Thursday, September 08, 2005


In recent times, the victims of Hurricane Katrina have often been called refugees, a controversial term. Many have suggested that it is because of race. I disagree. I think they are called refugees mainly because of a misunderstanding. has the definition of refugee:


From Houghton Miffilin:
One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.
From Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law:
Main Entry: ref·u·gee
Pronunciation: "re-fyu-'jE
Function: noun
: an individual seeking refuge or asylum; especially : an individual who has left his or her native country and is unwilling or unable to return to it because of persecution or fear of persecution (as because of race, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion)

The main point is that a refugee is a displaced person who has crossed international borders.
The proper term for these poor unfortunate souls would be displaced persons, or evacuees.

I apologize for any misunderstandings that I may have caused and/or hurt feelings (although unwarranted) that may have ensued because of any misuse I have had of the term when posting here, or commenting elsewhere.

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