August 20, 2015 by David K. Sutton
Is The Term ‘Anchor Baby’ Offensive?
Donald Trump has repeatedly used the the term “anchor baby” on the Republican presidential campaign trail. But, is the term “anchor baby” offensive? I think that is the wrong question. And it’s especially the wrong question when asked of the purveyor.
When someone uses a potentially pejorative term, it’s not up to the person using the term to define its offensiveness. For example, I’m sure there are still people who believe the N-word is not offensive, but do we take their evaluation seriously?
Beyond the offensiveness question, which is really just a distraction, we should look at why one would use a term like “anchor baby.” Sure, it’s a shorthand that is easier to say then “babies born to undocumented immigrants.” But, being a catchy shorthand term does not make it any less dehumanizing, which is precisely why the term exists. It might be easier to say, but the people who use the term “anchor baby” do so not out of convenience, but instead out of disrespect for fellow human beings. Because you don’t use a term like “anchor baby” if you judge the value of the life of that baby or its parents at the same level as your own. And so yes, the term “anchor baby” is offensive, but there’s a better question to ask the purveyors of this term: “Is it offensive that you choose to devalue fellow human beings by using a pejorative term for political points?”