Justin highlights the importance of language when dealing with highly-charged subjects by flagging up a quote on the linguistic shift from ‘refugee’ to ‘asylum seeker’:
“Also a threat to the fictionally homogeneous â€˜community in Britain were â€˜asylum seekersâ€™, those seeking to stay in the country on the grounds that they were persecuted in their place of origin. The term â€˜asylum seekerâ€™ had gradually replaced â€˜refugeeâ€™, shifting the emphasis from what a person was fleeing to the demands he was making on the country he arrived in. It was safe to call people â€˜refugeesâ€™ as long as they remained elsewhere in the world (as, for example, those displaced by the 2004 Asian tsunami); but as soon as they arrived on British shores they became â€˜asylum seekersâ€™.”
I hadn’t thought of that before reading this, but it now seems clear.
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