Challenging the Language of the Culture of Death
Table: Dehumanizing Terminology

Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change
Reproduced with Permission

The Semantics of Oppression
Dehumanizing Terminology

Deficient Human Nonhuman Animal Parasite Disease Inanimate Object Waste Product Nonperson
The above table and accompanying documentation can be found in: Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives, by William Brennan, Ph.D. (Loyola University Press, 1995, 3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago Illinois 60657, 1-800-621-1008)
Native Americans Indians [are]… inferior to the Anglo-Saxon.
(Henry Clay, Sec. of State, 1825)
The life of these [aborigines] is…not human.
(Author Hugh Brackenridge, 1779)
The Indian…is an untamable, carnivorous animal.
(Dr. Josiah Nott, 1847)
Clear the country of that vermin [Indians].
(Colonel Henry Bouquet, 1763)
The Iroquois had proved more deadly…than the pestilence.
(Historian Francis Parkman, 1902)
[Indians are] anthropological specimens.
(American press coverage, 1904)
[Indians are] the very dregs, garbage… of Earth.
(Poet Christopher Brooke, 1622)
An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution.
(George Canfield, Am. Law Rev., 1881)
African Americans A subordinate and inferior class of beings
(U.S. Supreme Court on the status of Black people, 1857)
The negro is not a human being.
(Buckner Payne, Publisher, 1867)
The negro is… one of the lower animals.
(Professor Charles Carroll, 1900)
They [Negroes] are parasites.
(Dr. E.T. Brady, 1909)
Free blacks in our country are… a contagion
(American Colonization Soc., 1815-30)
A negro of the African race was regarded…as an article of property.
(U.S. Supreme Court decision, 1857)
The negro race is… a heritage of organic and psychic debris
(Dr. William English, 1903)
In the eyes of the law… the slave is not a person
(Virginia Supreme Court Decision, 1858)
Soviet Enemies The uncivilized, stupid, turgid people in the Russian villages.
(Author Maxim Gorky, 1922)
Kulaks are not human beings.
(Lenin and Stalin, 1918-34)
[Peasants are] beasts of burden.
(George Plekhanov, founder of Russian Marxism, 1823)
The kulak, the parasite.
(Lenin, 1918)
Every religious idea [is]…‘contagion’ of the most abominable kind.
(Lenin, 1913)
[Gulag slave laborers are] raw material.
(Author Maxim Gorky, 1934)
A foul-smelling heap of human garbase [Purge Trial Defenants].
(Prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky, 1938)
Unpersons who had never existed.
(Designation for people purged by the Soviet government.)
European Jews The inferior Jewish race.
(Dr. Rudolph Ramm, Nazi medical educator, 1943)
Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human.
(Adolph Hitler, 1923)
The prisoners here are animals.
(Nazi anatomy prof. Dr. August Hirt, 1942)
The Jew is parasite.
(Nazi propoganda booklet, 1944)
Some day Europe will perish of the Jewish disease.
(Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propoganda Minister, 1939)
Transit material.
(Portrayal of Jews dispatched to Nazi death camps, 1942-44)
What shall we do with this garbage [Jews]?
(Christian Wirth, extermination expert, 1942)
The Reichsgerict itself refused to recognize Jews…as ‘persons’ in the legal sense.
(1936 German Supreme Court decision)
Women They [women] form…the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first.
(Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, 1851)
Women are not seen as human.
(Report by women's group on pornographic images, 1980)
Women are domestic animals.
(19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire)
Women's sexual parasitism is innate.
(Philosopher Rene Guyon, 1950)
The worst plauge Zeus has made - women.
(Ancient Greek poet Semonides)
I considered my wife…my property.
(Former wife abuser, 1989)
Emptying refuse into a sewer [the woman's body].
(Author Henry Miller, 1965)
The statutory word “person” did not in these circumstances include women.
(British voting rights case, 1909)
Unwanted Unborn The fetus, at most, represents only the potentiality of life.
(U.S. Supreme Court decision, 1973)
The fetus is not a human being.
(Rabbi wolfe Keiman, 1984)
Like…a primitive animal that's poked with a stick.
(Dr. Hart Peterson on fetal movement, 1985)
The fetus is a parasite.
(Professor Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, 1984)
Pregnancy when not wanted is a disease…in fact, a venereal disease.
(Professor Joseph Fletcher,1979)
People's body parts [embryos] are thier personal property.
(Attorney Lori Andrews, 1986)
An aborted baby is just garbage…just refuse.
(Dr. Martti Kekomaki, 1980)
The word “person” as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn.
(U.S. Supreme Court decision, 1973)
Dependent Discards A life…devoide of those qualities which give it human dignity.
(Assessment of child with dsiabilty, Dr. Harry Hartzell, 1978)
No newborn infant should be declared human unitl it has passed certain tests.
(Dr. Francis Crick, 1978)
Unitl a living being can take conscious management of life…it remains an animal.
(Prof. George Ball, 1981)
That's a real parasite.
(Medical staff characterization of a debilitated patient, 1989)
Those sicklers.
(Doctors' portrayal of patients with sickle cell anemia, 1986 )
I came to see patients as work objects.
(Nursing home staff member, 1977)
There's a lot of rubbish [patients] this morning.
(E.R. doctor, 1979)
New-born humans are neither persons nor even quasi-persons.
(Philosopher Michael Tooley, 1983)

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