Community Voices: Why choosing ‘with respect to’ instead of ‘regardless of’ can change underlying meaning

I have to admit that I don’t like the use of “regardless of” when it comes to talking about resources, opportunities and all those things that people should have just and equitable access to. What I mean are statements like “everyone should have access to employment regardless of their race, gender, ability, etc.” “Regardless of,” in those instances, seems to perpetuate that sort of colorblind/genderblind/blind-to-whatever state of mind. I mean, the phrase is literally saying that people’s identities, experiences, etc, should not be regarded when thinking of how resources, opportunities and whatnot are allocated – that everyone is “treated the same.” The thing is – and I’m only about the millionth person to say this – people’s needs and desires aren’t all uniform. Continue Reading