No Chiefs In Duluth

Today’s nominee for Stupid Moments In Political Correctness: the City of Duluth has banned the word “chief.”

City leaders are making a push to remove the word “chief” from job titles, calling the term offensive to indigenous people.

At a news conference Wednesday, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson implored City Council members to vote to approve the change next week “so that we have more inclusive leadership and less language that is rooted in hurt and offensive, intentional marginalization.”

If you didn’t know better, you might assume Duluth has employees like, say, a Heap Big Chief Alderman. That could arguably be “rooted in hurt and offensive, intentional marginalization.” But no: they are talking about the retitling the city’s chief administrative officer and chief financial officer. On the ground that those titles are offensive to Native Americans.

News flash for Duluth’s city fathers: the word “chief” has nothing to do with Indians. It comes from a Latin progenitor and descends through Old French, taking the form in which we know it in Middle English. When English colonists called Indian leaders chiefs, it was not a derogatory term, but rather a standard English word for a leader.

Virtue signaling is always worthless, and renaming things is nearly always pointless. But doing away with a city’s chief financial officer and chief administrative officer is a spectacularly stupid instance of the genre.

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