The n-word serves no descriptive purpose. It does not speak to a factual truth about its object. The n-word is plainly and only derogatory.
The word “illegal” is an adjective with objective meaning that describes a factual reality. We call illegal immigrants “illegal” because they are here illegally. It’s pretty simple.
Of course, Kohn knows that. An eighth grader knows that. Surely, someone writing for CNN understands that words have meaning and that communicating concepts accurately proves essential to any policy debate. We may therefore conclude with confidence that Kohn’s campaign to remove “illegal” from our policy vernacular is a naked attempt to deny the illegality of certain immigration by erasing any linguistic reference to it.
The answer is no, Sally. We’re not changing our language to suit your agenda.