Native Americans in San Francisco are Appropriating French Words and Banning their Use by People of European Descent
Francophiles take note, that the San Francisco Unified School District is banning the use of the french derived word “chief'“ in job titles.1 Gentle Blythe, The San Francisco United School District
Chief Word Czar, notified Chief Technology Officer Melissa Dodd, Chief of Staff Jill Hoogendyk, Chief Academic Officer Nicole Priestly, and ten other women who work for the district that they would no longer be allowed to use ‘chief’ in their titles.2 The Word Czar stressed that the women she stripped of their titles were not being demoted despite her failure to give them new titles. Blythe did not respond to our inquiry as to whether she planned to ban other French-derived words like honesty, liberal, modern, origin, advice, sports, war, or money.
The Indian word for leader is sagamore or sachem. When French and English explorers began translating Indian words they used the Anglo-French word for leader ‘chief or chieftain’ when referring to leaders of various Indian tribes. Blythe claimed San Francisco’s Native American community is angered when they hear white people like Jeff Bezos using titles that include ‘chief’ such as Chief Executive Officer. The irony is that Native Americans seem to have appropriated the Anglo-French word ‘chief’ from Europeans and seek to exclude its use by descendants of Europeans.
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