I’ve seen a mixed response to this. However a lot of people seem to think this is not offensive. I was thinking about a good way of explaining why it is, and why more people should be offended by it. Having read some Facebook comments, I think I can also explain why people are not offended and why many of his supporters will not be, even if they were to read this. The two comments below sum up what many people seem to think.
I agree that the word migrants by itself is not offensive, but then most words are not offensive in isolation, it is all about the context in which they are used. For example; the words ‘dog, lawn and pile’ by themselves are not offensive, but then you link them together with ‘David Cameron is a person with less compassion than a pile of something my dog left on the lawn.’ and the sentence becomes an insult and offensive were it to be said to his face.
The reason why many are offended by the use of the word is because it is dehumanising. If we take a look at this next comment, I think it becomes more obvious why this is so. This person defends the use of the term as it can be applied to “bananas”. So these people are not brothers, sisters or children with real complex problems or worries, they are not human at all. Merely a bunch of something just like a bunch of fruit.
The reason why many are not offended is that, to them, migrants are not people at all. To many, they are considered to be aggressive animals that just want to commit crimes and get free stuff from us. The fact that this is not going to be true in 99% of cases, and that these people have escaped horrendous conditions at home looking for a better life at any cost, simply does not occur to these people. The comments below were typical of responses I have seen:
The commenters above have stopped thinking of these people as people, and thinking of them as somehow less. Never considering an idea beyond greed as to why they are aiming for England; maybe they speak English but not French, German, Spanish or Italian. So when David Cameron uses dehumanising language, it is offensive. At best it shows a lack of understanding, at worst it reveals an absence of compassion on sociopathic levels.