Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland raised a good point on Friday about calling the people refugees and all of the negative connotations that come with that word. For the most part I agree with him but it's hard to call the people who were held up in town and unable to evacuate, evacuees because they were abandoned by the country, left to fend for themselves in a way that the so-called compassionate GOP seems to love so much and talk about.
Al Sharpton yesterday blasted the media for using the word "refugees" and encouraged them instead to use the word "survivors" and he's right. Over the years, Sharpton has really grown on me and his contributions to our societal debates have been great. He's a very human guy and after watching the "perfectness" of Bush and others in politics these days who are just too perfect and not very human at all, he's refreshing to listen to.
"They are not refugees. They are citizens of the United States. They are citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi, tax-paying citizens," he said. "They are not refugees wandering somewhere looking for charity. They are victims of neglect and a situation they should have never been put in in the first place."