Friday, December 02, 2005


Locally, our transit authority has been pushing to increase bus fares from $1.85 to $2.00. This would be the price riders pay in cash and would apply to all riders: young, old, healthy, frail.

Currently senior citizens get a discounted cash fare. Under the proposed increase, if they purchase bus tickets at the local 7-11 or lottery booth, they will still get a discounted rate. Only cash fares have to pay the toonie.

I'm not commenting so much on whether or not this is a good idea - I'm rather indifferent, as I'm a driver, having put my time in as a bus rider.

What irked me about this whole issue was a line uttered by one of its opponents, speaking out on behalf of disabled people who will also have to pay the full $2.00 cash. She said, "This discriminates against disabled people."

I'm no proponent of making the disabled pay full fare; don't mistake my criticism of her comment.

What bothers me is that confounded word "discriminate." If a group of people is treated the same as all other groups, how is that group discriminated against? Especially when you consider that "discriminate" is a synonym of "choose." You can say that the policy is biased against somebody, or that it exposes a lack of sympathy, and I won't disagree. But "discriminate" is such a freakin' buzzword these days that it drives me wonky. It implies hate, disdain, ignorance, and a sunburned neck.

This is just one example of a word that is mis-defined in the modern lexicon. The rabid anti-discrimination mantra reveals a subculture of idiocy in society, and not just for those who misuse it, but for those who buy into it.

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