least a third of our entire government spending at both levels goes to health care. Some provinces are heavily dependent on government transfers (which come ultimately from high-income earners across the country), others are closer to self-funding. The federal government and most of the provinces run large annual deficits, even before Covid, much of which are down to open-ended health spending.

          But people in the upper quintile are modest-to-minimal users of the health-care system. The big users of the system are the low-income people: the old (income falls in retirement) and the poor (who pay negative tax when credits and welfare are added in.) So the net effect is a transfer of wealth from upper-income earners (who would be wealthier if they didn’t have to pay it, and instead bought private insurance that covered only themselves) to the doctors and employees who earn good-to-handsome guaranteed incomes in the system. The poor receive large quantities of free health services but are not economically any better off, because it is well-known that consuming health care does not improve your social or financial situation It may improve health but surprisingly modestly. Life expectancy is correlated with national wealth, the wealth of the quintile you live in, and how much spread there is between rich and poor, but not on how much your society spends on health care in aggregate or on how much it spends on you. That latter correlation is actually negative as you can perhaps intuit.

          Now, I don’t argue that any of this is unfair to better-off Canadians. If we thought it was, we’d live somewhere else. My point is just that we spend a lot of money on free health care for a return that is now, especially as we dig out from Covid, starting to look rather shabby and mediocre when compared with OECD countries. Most of the money comes from a small high-tax-paying segment (my imprecisely defined “wealth-earners”) who wonder if they are getting their money’s worth when services they now want that improve quality of life, like joint replacements, required an 18-month wait even before Covid. I offer it also as a cautionary tale to Americans who think they can fund free health care for all without some combination of higher taxes (like a VAT), price and wage controls, and rationing to patients, all of which Canada does.

          Ref: Links to a pdf, “Full Report” 2017

          1. Lest our American friends misunderstand, the goals of the Fraser Institute do not include helping Americans to avoid the horrors of a Canadian-like healthcare system. The FI is much more focused on helping Canada to develop a US-style healthcare system. With a chicken in every pot, and a Jaguar in every (physician’s) driveway.

            The high ratio of Leslie’s total word count (2070, not including links) to the OP (370, not including tweets) reminded me of this golden oldie from Rudy Tanzi. That one was epic.


            Made me wonder if Jerry has every thought about organizing a greatest hits collection?

            1. Never gets old – Feynman said it best (could not find exact verified quote):

              The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

            2. Source of the “fool” quote :

              The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
              “Cargo Cult Science”, adapted from a 1974 Caltech commencement address; also published in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, p. 343

          2. The thing is Leslie, you appear to be entirely preoccupied with what you get out of it personally. Thankfully, many people see things differently. We consider trivial things like compassion and the wish to build a better society to be important, and we are happy to contribute to that end.

            I’m fortunate to live in the UK, which as you will know has an imperfect, but free at the point of care, public health service. I’m also fortunate enough to be one of those wealth-earners you speak of, which means I pay a quite eye-watering amount of money to the tax man. I’m even more fortunate that my employer provides me and my family with comprehensive private medical insurance. We barely even use the NHS, so for all that money I contribute to the NHS, I personally receive no benefit in return.

            I’m helping others get the treatment they need. I’m enabling them to exercise their fundamental human right to access health care. I’ll never know who they are, and they will never thank me, but that doesn’t matter to me. This makes me feel great, and quite proud actually.

            The NHS isn’t perfect, but it means that no one has to decide if having chemotherapy is worth losing their house. No one has to face bankruptcy to give their kid heart surgery. The thought of people having to make these choices because of their financial or employment situation decisions appals me. In anything approaching a civilised society it’s cruel and unacceptable.

            In any analysis I have ever seen, free at point of care, single payer healthcare is less expensive and delivers more value per capita than any other system. This is especially true for the US system. Though it’s 3 or 4 years old, this podcast gives a great overview – I highly recommend it: Unhealthy Numbers.

            Not only is it great to know you are helping others, but they also feel great as they receive treatment without going broke. No one in the UK has to live with long standing health problems because of their financial or employment situation. Compare that with the US and you’ll notice that the contrast is stark and disturbing. The knowledge that you will ALWAYS have quality healthcare is a great societal leveller.

            To a greater degree than almost anything else, free healthcare provides true freedom to the individual. If you are ill and poor, it’s a million times more liberating than free market capitalism, or a low regulatory burden for tech startups. Society as a whole is burdened with less worry and less stress when people know they will alway be cared for. To me and many, many others, this is definitely worth paying for, even if I get nothing back personally

  2. As a Texan, I agree. Maybe they could come out in support of Medicare negotiated prices for those drugs they prescribe.

    1. Here’s why they won’t. For certain drugs that have to be given either by a physician or under a physician’s supervision (chiefly i.v. drugs given in a clinic, like chemotherapy), the physician’s practice buys the drugs and then charges the patient’s insurance company a marked-up price to cover the cost of the clinic where it was given (rent, insurance, nurse salary, etc.) and of course a “reasonable, prevailing, and customary” profit. These drugs are often eye-wateringly expensive. The higher the wholesale price, the more lucrative the drug at retail, just as there is more profit selling tricked-out F150s than there is from Honda Civics, assuming you can sell an F150 with no more effort than a Civic (true in medical markets.) The last thing the AMA would want to do is undercut the financial health of their members’ practices.

      Now, this wouldn’t preclude AMA from encouraging CMS to seek price breaks on drugs that doctors just prescribe and don’t buy and sell, like pills. But because the really expensive doctor-sold drugs are the low-hanging fruit, these would be the first targets for any legally permitted Medicare negotiations.

  3. I’m glad the AMA and APA fixed everything with their kind little words written down on a page.

    Only question now is :

    Nobel Peace Prize or Nobel Literature Prize for Doctor Kendi and Robin DiAngelo? Or would that itself be racist?… the “Doctor” part too?….

  4. Does there exist any evidence whatsoever that this destructive and disastrous trend (anti-rational as well as divisive) is not intensifying? Like all totalizing faiths, “wokeism” would seem to be in the process of engulfing everything within its dictates and its dogmas.

    1. I think that few doctors, especially older ones (say over 40) will adopt this language. Probably few of them will even become aware of the document. The real danger is that this nonsense will be taught in medical schools.

      As an aside, I wonder if my use of the word “older” in the above paragraph is an indication of my rank ageism. Perhaps, I should have used an expression such as “chronologically wiser.” 😊

      1. It absolutely is being taught in Canadian medical schools, which are rapidly trying to “indigenize”. For doctors who have already graduated, “culturally safe care” is being formulated as an expectation for continued licensure at the provincial self-regulatory “colleges” as they are called in Canada. This concept has a (long and woke) definition here: A doctor appointed to a hospital or other government-run clinic would be bound by this policy, in addition to whatever policies the provincial college would apply (which would govern all doctors.) And violating a policy of a hospital or government is automatically professional misconduct.

        While doctors have always had an obligation to know their patient’s circumstances to help each other understand what “getting better” would mean for that patient, some specific expectations seem likely to cause problems. For example, many front-line workplaces have a zero-tolerance policy on abuse of staff by customers, clients, and patients, and aren’t interested in excuses. Yet doctors are now asked (i.e., commanded) to accept that behaviour by indigenous patients perceived as hostile and abusive is actually a justified response to colonialism generally and prior experience of racism at the hands of other facets of the medical-industrial complex of which you, the current player, are merely a cog in the wheel. A doctor may be expected to take it gracefully but the office staff won’t, if the doctor has to take down his zero-tolerance notice to avoid complaints.

        The good news is that running a first-tier medical school is like herding cats. The faculty comprises hundreds of highly intelligent people skilled at maximizing their own academic success in research, teaching, and clinical practice. They are very good at fending off competitors for funding and curriculum hours and, more generally, the efforts of administration to make their lives difficult. Students are also good at realizing what they have to give lip service to, in order to stay out of trouble, and what they really have to know to save lives. This is especially true for those disciplines that can only be done by people with medical degrees and many years of post-graduate residency training. When you are in shock after a car crash, who you gonna call?

        1. Ever since the Ontario Law Society made renewal of a law license dependent on submitting a suitably self-abasing ‘diversity statement’ I have been waiting for the colleges of Physicians ans surgeons to do something similar. It is certainly at the point where a complaint made against a physician for expressing a defensible but un-trendy belief is likely to be upheld, like the existence and immutability of biological sex, for example. The college in a province I once practiced in has declared itself guilty of anti-indigenous racism in the way it regulates the profession, and spent a great deal of cash on inviting anti-racists to come in and tell them how to do it better. Goodness knows what the annual fees are now!

          1. Exhortations by national medical associations on either side of the border are generally ignored because they have no actual power over doctors. Where the concerns lie are first in the provincial colleges, as you identify, because a doctor’s licence is at stake in a complaint. Yes, use of the wrong pronoun would be investigated if the patient (or even a non-patient like a nurse) felt strongly enough to pay for the stamp to mail in the required written complaint. If you could convince the investigator (and the aggrieved party) that it was a slip of the tongue for which you are abjectly profoundly sorry, you might get off with a warning. What a College would never do is accept your argument that your refusal to use the patient’s pronoun was a defensible but un-trendy belief. I suspect most American state licensing boards would take the same view. We do have to meet people where they’re at.

            Where the CPSOntario is going with indigenous health issues can be gleaned from this story in its house organ:
            Dialogue is available to all members of the public so I am not breaching any confidentiality obligations by linking to it The article is a news story written by a lay professional writer and is not policy as it stands. But doctors are expected to take notice.
            An interesting counterpoint is what to do when a patient displays overtly hostile racist behaviour toward a doctor.

            The two national certifying bodies, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada set the standards for entry to practice in their disciplines including passing examinations in skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour (so far not political beliefs.) So they do have actual power. They also run the mandatory continuing education activities for maintenance of certification and, therefore, licensure. Not being in practice any more, I don’t follow what these bodies are up to but the curious can peruse their public websites. “Legacies of colonialism” have certainly featured prominently in RCPSC’s position papers and goals of training in the past.

            In the United States, the certification and standards-setting process is more diffuse but a good place to start would be with state licensing boards, to see what authority they defer to in determining who gets to practise medicine. The AMA document is probably irrelevant, except that the ideas tend to be transfected into the bodies that have actual power, like the certifying bodies and thence to the licensing and conflict-resolution quangos.

  5. Total gut reply; I’m celebrating today with my lovely wife with breakfast champagne and an omelet with fresh mushrooms, peppers, etc…it’s a movie / book day for us here in the Wisconsin Northwoods.

    When did UNDERSTANDING the problems and inequities in the American system and at the same time doing our best to SOLVE them, change to thinking that merely PROCLAIMING problems/inequities was somehow better?

  6. I’m a practicing physician, and I dropped my AMA membership years ago. Its mission seems to have diverged from the one we all assumed it would have: support us–in practicing evidence-based medicine. JAMA is a useful journal to be sure, but documents such as the one referenced in this article precluded my continuing membership in the AMA.

  7. This is sick. I can’t imagine my doctor spewing this nonsense. Few practitioners will succumb to such propaganda, thanks to their medical school training in reason and objectivity. My prediction is that these phrases will quietly die the death they deserve. They check the “We’re not racists” box for the AMA, but nothing more.

  8. It would be really interesting to know the backstory on how such a document got created. I doubt we’ll ever hear but it seems important to understanding the dynamics of the Woke phenomenon. Is it the HR department proposing this to upper management and they acceding to it, wanting to keep their corporate heads down? Are the corporate heads more worried about the public or their own employees?

    My guess this is something started by woke employees of these organizations. Management goes along with it, wanting to avoid any kind of backlash or even the barest hint of supporting racism. If the woke employees demand that their company take a stand against anti-racism, how can management afford to deny them? It’s the path of least resistance, the best outcome considering the possibilities. No public organization wants to be on the wrong side of the racism issue.

    1. My own guess is that the AMA hired somebody or some organization to do this because they thought it would “look good” and didn’t realize how truly cringeworthy the result it would be. Only now they can’t walk it back at all because they know doing so definitely won’t “look good.”

      1. I feel pretty strongly that so much of this sort of thing is motivated by lazy organizations wanting cookie-points without having to change anything structural to address real problems. Schools change a mascot? They get kudos and then get to sell new merch. AMA has this sheet? We still have a seriously messed up health care system. It’s all just cosmetic pandering.

      2. You are probably right that they farmed out the message to some sort of professional drivel merchant, but that still leaves the actual motivation as an open question. Was a gun held to their heads and, if so, by whom? I always assume that the people in such organizations that hold the power agree with us but that they take the path of least risk.

  9. I forget the exact wording, but iirc one of the recommendations was to replace saying that people in poor communities often avoid going to the doctor with a statement about poor communities lacking services (because discrimination, etc.) But those aren’t the same situation. Even when there are sufficient health care facilities, a high percentage of low-income people avoid them.

    Why? And how to remedy that?

    Well, if you can’t name the problem, you can’t ask those questions and try to fix it. It’s an example of how AMA trying to be “sensitive” to a vulnerable group by changing language isn’t just performative, but actually counterproductive.

    1. Even when there are sufficient health care facilities, a high percentage of low-income people avoid them.

      Most likely it’s just too expensive. The AMA is happy to talk about racial and gender issues, but cost has evidently become taboo.

      1. My understanding is that cost is only part of it. Other factors might include a distrust of authority and alternative cultural practices like prayer. But they can hardly start investigating what contributes to the problem if they began with an Approved Answer.

        1. Yes, I agree. Cost may or may not be the cause but if you can’t name the problem you can’t investigate why it happens and are forced to just assume the reason. All too often our assumptions turn out to be ill-founded.

  10. The percentage of practicing physicians who are members of the AMA has dropped from the 50th percentile in the 1950’s to about 12% today. Got a feeling it’s about to go lower still.

  11. Paul Topping and Sastra are undoubtedly on the right track above. The AMA presumably brought in a
    Diversity Consultant to make recommendations—the way the AIC hired a consultant firm which advised it to fire all its docents. The AMA’s consultant was evidently a half-educated acolyte of Kendi/DiAngelo with little actual medical knowledge—probably a lumpen-academic with some prior connection to a “Global Health” department—who wrote this agitprop for the client. As Gingerbaker implies, the AMA may have joined the fashion trend of hiring such consultants in a forlorn attempt to improve its feeble membership among physicians. Let us hope it turns out to have the opposite effect.

  12. I have physics fragility: I exhibit disbelief when currently held ideas about physics are challenged.

    Not that I’m unwilling to change my mind, just that ‘disbelief until evidence is provided’ seems far better than the alternative of ‘immediately believe whatever challenge is presented.’

  13. Practicing clinicians won’t give 2 F’s what a document like this has to say until it gets cited in a lawsuit – then they’ll care but not in the way intended.

  14. As Charlie Sykes wrote when he retweeted this thread of Singal, and I quote, “You people really want Trump again, don’t you?”

    1. Of course, Sykes is correct. Indeed, Trump and the far-right can only look upon the actions of the far left with glee and the hope that they continue down the road to their own self-destruction. Many important elections are very close, and the far left, in their infinite obtuseness, have no hint that their actions could persuade fence sitters to vote Republican. And if in the not impossible scenario that the Republicans take over Congress and the presidency, democracy will be lost, perhaps for good. If this happens those who fear the Woke will need to worry no more. The latter will be crushed as if a steamroller went over an ant, and they will have no clue that they played a major role in their own demise.

      1. If only. . . but no, GOP are not up for governance. They had everything locked up at the beginning of Trump’s term, and did nothing that they campaigned on, lowered corporate tax rates, and then whined why woke capital turned around and bit them on the rear end.

        No, the GOP won’t do anything constructive, just lots of circuses, they just want lobbying jobs after they get voted out, its like an army of Sinema’s, with a couple of Bible thumpers, Gold Bugs and libertarians on the fringes.

  15. The ongoing march of wokeness like this, pushed by Leftist groups out of touch with the wider community, WITH Biden’s dwindling approval numbers, combined with Trump’s ongoing apparently successful machiavelin program for whipping up descent heading in to future elections…makes me rather nervous about 2024.

    I’m trying to picture a realistic situation that isn’t utterly F*cked in 2024, and can’t conjure it.

      1. Yeesh.

        The problem is that every analysis I’ve seen for how things are going – increasing polarization, GOP continuing down the insanity route, Left wokism etc, – usually ends up either saying “I don’t really see how we get out of this” or makes snowball-chance-in-hell recommendations like “time for brave GOPers to stand up against Trump” or on the other hand just grumblings about how crazy the woke contingent is.

        It’s hard to see anything but raging fires in the crystal ball.

        1. It is hard to see a solution at this point but, trying to be positive, we are not really in the 2024 campaign yet. Once it really starts, probably two years from now, Trump will have accumulated more cuts and Biden will hopefully have some wins. Perhaps the economy will be doing well and inflation brought under control. Trump will no longer be in hiding and will have to start really campaigning. His GOP minions will be falling all over themselves trying to outdo each other’s most recent outrage. It is going to be really, really ugly and will turn a lot of people off. In short, the Dems’ ugly period is now because they are trying to make policy. The GOP’s ugly period will be during the campaign.

    1. Hey, leave it to the Democrats to make education the #1 issue in Virginia, and find a way to convince voters that the GOP is actually better on public education. Maybe Garland can call out the FBI to investigate “domestic terrorists” at heavy GOP-leaning polling stations tomorrow?

      1. They have managed to do pretty much just that-except, no only in GOP leaning districts. They have managed to piss off and/or scare enough people that Youngkin pulls off large rallies in the bluest VA town, Alexandria.

  16. White fragility includes behaviors such as argumentation, silence or leaving the situation. So basically every option other than fully agreeing with the person calling you a despicable, white-supremacist, racist bigot.

    Doesn’t leave one many options does it? Admit your white fragility or confirm it by denying it. It’s like a Monty Python skit.

    1. Why would charges of white supremacy be handled any different from charges of witchcraft? The cattle die in Africa from witchcraft, racial inequality persists in American from white supremacy. In fact, in Africa, you can unconsciously curse a neighbor and cause their cattle to die, it works just like white supremacy that way.

      1. While we are at it, its Eurocentric to insist on due process or presumptions of innocence, and its Eurocentric to deny the reality of witchcraft, belief in which is common in most of the world, where witchcraft trials take place without due process or presumptions of innocence. Enjoy the progress!

      2. Witch Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for Witches to Talk about Sorcery by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, published by the Beacon Press, 1486

    2. Per the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, I reasonably gather that white fragility also includes being polite, being inclined to respect others’ and one’s own privacy, having reasonable regard and respect for the written word, and being on time.

  17. To those offended by being denominated “disabled” be reminded that it used to be “crippled”. A word takes it’s meaning from the referent…not the other way around. So if you change the word to “superduperabled” it will eventually be the same a “crippled”.

    1. It’s the euphemism treadmill! In the 1800s, mentally disabled people were called “idiots” or “morons,” then considered clinical terms. Then they became “retarded,” but “retarded” soon became a schoolyard taunt, so the preferred term became “mentally challenged” — which in turn degenerated into a joke. Academics or corporations invent euphemisms to describe a marginalized group and then the euphemism becomes tainted by association, thereby spawning the creation of new euphemisms.

      The same thing happens with terms for other groups: e.g. “the poor” became “low-income” or “disadvantaged.” A lot of political correctness/wokeism involves creating new terminology for marginalized groups in the hope of raising their status, but it usually doesn’t have the desired results. Quibbling about language allows the woke brigades to believe that they are furthering the cause of social justice without expending any real effort to tackle the root causes of inequality.

      1. Are you saying that the decision to stop using the word “retarded” for people who perform at an age level lower then their physical age is the same as the language changes being suggested in this booklet?

        Do you consider it “woke” or “politically correct” not to say “retarded”.

        I don’t see “learning disability” or “learning disorder” as euphemisms. Euphemisms for what?”

        1. Do you consider it “woke” or “politically correct” not to say “retarded”[?]

          Yes, but I’ve simply gone along with the trend because it’s too late to go back. “Mentally retarded” started out as a neutral, clinical term to describe someone whose intellectual development was lagging behind those of his or her peers. It was not intended as an insult—it simply became one in popular usage. Three or four decades ago it was considered a neutral term and I remember seeing it used in newspaper articles and books—but it has gradually become a taboo word. From a moral standpoint, though, it’s no worse than “learning disability.”

          I don’t have a problem with “learning disability” or “learning disorder,” but I predict that those terms will eventually fall out of favor and be replaced by some new term, just as “retarded” has been today. The point is that people invent polite terms to cover up an unpleasant reality, but the polite terms become tainted by association and new terms must continually be invented.

          1. “Retarded” was in fact originally supposed to be a kindler gentler way of referring to idiots and morons (literally the French word for slow, which was another euphemism for idiot or moron etc).

    2. Yup, I remember regularly passing a “Cripples Crossing” road sign (in Eltham, if I recall correctly) when my parents drove us into London when we were kids. Changing that sign made no improvement to those whose lives it sought to protect, it just replaced one wording with another – they probably changed it to “Elderly People Crossing”, which then caused a different kind of offence…

    3. I remember seeing in a 1990s book (‘Smoke Jumpers’) satirizing Political Correctness (The book called it ‘Total Sensitivity’) the phrase ‘Infant Person Arrival Area’, it replaced the term ‘Maternity Ward’ because the word ‘Ward’ implied dependency.

  18. The AMA publication follows the CDC’s “Inclusive Communication” guidance, in which the agency requests that all of its professional partners join them on the quest to wherever they are going this particular week.

    Below is a list of CDC “preferred terms” where each of us can see how out-of-date we are. And, Historian, your use of “older” is approved, but don’t you dare say “elderly”. Other now frowned upon terms include: alcoholic, smoker, the uninsured, and homosexual. Reading this, I see that I have much penance to do.

    1. I will work hard to memorize the list. I dare not make a mistake; to do so could result in dire consequences. 😊

  19. We are going to lose a generation. This crap is just Cultural Revolution II, just put the peasants in charge of the hospitals and see how your health care improves, no qualifications necessary you racist reactionary capitalist apologist.

  20. Will there come a time when patients have to answer a series of questions toeing the correct ideological line in order to be worthy of beining treated by some woke physician? Do I as a patient have as much right to a breath-taking sense of entitlement in insisting that I don’t have to be on time for a procedure, or that I have no less a right to make life more difficult for health care professionals who are there to help me? (Especially if I want to give grief to some woke physician or resident or intern who thinks I should be on time but who thinks she/he/they don’t have to be on time for professional meetings/rounds/obligations, and that to require that of them is somehow racist.)

  21. This is an unintended consequence of the Civil Rights Act. No one is safe from litigation, which means they hope they use this when (more than if) they have such a case on their hands. And of course as has already been pointed out, it benefits no one more than Trump.

  22. It is interesting that both sides here have at least tacitly agreed on one thing. It does matter what you say. If people didn’t think it mattered then why would they expend so much energy on this document or call this a “battle”?

    So one side says that substituting certain phrases for certain others will make things better and the other side say that substituting those phrases will make things worse.

    This seems to suggest that if this was ever studied and researched properly by universities then there might be a way of finding out if certain kinds of language and changing narratives really can help alleviate inequities. I suppose it might depend upon how rigorously these concepts can be defined and if they can be measured in meaningful ways.

    I do hear tell that universities sometimes engage in empirical research when the demands of culture war duties will allow.

    1. “If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. ”
      — George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

  23. There was a time when you didn’t have to instruct medical professionals on how to toe the party line because they were all members of the same party and no more noticed the party line than they notice the air they breathe. Now we are in times of re-education which has its own set of dangers and pitfalls. Especially for those formerly in power

  24. Unfortunate, really, that the list omitted “Disease assigned at diagnosis”. This would, of course be the concept of a medical condition based on subjective evaluation of external and physiological symptoms, and their comparison to various medical categories—which may or may not align with what the subject
    themself claims. But we can hope that that will come next.

  25. Shouldn’t the AMA, being the responsible and virtuous people that they present themselves to be, go beyond simply acknowledging that their corporate properties are on misappropriated lands? It’s time to do the right thing, to hand those properties over to the indigenous peoples who are the rightful heirs.

    1. Which indigenous people – the ones who won the battle between other indigenous people, or the other indigenous people who lost that battle?… that we know of?…

      … and why am I getting the felling that the word couplet “indigenous people” is now evil language to wield?…

  26. Many of us declined to join the AMA years ago when it was a reactionary, conservative organization, so it’s been interesting to see the 180 degree switch; more reason not to join the AMA today.

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