San Diego Tells Staff Not to Mention Founding Fathers

San Diego, CA–Just in time for President’s Day, the City of San Diego is warning its employees that even mentioning the Founding Fathers could get them in trouble. 

That’s one of many startling conclusions reached by a new manual the city has issued for written and oral communication by its employees. In a section on “Bias-Free Language,” the City instructs workers to eliminate from their vocabulary a number of words and phrases considered gender biased, including “the common man,” “manmade,” “man up” and many others. As one example, the guidelines note that “founding fathers” is also problematic and should be replaced with “founders.”

The city further urges employees preparing official reports to disregard or paraphrase research that contains such biased language.

In response, the Pacific Justice Institute sent a letter to Mayor Kevin Faulconer late Monday calling for the guidelines to be rescinded. In the letter, PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds notes that more than 1,500 Supreme Court and lower court decisions have directly invoked the Founding Fathers. The letter quotes several examples from landmark cases. Under the guidelines, legal staff are discouraged from quoting these decisions.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, noted, “At a time set aside to honor American icons to whom we owe our constitutional freedoms, it is offensive and indefensible that the City of San Diego is directing employees not to even mention the Founding Fathers. We are calling on the mayor to immediately retract these guidelines and reassure city employees that they will not be punished for being patriotic. We cannot allow this type of censorship and PC insanity to destroy our free speech.”

PJI is offering to represent, without charge, any city employees who are punished for their patriotic expression.