Announcing the End of the "PC" ERA

~~Posted by Grail Guardian

No, This isn’t an ad for Macintosh computers. I’m talking about the obnoxiously tepid concept of Political Correctness (being “PC”). Let me explain. Wikipedia defines the phrase as follows:

Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term applied to language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups. Conversely, the term “politically incorrect” is used to refer to language or ideas that may cause offense or that are unconstrained by orthodoxy.

Ruth Perry traces the term back to Mao‘s Little Red Book. According to Perry, the term was later adopted by the radical left in the 1960s, initially seriously and later ironically, as a self-criticism of dogmatic attitudes. In the 1990s, because of the term’s association with radical politics and communist censorship, it was used by the political right in the United States to try to discredit the Old and New Left.[1]

The term itself and its usage are controversial. The term “political correctness” is used almost exclusively in a pejorative sense,[2][1] while “politically incorrect” is commonly used as an implicitly positive self-description, as in the series of “Politically Incorrect Guides“, produced by conservative publisher Regnery[3] and the talk show Politically Incorrect.

Some commentators have argued that the term “political correctness” is a straw man used by conservatives in the 1990s in order to challenge leftist social change, especially with respect to issues of race, religion and gender.

Although I appreciate the tip of the hat to Socialism in defining the term, I prefer these definitions in the Urban Dictionary:

1. politically correct : A way that we speak in America so we don’t offend whining pussies.

Only pathetically weak people that don’t have the balls to say what they feel and mean are politically correct pussies.

by Superior Intellect Oct 5, 2004

2. Politically Correct: 1. The laws of moral and ethical relativism; all systems of cultures and thought are equal in value, steming from a perceived guilt from white liberals who believe that the Western Civilization is the root of all evil to the exclusion of all else.
2. A powerful form of censorship.
abbr: PC

Political correctness has a basic flaw. If all views are equal, why do some who embrace this view feel the need to push this agenda as the “correct” one at the same time demonizing other views as “incorrect”?

by tradesman Mar 31, 2003

So here’s the deal. Somewhere back in the infamous “Me” decade, the far Left decided it was no longer proper to offend anyone in any way when exercising our Constitution right to Free Speech. So we all spent the last 20 years +/- trying to call people “African Americans” instead of Negroes or Blacks, and “Latinos” instead of Mexicans or Cubans or Puerto Ricans (a semantic difference I’m sure people within those ethnic groups would prefer be out in the open), and gender-neutralizing every position (Chairperson or Chair instead of Chairman, and of course the eternal conundrum of what exactly to call the person that makes your postal deliveries since Mailperson doesn’t really quite work). We corrected each other ad nauseum, and parsed our words carefully lest we offend some genteel minority that has less opportunity than we (due, of course, to our highly advantaged positions gained by the hard work and determination of our parents and grandparents to ignore the outright torment they received upon arrival in this country, simply because they thought it was worth it to be able to live free in the USA).

In short, there was no law passed, no national initiative launched by Executive decree, no movement with a spokesperson speaking to us as a nation. Just some Liberals who thought it was a good idea and began shushing us and correcting us publicly (with no regard to our own personal embarrassment). They used our own rules to change how we spoke (Hmmm, now doesn’t that sound familiar?).

Now here we are in 2008, and I have been called a racist, bitter, a typical white woman, and countless much less flattering phrases by the extreme Left. I was discussing this topic yesterday with my Dad, and I asked him a question that he couldn’t answer: “Why isn’t anyone ever worried about offending me?” He laughed it off, but we both knew that my question had some real gravitas. So I’ve been mulling it over in my head and came to the following conclusion: no one ever had any official sanction to start Political Correctness, so I guess I have as much authority as anyone to declare it over! So there you have it: no more parsing, no more creating neutral words that make you sound like a doofus, no more worrying about how some minority or disadvantaged person might interpret what you had to say through their filter of hatred and anti-white bias. You have been granted permission to stop by someone with as much authority as anyone else.

So what do I propose instead? How about this: let’s follow a written law that has been part of every major civilization and religion since before humans started recording history. It’s simple, elegant, covers all the bases, and is approved by some of the largest historical figures ever: Moses, Yeshua/Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Anu, Queztalcoatl, Viracocha, Confucius, the Great Spirit, Zeus, Dagda, Freyr, Mohandas Ghandi, the Dali Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Schweitzer, the list goes on and on. It’s got impeccable creds, universal backing in almost all printed religious doctrines, and it’s a basic tenet of life that would preclude virtually any other law or rule being enacted if only we would follow it. Guessed what it is yet?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself

So here’s what I would have other do unto me, in no particular order:

  1. Respect me. I have as much right as you to have opinions and ideas, and it’s ok if they differ from yours. That’s what makes the world such a diverse place. I will always start out offering you respect. It’s up to you to keep it. Once you lose it, it’s not easy to get back. I expect to be treated the same way, despite any differences we may have culturally, ethnically, spiritually, or ideologically. This doesn’t mean I expect you to accept every idea I have or statement I make; I just want you to listen to them and give them a chance. If you disagree, make a thoughtful and reasoned response. Please don’t shoot from the hip or go off me in an angry manner. I don’t like acting that way, but this election season has brought that out in me (all of us) and we need to stop.
  2. Give me equal rights. I am fundamentally no different in anyone else when considering my physical body. It does not matter what color my skin is, what reproductive organs I have or don’t have, what family I was born into, what nation I come from, what disabilities or deformities I may have, whether or not I fit into some narrow definition of “beauty” (whatever that is), what I do behind closed doors with another consenting adult, how many chronological years have passed since I reached maturity, or what my beliefs are regarding the existence or lack of a higher power. What matters is what’s inside, how I choose to behave, and the efforts I make to be a contributing member to the tribe of planet Earth. No one was born a better human being than anyone else; all that counts is what you choose to do with what you were given to work with. Some of the most wonderful individuals I have ever met are what some among us would call “challenged”. They were born with a different path of synapses than most of us, and cannot master the idiotic things we consider important like spouting memorized passages or performing complex mathematical equations, but have the ability to look at life with a basic level of truth and innocence that we could all benefit from. Our pathetic competition and need to feel superior is consistently the downfall of humans. Stop for a moment and think how you felt about Americans on September 12, 2001. None of cared about any of this crap; we were Americans, we had been attacked, and we stood together against a horrendous event that changed us all. People of other nations around the globe stood behind the US in indignation and shock that such a thing could happen in this age. No one cared about national, racial, or religious lines except those that caused the atrocity and their supporters. The brotherhood that encircled the globe those next few days personified what we all deserve every single day of our lives.
  3. Help me when I need it. I’m talking hand up, not hand out. Our nation has a rich history of reaching out to assist those that are suffering from tragedy and hard times, whether they be Americans devastated by hurricanes, South Pacific residents beleaguered by tsunamis, Asians left injured and homeless by earthquakes, Europeans battling tyranny and oppression by fascist regimes, Africans plagued by disease and famine, South Americans escaping mudslides, or children left orphaned by wars and disease throughout the world. This is a country that was founded on neighbors helping neighbors, families helping families, and strangers helping others not as fortunate as they are. I want that back! I am sick to death of this country being split into Haves and Have Nots. Circumstances can find anyone in dire straits, but we need to be there for each other. Look at the simplicity of the Amish or Mennonites to see what it is we have forgotten. Not the lack of technology, but the lack of envy and selfishness; these people help each other build their houses, farm their crops, cook meals for each other when people are ill – all the things our grandparents did and we forgot about. That being said, it’s time to end the handouts. And bailouts. No one should be left on public assistance for life unless there is absolutely no alternative. Yep, I said it. Time limits on welfare. Private foundations, family and friends could help even the most destitute among us once we get back on our feet initially. The system has been abused (as has Social Security) by people who don’t actually need it, and now those that do need it cannot get the help they deserve because others took government checks to line their own pockets when their pockets were already flush. I help my family and friends whenever I can. I want the same type of help when I need it, but I don’t ever want to stop contributing in order to keep on the dole. I have seen it first hand, and I don’t like the effect it has on people. They become less than they could be, merely because they are afraid of losing their support. It weakens individuals and weakens society. If people are willing to go back to work when they are able, let them continue to receive supplements until they are steady on their feet, but then it’s time to help someone else. The system needs to be totally revamped; it is broken beyond repair by those that would destroy America.
  4. Inform me. The world is a big place, and the only way I can appreciate its grandeur is to be informed about what is really going on in it. We need an independent press that is responsible to no one; not the governments it reports on, not corporate owners, not political causes or organizations, and especially not groupthink. The media needs to be responsible to those who use it for information – namely us! There needs to be someplace everyone can turn to find out the events that transpire without the personal bias of the reporter or news organization attached as fact. Want commentators? Fine. Label them as such, and offer opposing viewpoints. And more than one. They typical 00:00:30 Democratic viewpoint followed by the 00:00:30 Republican viewpoint is BS! Truth is, most of us aren’t hardcore Democrats or Republicans, especially after this election cycle. We have 24-hour news channels, but all we get is 15 minutes worth of actual news regurgitated for 23:45. Perhaps non-for-profits are the answer; every government and every commercial media outlet should contribute to a fund that pays the salaries of real reporters that are accessible by all the media (similar to AP and Reuters, but with public funding and no scoops – all media have access to the same research and stories).
  5. Give me a chance. I have no problem with Capitalism, as long as I have the same opportunities as anyone else to work for my piece of the proverbial pie. No nepotism, no affirmative action, no legacies, no special commissions, no favoritism, no golden parachutes, no bonuses based on contract negotiations rather than performance. Every position, public and private, must be justified by accomplishment and aptitude. Promotions and raises must be earned and justifiable. Bonuses may be based on contribution, and need not be handed out equally regardless of accomplishment. No one automatically gets more than me, and I don’t automatically get more than anyone else. If I get ahead, it’s because I earned it. If I fall behind the group, I am not rewarded with the rest. That’s real Capitalism. Let’s try it – we’ve never really done it before, no matter what people would have you believe (and you know I’m right). Oh, and by the way, that includes not getting ahead by destroying things for everyone else (like the environment). If I use a public resource, I must pay for it. If I destroy a public resource, same concept applies.

I could go on, but I think if we followed these 5 points we’d all have to agree the world would be a much nicer place. And we’d all have less to fight about. Who knows, we might even reduce or eliminate stress and actually be happy for a change; what a concept! As a footnote, for those of you who have been thinking “yeah, that’s all nice but what’s it got to do with the election?” I want you to take a few minutes and think about these 5 concepts (and the Golden Rule) and what a difference they would have made over the past 23 months. This is about as radical as politics gets; suggesting we eliminate the very idea of politics and return to dealing with each other as people rather than opposing tribes.

It’s just a thought…

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9 Responses

  1. A fantastic diatribe.( I mean that in a good way ;-} ) And right on point.

    What we have become as a society represents nothing of equality and fairness. You are so right that we have come to accept these politically correct euphemisms when in all truth they do nothing but divide us further apart.

    Some might call what you are suggesting a little “straight talk.”

    Over the course of this campaign I have watched as our English language has been redefined by people that find “code words” in nearly everything we say. Calling me a typical white person is apparently just fine. If the term white was substituted with another color such a phrase would be considered offensive. It’s insane.

    I try my best to respect others. And at times I fall into the trap of PC myself. But if we are to have actual meaningful conversation that will take us beyond this fantasy of “getting along” then we need to start speaking our minds the way the thoughts come naturally to us. I have nothing to fear from being honest.

    And just as an aside, I think that it is wrong for Obama to be labeled as an African American. That term was adopted to represent blacks that lost their country identity due to the horrors of slavery. Barack Obama is a Kenyan American.

  2. Treating people with courtesy is different from being PC. It’s hard; it requires stopping and thinking while in the heat of an emotional moment. It requires self-reflection and personal integrity, and willingness to think about the other person’t point of view. It’d be nice if we could toward it.

    I think a huge part of this is that each person needs to realize that we all contain the gamut of human nature; we all have good and bad, destructive and powerless, loving and hating pieces to us. No one is on the “right” side all the time. To judge ourselves or anyone else for that is not helpful.

    To responsibly state one’s own beliefs without resorting to insult & degredation of others’ takes skill and commitment, and is something for us to work toward. One trap of being PC is that while paying attention to the surface of things, people tend not to look at what’s underneath, and then you wind up with this huge dissonance between what’s said and what’s meant internally. And then you get girls wearing those awful Palin is a … tshirts. I feel sorry for them, really. Somewhere, shame will catch up to them.

    We should care about how other people, rather than spending so much time caring about what they think of us. I agree wholeheartedly with your golden rule, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

    thanks for the post.

  3. sorry, typed too fast…

    “it’d be nice if we could WORK toward it”. And,
    “we should care about how other people FEEL”

  4. With all due respect, I think one should study Mohammed’s opinion more closely before casually lumping him in with all these other fine mythmakers and spiritual leaders, and remember, disagreeing with Mohammed’s ideology does not make one a r*cist. Islam is not a race. It is an ideology, a rather pernicious one at that. Read the Qu’ran, the Sura, and the Hadiths, word for word, and you too will realize that there is no correlative to the Golden Rule in Mohammedism.

    While many on this blog have confessed to having had the scales drop off their eyes with regard to party politics, as a lifelong independent, I certainly agree that that is a splendid thing. But there is so much more to parse with regard to a clear-eyed worldview, which none of us will ever attain resolutely, although we do try. Understanding why Islam is not your friend is one of these lifechanging epiphanies, and unfortunately, this realization on a grand scale may come a lot faster and a lot harder at us than what we have just witnessed as unconscionable abuses of our American heritage in the context of this present election cycle. Our politicians are just as much asleep at the wheel or in active collusion with many of America’s enemies as they were neck deep in the middle of this current financial swindle.

    Just another wrinkle. Just another two cents.

  5. Good post, Grail Guardian. It speaks to a lot that I have had on my mind these past months. The sad part of it is, I find myself an entirely different person lately than I was before all this bedlam began. I no longer tolerate people that I don’t particularly like just to be agreeable.
    I refuse to go along just to get along.

  6. Pale Lion,

    While I confess to not being an expert in the Qu’ran, I would point out that true Muslims worship the God of Abraham, who is indeed the same God that Jews worship, and theoretically Christians as well. That’s where I drew the parallel. I will take your word for it that Mohammed may not have personally advocated the pure faith and stand corrected.

    lee M,

    It’s a difficult line to walk. On the one hand, an angry edge makes the political fight that much more poignant. On the other, we all lose something spiritually when we dwell in anger and fear. I understand where it comes from. I only hope that we can come back from the edge, when the time comes, as whole and healthy people and not bitter, resentful partisans looking to pick the next fight.

  7. Brilliant post…truly.
    I taught my three sons to respect everyone else…period.
    We have a saying that we follow and you really can’t go wrong with it:
    “it’s not who is right, it’s what is right”
    Try it…there is no getting around it.
    I challenged my friends who are all “secret conservatives” to just come out and start talking to people. They were amazed at how much everyone had in common.
    It made me realize just how successful the PC movement has been [Mao was no fool] …just ask any conservative in a “blue” state if they feel comfortable admitting that they are a conservative. And yet, do they belong to an illegal group? No. Are they racist haters? No.
    When you really think about all this, it’s really chilling….

  8. Excellent essay.
    Any effort of leading the way the language evolves is a losing proposition. The “PC” efforts were well meaning but ripe for ridicule – and the PI concept was born in a right wing think tank to excuse racist and sexist discourse. A lot of people adopted it without figuring out its goal. It was my pet peeve for years
    So, yeah, rather than police people’s talk, we should rather concentrate on respecting one another and recognizing everyone’s rights. Everyone’s. Even women.

  9. lee M., on October 13th, 2008 at 4:59 pm Said:

    “Good post, Grail Guardian. It speaks to a lot that I have had on my The sad part of it is, I find myself an entirely different person lately than I was before all this bedlam began. I no longer tolerate people that I don’t particularly like just to be agreeable.
    I refuse to go along just to get along.”

    edgeoforever, on October 14th, 2008 at 7:31 am Said:
    “Excellent essay.
    Any effort of leading the way the language evolves is a losing proposition. The “PC” efforts were well meaning but ripe for ridicule – and the PI concept was born in a right wing think tank to excuse racist and sexist discourse. A lot of people adopted it without figuring out its goal. It was my pet peeve for years
    So, yeah, rather than police people’s talk, we should rather concentrate on respecting one another and recognizing everyone’s rights. Everyone’s. Even women.”

    Ditto to both of your comments.

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