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American "citizens" or American "civilians..."

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posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 07:01 PM
You've heard it before.

Hell, you might have heard it today. More and more politicians say it, police DEFINITELY say it, you might even find yourself saying it. What is "it?"


There's an increasing trend of calling ordinary Americans "civilians." I thought ordinary Americans were to be called "citizens." I also thought "civilian" was a term used to distinguish between military people engaging in a conflict and regular people who are on the same soil during the conflict. So, military and civilian are terms that go hand in hand.

To my knowledge, there's no war being fought on American soil (unless you count the joke wars: war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terror
). So, why are more and more individuals calling us civilians?

Police are the ones I hear this from the most nowadays. IMO, this is a result of the increasing militarization of the police in America. Weapons such as the MP5 (Military and Police 5) are a prime example. If you ever watch World's Wildest Police Videos, the narrator without FAIL will call citizens civilians.

Seriously. The next time you're watching TV, in particular police/law enforcement shows and the news, pay attention to this terminology. I guess whenever a bystander takes down a criminal suspect, we'll call that a civilian's arrest.

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 09:13 AM
Pretty quiet in here.

I guess this issue has come up before. If so, I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this...

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 09:17 AM
Did you ever watch starship troopers? Well if you watch it, you will see that anyone in the military is called a citizen. It's strange, fiction becoming a reality. US government blows!

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 09:39 AM

Originally posted by AlphaAnuOmega
Did you ever watch starship troopers? Well if you watch it, you will see that anyone in the military is called a citizen. It's strange, fiction becoming a reality. US government blows!

Ahh, that was anyone who had served the Federation earnt the right to be a citizen and gained right's, such as being able to have children. Anyone who didn't serve in some capacity was deemed a civilian with fewer rights in the governance of the country etc.

As to the normal distinction, civilian is ANYONE non-military and that includes Police. Police might like to think of themselves as otherwise, but they too are civilians, no matter how much that bruises their ego.

Citizen is anyone who come's from a particular country and has citizenship right's (voting, mainly). The main measure if anyone is a citizen of somewhere is if they hold a passport from that country. This includes military, police and civilians.

EDIT: And that's coming from a Brit. It's shocking when I see US cop shows and they stomp around shouting at "civilians". I just want to slap them round the head and tell them they too are civilians and they are NOT soldiers.

[edit on 20/2/07 by stumason]

posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 03:33 PM
the problem comes from the fact that a significant percentage of police officers are military veterans and no matter what anyone tells you. you are never a civilian agin at least in your head. it changes you in ways you don't notice till you hang out with non veterans and then you see your different not better or any of that crap but different.

posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 03:11 PM
Precisely my point, stumason.

These slop eating swine stomp around like they're Special Ops or something, lording over us mere "civilians." I guess whenever they declare martial law, we all WILL truly be civilians...

I never noticed that in Starship Troopers; I'll look for it next time I watch it.

And wcssar, that's another problem. If these guys are still in the military in their minds, they won't hesisate to use military-style tactics on suspects. As if the regular cops were brutal enough...

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