Thursday, March 31, 2016

Politically Correct or Politically Incorrect?

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I have mixed emotions about political correctness these days. I always used to think I was politically incorrect myself. I have laughed uproariously at racist jokes and sexist jokes and gay jokes and ethnic jokes. I loved the most crude and lewd comedians like George Carlin and Sam Kinison and Richard Pryor. It never bothered me especially if someone burned the American flag or any other kind of flag, for that matter. I thought they were idiots but, oh, well. I argued for my own political beliefs in sometimes rather crass terms. If you don't like it , fuck you. Free speech, you know. Stick and stones can break my bones but logos, slogans and mottoes will never hurt me....even the ugly ones. Call me a fat old libtard, or worse, and I just shrug it off. I almost can't be offended.

So, at one time, I was a card-carrying member of the "do away with political correctness" gang. I'm opposed to almost any kind of censorship. I think college kids should be able to listen to any kind of speech from any kind of speaker without falling into a puddle of upset. I'm an agnostic but I can listen to the Christian prayers before NASCAR races without getting my feelings hurt. This would apply to any other kind of prayer as well, including a Muslim one....or they could do away with them altogether and that would be fine too. We have a manger scene on our Courthouse lawn every Christmas. I don't really think there should be religious symbols on publicly-funded property but I don't feel strongly enough to make a issue of it.

Most of these things - comedy, slogans, prayers, etc. are directed at groups and groups should be able to take robust disagreement in a democracy.

I always did cringe at hurtful words directed at people though - words like nigger and spick and dago and slant-eyes and towelhead and whore and retard. I've never said them myself and I don't like hearing others say them. They have no purpose but to cause someone else to feel demeaned.

Does that mean I actually am a proponent of political correctness. In some ways, I guess I must be if political correctness also means being considerate.

America seems to have done with political correctness as we always do - separated ourselves into enemy camps. Conservatives thinks that liberals are pussies because of using terms like physically impaired rather than crippled or mentally challenged rather than retarded and although, the intention is kind, we do carry it to ridiculous extremes sometimes. No child should be expelled from school for eating his toast into the form of a gun....or building a clock that others perceive to be a bomb.

In the meantime, conservatives go to pieces if they are told Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. They fall apart if the president uses the term radical jihadists instead of radical Muslims. They go apeshit if someone tries to teach their child about religions or customs other than their own. They are the ones who are always wanting to take books they find offensive out of the school library.

When it comes to political correctness, we are so busy seeing the mote in our neighbor's eye, we don't see the log in our own.