IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS STIFLING YOU?

If you think being “politically correct” is ruining your ability to communicate, you’ve got other unaddressed issues … like …. maybe you’re a bigot. If you can’t express yourself without insulting individuals or groups, your problem isn’t political correctness. It goes a lot deeper than that.


Political Correctness is the avoidance of forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

Simply put, it means treading carefully, gently — and preferably not at all — on other people’s sensibilities and sensitivities. It’s the “golden rule,” sometimes called the ethic of reciprocity: Don’t do something to anyone else that which you wouldn’t want done to youIt’s a fundamental principle of human interaction, the bottom line of being a decent person.

I’m for political correctness. Especially with Orange Head running for president. “Being P.C.” means controlling your mouth. It means not spewing insults at minorities, ethnic, or religious groups, disabled people, disenfranchised, or downtrodden people, or anyone who just happens to be different from you.

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Bigotry isn’t okay — whether it’s put straight out there, or presented thinly disguised as humor. We all used to know this. We were taught — most of us — to be polite and careful about not hurting other people’s feelings. We were brought up to not insult others. Not by accident and definitely not on purpose. We all should know this without being reminded … but with You-Know-Who setting a really horrible example, a lot of people are getting a very warped idea of what’s okay. Trump not only doesn’t care who or what he offends, he goes out of his way to make people feel bad. To shame and humiliate people, with a strong emphasis on women. To make those who are already suffering feel worse. He’s a demagogue, a schoolyard bully writ larger and uglier than ever.

What a guy. Just what we need to lead this great land.

So, for the socially challenged, the simple rule is: “IF YOU THINK IT’S OFFENSIVE, DON’T SAY IT.” As a rule, this works better than any amount of sensitivity training. Especially since so many people seem to have no sensitivity to train.

Offensive is what it seems to be, even when whoever said it insists he or she “didn’t mean it”

“Hey, folks, I was just kidding. Can’t you take a joke?” It’s the classic bully’s line. Of course he meant it. Bullies always mean it, but being a bully, he or she counts on you to avoid a confrontation.

It’s time to confront the bullies. Time to tell them they aren’t funny and we aren’t laughing. Bigotry, racism, and cruelty are not funny. It’s not about political correctness. It’s about civility. Kindness. Good manners. Decency. Fairness.

Standing up for what’s right even when it’s inconvenient.

It’s what has really made America great.

72 thoughts on “IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS STIFLING YOU?

  1. I agree with you that one must not hurt others especially those who are vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves. Trump doing so does not justify himself even if he is a presidential candidate but lying and speaking untruths and not hiding things is also not so great but perhaps it only affects the person involved and not others, so it can be excusable. To me it seems there is little choice to make between the two candidates.
    Susie

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    • Me neither. Nor most people I know and certainly all my friends. But there’s something else going on here and it has nothing to do with who Trump is or what he says. Trump’s followers do not care what he says, does, or did. He is their symbol of something, a very poor choice in my opinion. I just hope we don’t find ourselves with him as president. That’s too awful to even think about.

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        • I don’t have a problem with Hillary. I’ve met her a couple of times. She doesn’t do “public” very well, but she really cares. She’ll be fine. Not revolutionary because at heart, she’s a centrist. She’s been demonized by Republicans for a long time … by Republicans who have done far worse for less good reasons. The hypocrisy of the GOP makes me wonder what happened to our elected officials on BOTH sides of the aisle working together for the best interests of our country and its people? When did we go off the rails? How did we wind up in this election where apparently nobody cares about truth, facts, or reality … and its all about who can sling the most mud and make it stick.

          Jill Stein doesn’t believe in vaccinations. People like her have brought back whooping cough and measles epidemics and if they have their way, they will endanger all of us and our children and grandchildren. Spare me someone who believes in medieval medicine. And Gary Johnson? He acts and looks like he’s stoned (so does his VP). I have nothing against getting stoned as private entertainment … but a presidential candidate in a TV interview? Seriously?

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            • People tend to use labels like “politically correct” rather loosely. They throw a lot of thing into this bucket and more than half of them are really something else. I suspect social media is the culprit, not the “legitimate” press.

              It also seems we are reinventing English. I mean … bigly?

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  2. This post offends me. It implies that anyone who disagrees with the position that an individual or a group makes is a bigot.

    According to your own PC rules, I hope you’ll take this post down to avoid offending anyone else.

    That is the problem with PC culture. You can literally take anything said and find a reason to be offended by it, and then use that to shut down opposing viewpoints.

    Free speech is where it’s at. The free marketplace of ideas is the ideal condition and a cornerstone of our society. PC culture tries to undermine it.

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    • You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. I do not agree with you because that isn’t what I said. Read it again. With your mind open. Yes, you CAN take anything out of context as offensive and I know that stuff like that is making life difficult for teachers and many others.

      ANYTHING can be taken to extremes, out of context, abused, misconstrued. And people will do it, especially if the courts support their position. That applies to every single protection we have under law inclujding freedom of speech, freedom of religion. The right to bear arms.

      These among many other protections have been taken to extremes by people with their own agendas. So shall we remove all protection lest it be abused? Misused? Misinterpreted? Distorted for an individual agenda?

      I don’t think so. You are welcome to your opinion, but I do not agree with it.

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      • “So shall we remove all protection lest it be abused? Misused? Misinterpreted? Distorted for an individual agenda? ”

        No. There are already very real limits to free speech, such as libel, uttering threats etc.

        “I do not agree with you because that isn’t what I said. Read it again. With your mind open.”

        I know that’s not what you said. I was trying to show you how PC culture can be turned against those who try to use it because anything can be deemed offensive. That’s why free speech (except in a select few cases) trumps feels. I don’t have to like what you say, but I support your right to say it.

        “CAN take anything out of context as offensive and I know that stuff like that is making life difficult for teachers and many others. ”

        Yes, and that’s why some people are finding it stifling. Thus you’ve shown that the PC culture is indeed creating a stifling atmosphere.

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        • No, I don’t think it is. I think there’s way too much insulting and cruelty and bullying going on and for some obscure reason, people think it’s cool and okay. I’m glad you brought this up. I was sure someone would. I don’t think you personally would intentionally slur or offend any group based on race, sexual orientation, religious choice, or whatever, or at least I certainly hope you don’t. People who do that should be stopped.

          Bullying and cruelty and hatred and bigotry are real. They aren’t a chimera created by the P.C. police. If you have ever been the object of this kind of thing, you know exactly what I mean. And there are a lot of people who need to be protected from the bullies and the haters. Maybe you don’t, but that’s not the point.

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          • “I think there’s way too much insulting and cruelty and bullying going on and for some obscure reason, people think it’s cool and okay.”

            I wouldn’t say it’s cool or okay.

            “I’m glad you brought this up. I was sure someone would.”

            Thanks. 🙂

            “I don’t think you personally would intentionally slur or offend any group based on race, sexual orientation, religious choice, or whatever, or at least I certainly hope you don’t.”

            No. I don’t go around trying to slur those people, but that doesn’t mean I don’t criticize something and someone could accuse me of being a bigot or be offended by something I’ve said.

            For example, I’ve read articles that say atheists have no morals or there is no point to living if you’re an atheist. I think those are clearly bigoted comments. Imagine I said Jews were incapable of having morals or that African Americans had hopeless lives.

            Sure, I could be offended by those statements. I will definitely oppose them in the marketplace of ideas. But I would defend their right to say that they think I have no morals because I’m an atheist. I think it’s important they have the right to posit such nonsense.

            “Bullying and cruelty and hatred and bigotry are real. They aren’t a chimera created by the P.C. police. If you have ever been the object of this kind of thing, you know exactly what I mean. ”

            I definitely have been. It’s not like I’d promote that sort of behavior.

            “And there are a lot of people who need to be protected from the bullies and the haters. Maybe you don’t, but that’s not the point.”

            This is a wide subject. You could talk about school yard bullying and I’d agree with you 100%.

            What would you have done on the Internet or in the adult realm of conversation to prevent such things? Would you throw people in jail or have them charged for saying something offensive to someone, somewhere?

            All I see down this road is a totalitarian sort of system that persecutes people for speech.

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            • It’s 2:25 am here, so after this, it’s sign off time for me.

              I think we both know the difference between bigotry and criticism. Between a discussion and bullying. I know you do. We’ve argued before and we don’t seem to be the worse for wear.

              I know commonsense is uncommon and impossible to enforce, but at some point, commonsense needs to enter into the discourse. There are a lot of vulnerable people who need to be protected. Words hurt. Words have power. Words cause wars and death as surely as sticks and stones. You and I may be tough enough to fight back, but not everyone is equally sturdy. There have to be limits — social and legal — to protect those who need it. That’s what a good society does. It’s the right thing, even if it is inconvenient.

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        • Well, all due respect, but there is a difference between your RIGHT to say offensive things and whether it is actually ethically correct. Free speech means that you have the right to say things that others may find offensive, but general decency says otherwise. But if you want to talk about free expression, then it would also be the right of anyone to be offended by another’s statements. The point is that even though you CAN say offensive things and act bigoted (to a point, of course, there are anti-discrimination laws to prevent this in the workplace and so on) you shouldn’t because it’s simply not right. The definition of political correctness is avoiding saying statements that are discriminatory against a disadvantaged group. That’s a perfectly clear definition. If you aren’t being racist, sexist, bigoted, or discriminating against a group (or individual person) then you’re being politically correct. I think that’s a pretty basic standard of politeness and decency we shall all expect ourselves to meet.

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          • “Free speech means that you have the right to say things that others may find offensive, but general decency says otherwise.”

            I agree. You don’t get to decide what is or isn’t ethically okay for someone to say though, and certainly you don’t get to legislate it.

            “The point is that even though you CAN say offensive things and act bigoted (to a point, of course, there are anti-discrimination laws to prevent this in the workplace and so on) you shouldn’t because it’s simply not right.”

            Right. There are already sensible laws to prevent people from abusing free speech. No need to invent more centered around political correctness.

            “The definition of political correctness is avoiding saying statements that are discriminatory against a disadvantaged group.”

            No. No it isn’t. That’s a small part of PC culture and political correctness as a whole.

            I actually like George Carlin’s definition of political correctness:

            “Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.”

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            • You know … I keep hearing about these “laws,” yet I don’t know of a single performer who has lost his show or even dropped in the ratings because of them. Prime time network TV is the last holdout against “swearing”. Otherwise, it’s like the boogeyman. The feared phantom … Unless you work as a college teacher or a talk show host in prime time TV, there are no such laws. They don’t exist. AND with a modicum of commonsense, restraint, and civility, they never will. George Carlin was an interesting guy, but he really wasn’t the final word in defining freedom of speech. He had his own ax to grind.

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              • “You know … I keep hearing about these “laws,” yet I don’t know of a single performer who has lost his show or even dropped in the ratings because of them. Prime time network TV is the last holdout against “swearing”. Otherwise, it’s like the boogeyman.”

                Not sure what you’re talking about here. I was talking about political correctness. Not about swearing on network TV or swearing in general or about performers. If you haven’t heard of laws or rules based on political correctness, I can give you a load of examples.

                Just let me know and I’ll post a bunch of links for you.

                “They don’t exist. AND with a modicum of commonsense, restraint, and civility, they never will.”

                Kind of like what George Carlin said – ” It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. ”

                Eerie.

                “George Carlin was an interesting guy, but he really wasn’t the final word in defining freedom of speech. He had his own ax to grind.”

                No one is the final word on anything, really. However, he made a lot of good points about PC culture and how insidious it can be. You’ve not done or said anything to prove him wrong. In fact, you’ve done the opposite and implied he had some ax to grind. Not sure what you’re referring to. It sounded like in this particular instance his ax was against political correctness.

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                • It’s one big undifferentiated bucket, isn’t it. I mean, anyone can say that the PC police are preventing them from whatever they think they could/should/would be doing. But the PC police don’t exist, do they. There ARE no PC laws. There are places you have to mind your language — and George Carlin, your idol — WOULD classify that as PCness because he was of the Lenny Bruce school of verbal freedom and as far as that goes, I’m on Bruce and Carlin’s side. Kids here more sewer talk in their schoolyards that they can hear on TV or in the movies, so I’m not sure what we are protecting them from. My son’s first clearly enunciated word was “Shit.” Used, if you please, in perfect context and with just the right emphasis. He wasn’t yet two.
                  If she wasn’t long dead, my mother could vouch for it.

                  It became a family legend.

                  PC is very big — overwhelming and incredibly stupidly used — in schools, from elementary through university. I’d like to think they are concerned with feelings of the student body, but I suspect they are more concerned that they keep that tuition pouring in. If they put half as much effort into educating their young men that rape isn’t what you do after she says no and you still want to do it, I’d probably applaud the effort.

                  PC – political correctness — is something with a big name and it’s really is like the boogeyman. He’s not there. But you can use his not thereness to scare people into your version of good behavior.

                  Otherwise, unless YOUR contract has implied and/or stated limits on how you must use words and what is okay and what’s not … well … basically, you’re back to where I started, using your own judgement and hopefully sense of what’s right and wrong, what’s decent or indecent. If we don’t have some kind of internal censor telling our mouths to SHUT UP, then living in this country will be more and more awful for more and more people. I don’t give a rat’s ass about cursing. Every ethnic comedian on late night TV suffers from sewer mouth. They think it’s funny, but I don’t. Neither does Garry and he IS Black. I think comedians who complain that it’s all about the PC police keeping them down should consider the possibility that they areally aren’t very good at making people laugh and that’s what comedy is about, you know? It’s always easy to blame “the system (name your system)” for your own failures and inadequacies.

                  THERE ARE NO PC POLICE, NO PC LAWS. NO ONE GETS SENT TO JAIL FOR SPEWING HATE and FILTH. THEY DON’T GET PUNISHED FOR THE OFFENSES THEY COMMIT. When inevitably it turns out they meant what they said, that they really DO think it’s okay to rape women, beat up (maybe kill) minorities, commit acts of terror and vandalism … we pretend to be shocked, SHOCKED.

                  We need to turn the volume down. To stop shouting and start talking. To recognize if we want a world in which we all can all live and feel safe, no one should be allowed to terrorize, bully, shame, insult, demean, debase others. If you have a point to make, the English language has a multi-million word vocabulary. Use words. Be civil.

                  If there is NOTHING you can’t say WITHOUT insulting and hurting people? Than say nothing. Hate speech and bullying isn’t freedom. It’s hate speech and bullying. Everyone recognizes those invisible lines, especially those who cross them. They aren’t doing it accidentally. They are doing it with full intent. And it is wrong. You can flail at this until the cows come home. It will still be wrong.

                  By the way, that nice little comment by teenagepolitix2950? She’s like … 15 maybe? Pretty good for a youngster, don’t you think? She’s got a few brains in her head. There’s hope for the future as long as there are young ones like her still trying to be heard.

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                  • “My son’s first clearly enunciated word was “Shit.” Used, if you please, in perfect context and with just the right emphasis. He wasn’t yet two.”

                    Haha!

                    I get the feeling we are talking about two different things. While I’m talking about political correctness, you seem to be talking about plain old civil dialogue, which as long as it isn’t legislated, I’m perfectly fine with and it is how I tend to operate anyhow. I don’t see the point in swearing at people I disagree with or smearing them with labels. I’d rather have a discussion.

                    I think most people on a daily basis choose to be polite most of the time.

                    “By the way, that nice little comment by teenagepolitix2950? She’s like … 15 maybe? Pretty good for a youngster, don’t you think? ”

                    Most definitely. And it’s great when the young get involved with political/social discussions. 🙂

                    “PC is very big — overwhelming and incredibly stupidly used — in schools, from elementary through university.”

                    Your stance is inconsistent. You say here that PC does exist and is ‘stupidly’ used but then go on to say:

                    “PC – political correctness — is something with a big name and it’s really is like the boogeyman. He’s not there.”

                    It’s not there? Which is it?

                    ” and George Carlin, your idol ”

                    He’s not my idol. But I think he succinctly and accurately described PC’ism in that quote.

                    I think we are on the same page as far as saying that I think being civil is the best course of action. However, that isn’t what political is all about. It’s much bigger than that and it’s stifling discussion.

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                    • No, he didn’t. He was talking about HIS rights to use “naughty words” on television. It all began with his rap “Seven words you can’t say on TV.” He spun it from there.

                      I know what I’m talking about. I defined it. But you threw everything into the bag, so now we are wallowing in your bag, with everything in it.

                      “Political Correctness is the avoidance of forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

                      That’s what it is. The rest is just obfuscation. AKA bullshit.

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                    • “No, he didn’t. He was talking about HIS rights to use “naughty words” on television. It all began with his rap “Seven words you can’t say on TV.” He spun it from there. ”

                      And the spin as you call it, means he went on to address PC culture in general and not just the use of naughty words on TV.

                      ““Political Correctness is the avoidance of forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

                      You changed one word. It’s actually “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

                      The word ‘perceived’ is key.

                      And the dictionary definition doesn’t always capture all of the nuance of a movement. It’s not just about swearing. I think you know that.

                      “That’s what it is. The rest is just obfuscation. AKA bullshit.”

                      No. The rest is part of the well-known PC culture.

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                    • You are talking about two different things, but not the ones you think. You talk about PC like it’s an oppressive force and claim we want legislation to enforce it. In all of your comments you have mentioned laws restricting free speech. Vouching for political correctness IS NOT vouching for such laws as we have mentioned multiple times. We are talking about, in your words, “plain old civil dialogue” which you agree with. That simple politeness, that minimum effort to be classy and socially correct IS political correctness. The idea that political correctness is a form of oppression is like saying that all people who are religious are zealots. It is measuring an idea by its most radical followers, which is often inaccurate and a disservice to the movement. If you agree with plain old civil dialogue, then you are in support of political correctness.

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            • Politically correct according to the Cambridge Dictionary:
              “Avoiding language or behavior that any particular group of people might feel is unkind or offensive.”
              According to Merriam-Webster:
              “Agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
              That’s political correctness. It is simply not discriminating.

              Also, you mentioned laws to enforce political correctness. As I said in my previous comment, we all have the right to free speech and I do not endorse creating laws that would enforce, say, politeness. I never said I wanted legislation to enforce my personal definition of ethical correctness. However, I think most people would agree on basic principles of decency that they hold themselves and others accountable for. That is political correctness.

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              • As far as I know, there are NO laws enforcing any kind of language limitations anywhere in the U.S., though such laws do exist in the U.K. and other countries. I believe free speech, even rude, bigoted, hateful speech is protected by the the Constitution. Period. So this “law” thing is a red herring. It’s not real. It doesn’t exist.

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    • We are not opposing “disagreement” that’s what our democracy is built on, and obviously there’s a lot of it out there these days. What the issue is, is a question of “class, compassion and dignity.” There’s very little of that this time around.

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  3. As an original Brit and now Angloswiss, I think I will just read what the others say, what do I know? Donald Trump? is he real or just a cartoon figure (oh, sorry that might not be politically correct). And Hilary Clinton – well her husband was an interesting bloke and not exactly boring. I saw Michelle Obama yesterday giving a very good speech – who knows in 8-12 years? It seems to be becoming fashionable for president’s wives to following in their husband’s footsteps.

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    • England is having the same issues. So are various European countries. Switzerland is a very homogeneous nation in which the vast majority of the citizenry are basically the same. No huge waves of immigration from third-world nations or issues with people of other races.

      Bigger countries, more diverse countries, are dealing with a lot of ugly backlash from people who want all those “different” people to disappear. They want to go back to an England or an America when everyone was alike. Except those days didn’t really exist, not even 1000 (or more) years ago. England had wave after wave of invaders. Saxons, Norse, Norman French … and then via the Empire in the 1800s, many newcomers from India and Africa and anywhere Britannia raised her flag. I suppose that’s the price you pay for “Empire.”

      The U.S.? Europeans are NOT natives to North America. WE are invaders. If the Native Americans had been able to see the future, they should have killed every single European before we had time to destroy their world.

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  4. I certainly am no fan of Orange Head and his very hateful and polarizing rhetoric. But I believe the key point is the intent and motive. Civility demands that we speak to each other with respect. It is wrong when we speak with the intent of degrading or humiliating an individual or group. However, sometimes political correctness can go too far. It can sometimes be hijacked by those with no ability to laugh at themselves which is itself not a healthy thing. It’s like telling Irish jokes or Polish jokes or any jokes, they can be told maliciously or in good spirits. We should differentiate between them. And sometimes, the truth will hurt too but if it is said constructively, it should be encouraged and not discouraged. Unfortunately, at one end of the spectrum, people are spewing poisonous words and at the other end, people are policing the most innocuous of statements or actions. Does Hilary Duff really have to apologise for wearing a Pilgrim’s outfit for Halloween? Did she intend to insult anyone? I think not. A child in Australia who wanted to emulate his sporting idol who is Aboriginal is heavily criticised for dressing up like him (including black face paint) for a school show and tell about heroes. Is the lesson that white kids cannot have Aboriginal heroes? I think that’s the wrong message.

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    • I think we all need to take a breath. Ahh. That’s better. That a good policy can be twisted and abused is not enough reason to dump it. The need … the OBLIGATION to protect vulnerable members of our society is NOT less because many people want to twist it beyond recognition. Nothing will make everyone happy. You don’t fix complex problems with simplistic answers. But we have to try. We have obligations to protect the vulnerable members of our community. It won’t go away because we wish it would.

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      • Dear Marilyn, Hope I did not cause your blood pressure to rise, that was not my intent. I agree generally with your post but just wanted to warn against the narrow minded CP police. May I just add two thoughts that might clarify my position.

        1. “Don’t do something to anyone else that which you wouldn’t want done to you.” That is a good benchmark. Orange Head. for example. does not follow this rule. He feels justified to insult and to insinuate and to name call but sulks, pouts and threatens to sue when he is at the receiving end. To me that is absolutely the definition of a bully. However, my point is some people are so overly sensitive that almost anything offends them and they demand that everybody else need to submit to their viewpoint. That too is bullying.
        In Malaysia, we just had authorities telling food businesses to remove the word “dog” from their food items because it would confuse and insult a segment of the population. Hence they tried to ban “hot dog”, “pretzel dog”, “Coney Dog” etc. Many years ago in UK, a local council voted to ban the use of the word “pet” to describe our cats and dogs. These valuable members of our society were to be referred to as “animal companions”. This still did not please everyone as some objected to the word “animal”. There were also attempts to ban the use of words like “blacklisted”, “blackballed”, “black magic” and “black death” as it offended “black people”.

        Yet these same people thought it was ridiculous when someone pointed out (sarcastically) that we should also ban words like “whitewash” and “yellow bellied”.

        2. I agree with Martha Kennedy – “The problem I have with what’s called “political correctness” is that people have been “educated” into political correctness as a form without having learned the empathy that should make such education unnecessary.”

        The change must be in the heart and not in the form.

        Perhaps what Jesus said is even better, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

        Thanks for listening. I don’t usually post such long comments.

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        • If people used the manners they were taught as kids and the brains they were born with and just a teeny bit of commonsense, no one would need to explain how to be a decent human being. That we need to worry about this stuff is a sad commentary on where human culture has gone.

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    • It bothers me a lot. Especially in North America where we treat the Natives like second class citizens or worse.

      WE are the invaders. WE are the outsiders. We came and stole their land, did our best to eradicate them and their culture. And now we have the unmitigated gall to complain when they want to protect a little piece of what was theirs in the first place. It’s horrifying. If you’ve been following the nightmare at Standing Rock, you know it’s the same story again. We can’t seem to stop being despoilers and destroyers. What is WRONG with people?

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    • Everything, anything can be taken too far and probably will be. Look at the second amendment. Was it ever intended to protect everyone’s right to own an anti-aircraft weapon? Was freedom of speech meant to protect terrorists and other hate groups? Anything can be distorted and misused. It’s not a good enough reason to not protect people who deserve protection.

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  5. The problem I have with what’s called “political correctness” is that people have been “educated” into political correctness as a form without having learned the empathy that should make such education unnecessary. 🙂

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    • That’s my point. No one should need to be told not to stomp all over other people for any reason and it used to be that bigotry and racism were not something that normal people displayed in public. There will always be bigots and if they stay out of my face, they are welcome to be assholes. I really don’t think “freedom of speech” is supposed to cover hate. I am pretty sure that isn’t what anyone who created the original framework had in mind.

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      • One time I used the word “retard” in a class, but it was not inappropriate at all. It was a lecture in my business communication class on how to write a message that would be taken seriously, that wouldn’t push any hot buttons, and might be accepted by someone who didn’t want the news it contained. A student immediately jumped on me for using that word. The context did not matter to him at all. Then I learned that one of the activities for freshman was this thing called a “Tolerance Tunnel” — a display of all the things they should not say, things that exhibited intolerance. He thought he was operating from an exalted moral compass that someone from my generation could not begin to understand. I said to my class, “If you need to be told that insulting people is wrong and hurtful, you have a problem no ‘Tolerance Tunnel’ can solve.” The kid said, “I wouldn’t expect you to understand tolerance.” I almost reached a new level of intolerance. 😀

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        • Those little self-righteous twerps could make a pacifist find his hidden violent self. The good news? A few years past and most of them find themselves embarrassing. I try to remember that I was probably not much better at that age, but it still pisses me off.

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          • He actually came to my office hour to find out how I felt about Gay men and to ask me not to embarrass him in class. I held my tongue and didn’t say, “Why would I embarrass you in class? You do that well all by yourself.” I just gave him an answer his generation relates to well, “Thanks for sharing. See you in class,” without adding, “fucker.”

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              • I didn’t want to get fired. That’s all it was. So often I’d look at one of them and think about my life and experiences and just say to myself, “You have no fucking clue.” But then I realized that maybe my parents and profs had felt the same way…ah, the great chain of being (young and dumb)

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                  • I know. I was held up in a kind of state of perpetual post-adolescence since I started teaching when I was 24 and pretty much stayed with that age group, more or less, for the next 30 years. It was only at the end I realized (and I blame No Child Left Behind) that they were really a LOT different from me. 🙂

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                    • No child left behind has been a total disaster for education. it one of those “sounds good in theory” programs. But anyone who knows anything about reality and kids and teaching knew it was going to be awful. We voted against it in Massachusetts, but all the ‘progressive educators’ were promoting it. What a mess. I think that’s why my granddaughter didn’t get an education.

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                    • I would not be surprised. One thing is those kids did not learn how to learn — the most important skill school imparts. And they ended up very arrogant, based on test scores or absolutely demotivated and humiliated, again, based on test scores. Curiosity became too dangerous because OMG! you could make a mistake and FAIL. I believe there is a difference between an “educator” and a “teacher.” 😦 And now those kids are trying to figure things out as young adults. Really wrong and unfair.

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  6. Marilyn, you’ve done it again! Reading your post I found a lot to agree with and some points made a lot of sense, then I read the comments and man have some people got issues. We can disagree with others but is there any need to shout them down? I believe that a mixed society is necessary today in order to progress. I want to see an end to war, poverty, hatred and bigotry which will take everyone forward together. I believe we are all equal, although our talents are different. Why should we listen to those who have nothing to offer? Because everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
    If I don’t agree with something you said should I shout about having it removed? Or just start a debate with you over it? We won’t agree with everyone all the time but should we prevent dialogue by shouting over others? I may not agree with you but I respect your point of view and will debate with anyone at any time, peace, love and a lot of respect as always xoxo

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    • I’m okay with discourse as long as it doesn’t get ugly or personal … or goes on to where everyone is just repeating themselves. I don’t generally like long complicated arguments in comments, but in this case, I kind of knew it was likely to happen, so i let it roll. i normally would cut it off sooner, but there’s nothing normal about the world right now. I have to admit I’m exhausted. i don’t remember what normal feels like anymore.

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    • This whole last bunch of months has been emotionally and mentally exhausting. We really need to do something about the way we elect presidents. This is like a bad movie that never seems to end. There are better ways. We need to take them. It’s enough to crush anyone’s spirits.

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  7. Amen to the Golden Rule. It is simple and if accepted by all, our world would be a much better place to live. 🙂 I worked many years in Human Resources, and I remember when someone was fired it was sometimes referred to as ‘involuntary termination.’ Ridiculous. Kind of like when I’d have to walk around to make sure no one had any religious artifacts out at Christmas, oh sorry, Holiday time. 🙂

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  8. Pingback: Is political correctness outdated politics? Do we need to modify or replace it? – Let's Go

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