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How do you feel about the phrase "Homeland Security" or just Homeland? - Hawk's Eyrie
It's all about releasing your inner sociopath
merhawk
merhawk
How do you feel about the phrase "Homeland Security" or just Homeland?
Over in stoneself's lj, he was talking about how he doesn't like the phrase "homeland", when used in conjunction with national rhetoric.

I've never liked using either the word Homeland, or (most especially) the phrase "Homeland Security" in conjunction with talking about the USA. Everytime I hear either, I am disturbed and think of Nazi Germany.

To me, using Homeland or "Homeland Security" is a way to define who is one of us and who isn't; and while that can be a useful tool, the USA is based on trying to mesh "thems" into "us". That doesn't mean people need to move here and lose their culture; it means that (IMO) that we all learn from each other and create a stronger, more vibrant, society due to that. Homeland & "Homeland Security" is a very unwelcoming, insular, phrase that says anyone who is a "them" is not welcome.

However, depending upon whom you talk with, the "them" is someone different. If we refer back to Nazi Germany, my Germanic roots would be irrelevant as I am neither blonde, blue eyed, nor do I have the "pure" racial blood that Hitler demanded. However, my ancestry is as German as his (that is to say, Austrian).

Who is to say that just because I am dark[1] that I'm not American? Who is to say that my various friends who have non-European ancestries aren't American? Except, when we accept the rhetoric that goes with Homeland and "Homeland Security", that's exactly what's happening. If your ancestry is Pakistani and you cross the border too often, you're at risk at being questioned. If you look Middle Eastern, you might be constantly "randomly" given extra security when flying.

Am I the only one who's disturbed by this phrasing? I've never come up with a better phrasing, but I know there has to be one out there.

Poll #1331810 In your opinion

How does hearing the phrase "Homeland Security" or Homeland, in regards to US security, make you feel?

Disturbed. Reminds me of Nazi Germany.
19(52.8%)
It generically bothers me
9(25.0%)
Neutral
2(5.6%)
It's an okay name. If they changed it, I wouldn't care
1(2.8%)
That's the best way to describe it!
0(0.0%)
Other. I'll respond in comments.
5(13.9%)


[1]I have been mistaken for Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Pakistani, and (in one very memorable & crazy case) black.

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21 talons or Rake your talons?
Comments
lbmango From: lbmango Date: January 15th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Wow, I've gotten Everything except for Northern European and African... How did you get African?

Note: This includes my mother mistakening me for a Chinese boy, and my father and sister mistakening the same Japaneese man for me...
scifantasy From: scifantasy Date: January 15th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
The rhetoric of "Homeland Security" does bug me, and part of it is the word choice. What's wrong with "national security"?
krfsm From: krfsm Date: January 15th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
What he said.
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hex_16 From: hex_16 Date: January 16th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
You have a warped sense of historical perspective to be calling the USA a police state. The fact that we have a peaceful transition of power occurring in the first place should be your first clue to that. The second clue should be that the FBI aren't knocking down your door for saying it.

The Taliban were a police state. Saddam's regime was a police state. Bush hasn't wiped out thousands of political opponents or committed genocide. Bush hasn't forced anyone to wear burquas. Bush hasn't sent a bunch of brown-shirts to beat down and silence protesters. In fact, Bush's policies are a large part of why 2 countries are no longer utterly controlled by police states.

Better brush up on your history.
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skwidly From: skwidly Date: January 15th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Ironically, when SG-1 mentions its secret "Homeworld Security" agency, it still makes me twitch by association, even though it's perfectly appropriate and accurate in that phrasing!
slothman From: slothman Date: January 15th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Yeah, I get that too.
buddhacat From: buddhacat Date: January 15th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I'll go with the "disturbed" option, although I am getting sort of deaf to it now, at least as a disturbing word. Nowadays, its use has become more of a filter, screening for stupid people and occasionally people with horns and a tail.
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From: puppybrother Date: January 16th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Not bothered except that it's kind of lame. I certainly don't get the Fatherland or Motherland/superauthoritarian OMG BAD vibes from it.

I much prefer the institution be called the Department of Defense.

This would require renaming of the existing Department of Defense to its proper title, the Department of War.
scifantasy From: scifantasy Date: January 16th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Thinking further, I realize that the word "homeland" just doesn't conjure up an image of "America" for me--it generally evokes "the place people left to come to America," even for a fourth-generation like me. "Homeland" is the place your family came from before America.
From: cerebresque Date: January 16th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
For this particular zeroth-generation, that's "the place I used to live".

As for the main question - well, this is indubitably my home, and it's likewise a land. What else should I call it that has the same semantics?
scifantasy From: scifantasy Date: January 16th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
*shrug* I'm not saying it makes sense. Just stating facts.
kitarra From: kitarra Date: January 16th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Actually doesn't remind me so much of Nazi Germany as Communist Russia..... you know... big brother IS watching you.

And they are.
cheezstk From: cheezstk Date: January 16th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Nicely said. "Homeland" has always bothered me -- it's always been reminiscent of Nazi Germany, or perhaps Orwell. When they introduced it I was incredulous. "They're not actually seriously calling it *that* are they?" Not the last time I'd had that reaction in the W era.

Looking forward to Tuesday.

re: your footnote. WTF?
From: chrisrw109 Date: January 22nd, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I'm sort of 'meh' to it. There are certainly echoes of history in the phrases we use for things, and 'homeland' can bring back some iffy echoes... but it doesn't resonate that strongly for me. For the Reich it was mostly the 'Fatherland' for the Stalinists it was mostly Mother Russia.

By the fact that it resonates badly with some folks it was probably a bad choice. I agree with the earlier commenter Defense / War renaming would be better.
21 talons or Rake your talons?