I’m about to commit a thoughtcrime. Big Brother won’t like this, but I am infuriated by the recent banning of seven important words from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vocabulary. The words “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based” are no longer allowed to appear in the CDC budget.
This is a big deal.
This action, intended to begin to silence the American people, may also lead to reduced quality of programming and essential services. We cannot ignore health disparities that require us to acknowledge diversity. We cannot ignore the word fetus and downplay the importance of prenatal care or pretend like abortions don’t happen for many different reasons. We cannot ignore people who identify as transgender and their unique health needs. We cannot forget that our societal structure leaves particular members more vulnerable than others, necessitating the running of entitlement programs to create a more just and equitable society. Lastly, we cannot ignore the importance of program evaluation to ensure that we are making a positive and measurable impact on the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens using programming and curricula that is science and evidence-based.
Trump is testing the waters. We must sink this before has the chance to pull on his floaties and wade into the water. So, what can you do? Call your congresspeople and demand action. Don’t know who your congresspeople are? Look them up here. Then, print out this list of the CDC 7 banned words and display it in a prominent place to remind yourself that these words cannot be erased from our vernacular. There’s too much at stake.