From this point on, because of my maternal great-great-grandfather, I must be addressed as Lithuanian-American. My eyes may be blue, but my hair certainly isn’t brown. It’s a deeper shade of “toast,” please. And, shoot, I think the only safe color left anywhere is pink. Barney Frank is going to be pleased.
But look out, Britain. The word police are on the way. Is the thought police so far behind?
From the Times yesterday:
Among the everyday sayings that have been quietly dropped in a bid to stamp out racism and sexism are “whiter than white”, “gentleman’s agreement”, “black mark” and “right-hand man”.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has advised staff to replace the phrase “black day” with “miserable day”, according to documents released under freedom of information rules.
It points out that certain words carry with them a “hierarchical valuation of skin colour”. The commission even urges employees to be mindful of the term “ethnic minority” because it can imply “something smaller and less important”.
The National Gallery in London believes that the phrase “gentleman’s agreement” is potentially offensive to women and suggests that staff should replace it with “unwritten agreement” or “an agreement based on trust” instead. The term “right-hand man” is also considered taboo by the gallery, with “second in command” being deemed more suitable.
Many institutions have urged their workforce to be mindful of “gender bias” in language. The Learning and Skills Council wants staff to “perfect” their brief rather than “master” it, while the Newcastle University has singled out the phrase “master bedroom” as being problematic.
Seriously, am I a racist now? I most certainly am a racist, apparently, because I oppose a government-run health care program that will surely descend–through the very free market it works to disable–into a single-payer system. I most certainly am a racist, apparently, because I believe in capitalism, in merit-based pay and advancement, and deny the perceived scourge that is man-made global warming. And not to mention that I not only enjoy drinking caucasians, but that I also am one.
In fact, by having previously come out and having said that it is inherently hypocritical to advocate affirmative action and racial equality in the same sentence, that right there makes me a rabid racist. Forget my whole belief in the Constitution and that whole “equal protection” thing. Not to mention my unhealthy, racist obsession with winners, losers, and the benefit of competition.
We are literally coddling ourselves into oblivion. We’ve created a cushy, mushy, “loserless” culture, and it’s choking the life out of all of us. Our children receive faux gold trophies for participation, their schools ban schoolyard games like dodgeball and “tag,” and in the classroom students can no longer answer a question wrong. And, even if they do, forget the red pen — that makes them feel like they failed!
So, what happens when a problem arises? We solve shortcomings in the classroom, gnat-like attention spans caused by an environment devoid of any competition, by over-diagnosing and over-prescribing Ritalin, Adderal and Concerta. We address other shortcomings, like childhood obesity, not by increasing time in the gymnasium (which would also help the classroom behavior) but instead by blaming school districts for the food they serve, or filing suit against fast food restaurants.
Even our current economic crisis was caused by political correctness run amok. Just as everybody deserves a trophy for strapping on a helmet in pee-wee football, everybody deserved a house, even if they couldn’t afford it. As for the banks and lenders, surely there are no losers among them, either — at a time when smaller banks should be enjoying the irresponsible ways of their bigger counterparts, the ones on the losing end of common sense, the government is instead bailing them out, giving trophies for participation and leaving the responsible winners to fend for themselves.
Oh, and for sure we see political correctness into our steady descent into a nanny state. The Democrats are trying desperately to spend nearly two trillion dollars and destroy our free market-driven health care system so they can theoretically insure the 15 million or so people truly uninsured in America.
And, of course, don’t forget matters of national security. We can’t call terrorists “terrorists.” We can’t call acts of terrorism “terrorism.” There are no “jihadists” anymore. Unlike our politically correct approach to childhood obesity, homeownership or health care, however, this divorce from reality could very well get us killed.
How are we, as a society, supposed to truly bridge the perceived divide between races, sexes, classes or more when we cannot confront them, when we’re avoiding them like a giant pachyderm in the room (I don’t want to say “elephant” for fear of offending Rosie O’Donnell) and tiptoeing around the simplest of phrases? Saying that I want my coffee “black. . . I mean, dark . . . I mean, without cream or sugar or artificial sweetener” makes things even more uncomfortable, and just eliminates the conversation that truly makes us all equal from the landscape of human nature.
This is communal liberalism run amok. It’s happening in Britain now, and it will get even worse there and here unless we all just put our feet down . . . I mean, take a stand . . . I mean, stand firm . . . I mean, resist, and say that enough is, in fact, enough.
Forgive that last part. I just didn’t want to offend the wheelchair-bound.