Seattle mulls ban on ‘brown bag,’ other objectionable terms

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In Seattle, it may soon be illegal for government officials to use the terms “brown bag” and “citizens” in official city documents and discussions.

City politicos said such words are deemed offensive by many, and as such, they may abide the recent caveat from the Office of Civil Rights to avoid their usage, Fox News reported.

“Luckily, we’ve got options,” said Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights.

For instance, instead of “brown bag,” which can be seen as a judgment on skin color, taxpaid workers can use the term “lunch-and-learn” or “sack lunch,” Fox News reported.

“For a lot of particularly African-American community members, the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used, I understand, to determine if people’s skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home,” Mr. Bronstein said.

Other suggestions: Sub out “citizens” and insert “residents,” Bronstein said.

“They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn’t include a lot of folks,” he said.

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