Friday, March 5, 2010

Political Correctness -- Musings of an Anglo-Germanic-American

***Warning -- You are leaving the Politically Correct Zone.  Proceed at your own risk!!!***

A prominent politician is branded a racist when it is discovered he once said that Barack Obama stood a chance of being elected president because he was “light-skinned” and didn’t use a “Negro dialect.” 

Another prominent political figure is up in arms when the White House Chief of Staff calls those who oppose Democratic policies “(expletive) retarded”, and demands that he retract his words so as not to offend the mentally-handicapped and those who care for them.

Obama is blasted by the major of Las Vegas for making the comment that during an economic crisis, it’s probably not a good idea to run to Vegas and gamble away your college funds!


I’m not in to name-calling, foul language, labeling, racism, sexism, and a lot of other “isms”.  I think being kind to our fellow man, whether we agree with him or not, is pretty much the way to go.  But I find the epidemic of political correctness in our society absolutely maddening!

Can anybody say what they mean anymore without being labeled as a heartless scumbag who should immediately retract their words and issue a statement of apology, step down from any position of authority, or be taken to court?

I hate to compare everything that irritates me with the Soviet Union, but it’s a nasty habit I gained after engrossing myself in Soviet literature, history, and culture during my graduate studies, and seeing some of the same bizarre trends right here at home.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Soviet State was responsible for coining a prolific number of euphemisms to take the “edge” off of draconian policies and institutions. 

The system of forced labor camps in Siberia where starvation, privation, disease, squalor, and abuse of inmates was the norm and where millions of Soviet citizens rotted and perished was called the “Gulag”.  Translation – Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps.  Sounds a bit more innocuous than it really was, doesn’t it? 

(Kinda makes me think of the “Patriot” Act, Operation “Iraqi Freedom” recently re-worded  by Obama to Operation “New Dawn”, but let’s not digress . . .)

Those camps designed to house dangerous political dissidents (including Baptist choir masters and human rights advocates) were designated “Extraordinary Regime Camps”.

Extraordinary indeed were the measures used to control public thought and opinion of disgusting and even cruel practices and policies through strategic, euphemistic wording.

I believe the dangers of political correctness in our society are real.  Check out this incredibly informative video on the origins of political correctness (hint -- it originated with 20th century Marxist philosophers) -- 

In the USSR, calling things what they really were (or, how you perceived them to really be if your opinion differed from the state-sanctioned position) was risky business.  Authors, artists, scholars, and everyday people who challenged the politically correct Soviet position risked imprisonment and death.

Thankfully, in America we don’t necessarily see anti-Obama, anti-Bush, or guns rights activists routinely carted off to prison.  But in order to ensure this never, EVER takes place, let’s allow people to say what they mean – even if we find it offensive, even if we disagree!

I remember back in my grad school days at FSU, some friends of mine approached the door of a frat house right off campus and saw a sticker in the window saying “No Fat Chicks.” 

I wonder if that sticker is still up in the window, or if some plus-sized FSU co-ed sued the fraternity for psychological trauma . . .

1 comment:

  1. Here's a fun thing to do when confronted by someone complaining about political correctness - ask them what specifically they want to say but feel that they can't because of political correctness.

    They will either shut up, or they will profer an example of an opinion expressed by prominent conservatives regularly without fear of reprisal.

    Politcal correctness is largely a myth, in my opinion.