Commonwealth Policy Center

Stanford University produced a document entitled the “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative.” The document proposes there are certain words that should be eliminated from our vocabulary due to negative connotations. “Master” is one of those words. The document explains, “Historically, masters enslaved people, didn’t consider them human and didn’t allow them to express free will, so this term should generally be avoided.” Stanford fails to realize that banning certain words doesn’t address a historical concept or acknowledge the fallenness of human nature. The initiative locates the problem in language, not human behavior. If Stanford wants to change the world, it should focus on producing students of character, and learning from history, instead of whitewashing vocabulary.