June 20, 2016 8:33 pm -


The Library of Congress no longer wants to use words like “alien” and “illegal immigrant”, but Republicans are trying to stop the change.

The library changes or eliminates thousands of subject headings each year as language, meaning and connotations evolve. The term “Negro,” for instance, was retired as a subject heading in 1975; “insane” was abandoned in 2007 and replaced with “mentally ill.”

…In April, Representative Diane Black, a Republican from Tennessee, introduced a bill called the Stopping Partisan Policy at the Library of Congress Act. It demanded that the library retain the terms “alien” and “illegal immigrant” as subject headings. “My constituents know that illegal immigration by any other name is still illegal, and we should identify it as such,” Ms. Black said in a statement. A version of her bill was later added as a provision in the appropriations bill for the legislative branch, which includes the Library of Congress.

In May, four other Republican lawmakers, including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, wrote a letter to the library urging it not to change the terms. They accused the library of bowing “to the political pressure of the moment.”



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.