Benevolent Inquisitors?

My hero, George Carlin*
“Politically correct: conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.” Merriam Webster

Now, who could oppose that? Moi! Tooth and nail! Hammer and fist! Feather and pillow! But why? What could have made me so depraved? I
’ll tell you.

To begin with, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the U.S. Bill of Rights. To whit: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” After 200-plus years, PC has discovered that the founding fathers couldn’t tell their asses from a hole in the ground, making it necessary for us to do precisely what they forbade.

PCers seek to accomplish legally what terrorists attempt to do with bullets, that is to silence anyone who disagrees with them, although PC is more dangerous because when the law opposes freedom, dissidents are without appeal. It
’s also true that the methods of terrorists are counter-productive, except among true-believers and PCers anyway. When cartoonists and filmmakers are murdered, PC maintains that they brought it upon themselves.

Until PC can make its values into law (as, they’re fond of saying,
has already been done in the rest of the civilized world), they’re stuck with extralegal intimidation to whip people into line. Peggy’s former employer (Peace Health, no less) not only fired people for non-PC remarks, it encouraged employees to rat on one another for saying the wrong thing in private conversation, both at and away from work.

PC would seem to offer something to everyone since all of us are treated badly by someone for some reason. The young are considered naive by the old, and the old are patronized as doddery by the young. City people regard country people as hicks, and country people joke about city people being squirrelly. Depending upon the person I’m with, I’m considered inferior for reasons of age, accent, gender, atheism, race, rurality, nationality, slowness to speak, and various unpopular values. PC promises a world in which I would never again be consigned to a box of inferiority, but since they themselves
consign me to one, I have no confidence in their honesty or their benevolence. 

My opinion of the politically correct is no better than theirs of me. I consider them humorless, shallow, and no more kind and inclusive than the Gestapo. People who live by a narrow set of rules and seek to use intimidation to force those rules upon others can only bring misery into the world. It’s not the apathetic who terrorize people; it’s the idealists.

Force cannot create virtue. Repress sexuality and you get perversion; demand honesty, and the result is evasiveness; force niceness, and you encourage bitterness combined with cunning.

Since college students are its major proponents, PC is likely to become increasingly dominant. Chris Rock expressed his reason for no longer performing at colleges this way: “…they’re way too conservative.... Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” Now, students are recording lectures so that they can pick them apart for signs of microaggression.

I have long voted Democratic because Republicans only seem interested in the freedom of corporations and evangelicals, but now that most Democrats support laws against
hate speech, I’m left without a viable option.

By presenting its values as kind and inclusive and everyone elses as fearful and hateful, PC allows no middle ground and no room for open examination or well-intentioned disagreement (even the term politically-correct sets it against being politically-wrong).

Another hero, George Orwell
It dismisses and marginalizes by mislabeling. If you oppose illegal immigration, you’re a racist. If you oppose gay marriage for any reason, you’re a homophobe. If you oppose abortion, you’re either a paternalistic male or a female victim of male paternalism. If you refer to yourself as your pet’s owner, you’re a speciest. And god forbid that you call anyone a mailman or a waitress, because PC isn’t a matter of the heart but of the vocabulary, no matter that its vocabulary is narrow, euphemistic, patronizing, ever-changing, glaringly inaccurate, and dismissive of diversity. For instance, the term Negro was changed to black; black became African-American; and now African-American is giving way to person of color; all while the word white lingers on. Could it not be that this inability to get it right where Negro Americans are concerned arises from a discomfort with blackness, and could it not be that the whole PC phenomenon comes from a wish to deny one’s bigotry?

PC is another name for liberal-speak and while much of the country remains conservative, liberal-speak has become compulsory in the winning of elections and in the keeping of home and job. Conservative leaders might vehemently oppose many liberal positions, but they don’t dare refute liberal vocabulary.

PC substitutes name-calling for argument. PCers don
’t refer to those who disagree with them as mansplainers or whitesplainers in order to encourage intelligent discussion but to make it impossible. Accusations of fear and hatred against those who don’t use PC terminology accomplishes the same thing. If I say that Islam is a violent religion, I must surely be an Islamophobe (PC regards religion as benevolent without regard to its violence and bigotry). If I call someone an actress, I must surely be a misogynist, or if I refer to someone from China as an Oriental, I’m obviously a sinophobe and therefore an embarrassment to my friends and an object of derision to PCers.

PC not only penalizes people for holding the wrong values but for asking the wrong questions. Are there intellectual differences between women and men, and are black people better dancers? God forbid that one should wonder.

If you want to see what PC would look like if taken to its logical conclusion, read the following description by
self-described human rights activist and writer Tanya Cohen:
If people like Cohen succeed, the only people who will be fair game for criticism will be those who oppose PC. As she puts it, “Hate speech (i.e. political incorrectness) doesn
t just lead to violence, hate speech is violence.” Perhaps, you’ll be pleased to learn that, by her definition, you’re reading a blog that’s filled to the gills with hate speech and that it’s owner is proud of it.

*Carlin photo by GreyGeezer. There was a day when people like Carlin, Orwell, Thoreau, and Abbey were heroes to the young. Now that they’re pariahs, I fear for our future because if the young despise liberty, the camps will surely follow.


stephen Hayes said...

It seems that everyone is offended by some type of speech these days. Conversations are becoming mine fields. I recently told someone a joke that a good Jewish friend told me and I was told it was anti-semitic.

Elephant's Child said...

It really is a minefield.
I deplored the Charlie Hedbo shooting - but wasn't surprised. If you know that there is an aggressive dog growling on the street and deliberately poke it with a stick I don't think you should be surprised when it bites. Indeed I think that many of their cartoons were designed to offend. And they succeeeded.
Free speech can be dangerous. Just because someone says something doesn't mean that they are right. Or justified. I suspect that too few people think about what they hear. They simply accept. And act on. Which is where the danger comes in.
The right of free speech, like other 'rights' comes with responsibilities. Something I believe is often forgotten.

kj said...

I keep my own counsel on this, snow. I trust my judgement. and most of the folks around me stretch without offense, because their judgement is sound. I don't listen to Fox News and mean spirited people and most of the time I like dinferences a lot

I didn't read this to the end, but it is thought provoking. You should publish it

😊 love kj

PhilipH said...

I HATE paedophiles, Islamic extremists, the Taliban, and many other things. I can do little or nothing about such people other than to speak of my sheer hatred of them. I would like to see them all wiped out. But I just try to blot them out mentally.

Would I be guilty of 'Hate Speech' were I to proclaim my thoughts at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, or on a TV programme?

I don't know, nor do I much care. We can think what we like and as yet no 'thought police' to harry us.

When I was working as an officer in HM Customs and Excise I once told a little 'Irish' joke. Harmless and quite amusing. However, a colleague reported me to my boss as he was 'offended'. He was Irish, although his speech pattern was BBC English. I was given a gentle reprimand by the boss. He just HAD to do this because the civil service demands it. It has always been the norm in England to tell 'Irish' jokes and still is, but if someone, not necessarily an Irish person, deems it 'offensive' then they have the right to seek some form of redress,

All totally bollocks in my view. I think 'the Poles' are the butt of 'stupid jokes' in the USA.


Charles Gramlich said...

I worry about the impact on writing. there are already words you can't use in writing even if you put them into the mouths of characters because they will be seen as coming from the writer anyway

Myrna R. said...

I guess almost anything, even if well intentioned, taken to an extreme becomes dangerously fanatic. PC can be rediculously carried to extreme. Yet, there is power in words and they can be hurtful. My daughter came home once asking "What's a spic?" Another child had called her that. I'm sure he didn't even fully know what it meant, but perhaps heard it from someone who did. And i did. So, I'm not opposed to increasing awareness about the effects of ethnic and racial slurs. I don't consider it THE solution to accepting diversity, but a tiny step. Not sure this can be legislated though, when it's the attitudes, thoughts and actions of intolerence that really fume discord.

Snowbrush said...

“I recently told someone a joke that a good Jewish friend told me and I was told it was anti-semitic.”

It sounds like you were met with the voice of authority. In other words, the speaker didn’t say that he or she felt a certain way, or that he or she had some concerns, but rather that YOUR joke was anti-Semitic, implying that YOU either hate Jews or else YOU’RE a dullard who can’t identify bigotry when it smacks him in the head. I’m past letting people like that put me on the defensive, so in this instance, I would have asked for proof, and maybe even said something about him or her being unkind, ungracious, and condescending. While floating down the Grand Canyon, a mile below the world of “man,” Edward Abbey reflected, “What incredible shit we put up with,” and he was right, and I’m done putting up with it.

My favorite stand-up appearance—now that Carlin is dead—was done by Sarah Silverman in her movie, and I don’t know that it would be possible to go further than she did into political incorrectness, yet she leaves in tears while all but rolling on the floor. If I find something funny, I don’t care about other considerations, but if it’s not funny, then I’m quite capable of being offended, the line being that, if it’s not funny, then it’s simply mean. Peggy objects to Carlin for this reason (meaning that she sees him as hateful and bitter), and I agree that he often pushes the limit, but I also see him as having been a social critic as well a comedian. He had the the guts to call our species on its bullshit, and sometimes I laugh at his efforts, and other times, I simply go away with something new to ponder because he succeeded in pointing out something that I hadn’t seen. He was like a finely-tuned antenna in this way while, by comparison, I’m like a coat hanger on one of the old rabbit-ear antennas, but at least I’m a lot better off than I would be without him because he had the courage to see things are they are while most of us are intent on avoiding the truth.

“If you know that there is an aggressive dog growling on the street and deliberately poke it with a stick I don't think you should be surprised when it bites.”

I don’t see the parallel between a physical assault and a cartoon, and I’m not keen on claiming that the victim of a crime “brought it on himself” and therefore in any measure deserved to be assaulted. Your line of reasoning could—and often is—applied to victims of rape—if she hadn’t wanted to be raped, she shouldn’t have dressed like that, gone for a walk in that part of town, or drank too much at that party. The biggest difference in blaming a woman for being raped and blaming moviemakers and cartoonists for being murdered is that moviemakers and cartoonists aren’t just victims; they’re people who have the guts to stand up to evil. To say that we shouldn’t criticize Moslems if we don’t want them to kill us is to knuckle under to evil and to suggest that we all limit our criticisms to those whom are inoffensive, and what does this teach either the violent or the peaceable other than that violence is an effective means to silence anyone who hurts your feelings?

Snowbrush said...

“I don't listen to Fox News and mean spirited people and most of the time…”’

Fox is home to hate mongers, but the biggest difference between a conservative like O’Reilly and a PCer like Cohen is that O’Reilly attracts advertisers and can therefore reach a wide audience, while Cohen has to give her writing away, and a person has to dig to find it. I do suspect though that O’Reilly would agree with Cohen, at least to the extent of wanting criticisms of his Catholic faith outlawed. PCers and many (if not most) religious conservatives are pretty much in the same boat when it comes to thinking that religion should be beyond criticism.

“I didn't read this to the end, but it is thought provoking.”

I have no illusions about most people reading posts of any length, and since my posts have become longer of late, and my views are often unpopular, I’ve had to ask myself whether I value being read more or whether my emphasis should be on expressing myself as well—and as succinctly—as I can about things that are important to me, and leave it to my readers to decide whether they’re interested enough in what I have to say to hang in there. I put many days and many hours into some of my posts—including this one—even lying awake at night trying to think of additional points to make or ways to better express points I’ve already made. Unfortunately, putting so very much of myself into my posts and into my response to comments, means that I’m hard-put to visit other blogs nearly so much as I would like. If I should lose all my readers, it would be a cause for enormous sadness to me, but I can’t allow myself to keep them by shortening posts or hiding those parts of myself that are unacceptable.

“I HATE paedophiles, Islamic extremists, the Taliban, and many other things.”

I’ve heard Taliban jokes and even suicide bomber jokes, but I’ve never heard a pedophile joke—have you? As for your hatred of such people, I’m right there alongside you. Looking back, I know that I’ve been friends with at least two pedophiles (whether they molested anyone or not, I don’t know), but there used to be so much denial that such people existed that I tried not to see what was right before my eyes. Now, it would be reason for me to end a friendship, but at the time, I just told myself that Bill or Ken didn’t really mean what he said or that he wouldn’t really act on it. For example, Ken said that a little girl who was flirtatious with him was “asking for it,” and while I was horrified, I wouldn’t allow myself to see that he would have molested her if he had had the chance. I did report my suspicions about Bill—a brother-in-law to—people in the family who had small children, so least I did something that I can look back and feel good about. As for Ken, there was really nothing that I could have done, whether back then or today.

Snowbrush said...

“Would I be guilty of 'Hate Speech' were I to proclaim my thoughts at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, or on a TV programme?”

I was hoping that you could tell me because Cohen held up Australia and Europe as examples of how America should be. If I had to choose between America’s lunacy regarding guns and the lunacy of those countries that fine and jail people for expressing unpopular opinions, I would take America because I had rather risk being shot by some moron than being jailed by my own government for horrible crime of speaking my mind.

“I think 'the Poles' are the butt of 'stupid jokes' in the USA.”

Maybe in some places. I used to hear them in high school (the last three or four years of public schooling, starting at about age 15 and going to 18), but rarely after that. The funny thing about hearing them as I did was that I lived in the South, which, when it comes to ancestry, is the most thoroughly English part of the country for white people. Not one of us had even laid eyes on anyone from Poland, yet here we were laughing at Polish jokes.

“It has always been the norm in England to tell 'Irish' jokes and still is, but if someone, not necessarily an Irish person, deems it 'offensive' then they have the right to seek some form of redress.”

Yeah, Phil, you should definitely have been flogged for being naughty, or at least have been made to stand in the corner with a dunce cap on your head.

Snowbrush said...

“PC can be rediculously carried to extreme. Yet, there is power in words and they can be hurtful.”

A friend read this post and asked if I considered it okay to call someone a nigger, and it hurt me that she was so very far away from even beginning to understand what I meant to communicate despite the many hours I had put into trying to make myself clear. When I tried to explain my viewpoint, she then concluded that I am in agreement with PC about some things—the word nigger, for example—but not others. I told her that, no, I oppose PC 100% because PC isn’t about justice, consideration, or the use of words, but about forcing people to color within such lines as PC has determined to be acceptable, so even it comes to a word like nigger that I don’t think should ever be used (outside of some literary context or historical reference) I’m still in complete opposition to PC. You’re right, of course, that words can be hurtful, unfair, unreasonable, and completely stupid, but PC isn’t the answer. For one thing, when you simply outlaw something, you remove it from the arena of public discussion, and if it can’t be discussed, it can’t be refuted.

“I'm not opposed to increasing awareness about the effects of ethnic and racial slurs.”

Me either. Teach school kids that it’s unfair and hurtful to refer to people with words like spic. Preach the same in church too, and I’ll be right on board with you, but to outlaw words? I appear to be on board with you about that too, because all we would get for it would be to push bigotry underground where it would be expressed as anger based upon some acceptable pretext. Sure, we could do as Cohen wants and put people in prison for 25-years (minimum) and subject them to months and months and months of “sensitivity” training while they’re there, but to throw away a third of a person’s life because you don’t like something he or she said?! Sounds pretty insensitive to me.

Elephant's Child said...

You are right and I expressed myself badly. And yes, I suppose I was very close to victim blaming, which I abhore and speak up about in other areas. Thank you.
No, I don't think the response to the cartoons was right, or reasonable. I wasn't surprised either though. Perhaps, using the rape analogy, it was going into an area known to be unsafe, naked and drunk. The response was still wrong. Not unexpected but still very wrong.
I wish I could think of a solution other than meeting violence with violence. Which for the moment at least seems to be ineffective. We are also killing those innocent of aggression who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And that wrong place is their home. Which further inflames the situation - particularly for those looking to be offended.No easy answers.

lotta joy said...

Your post coincides with a video I watched this week. There were five white people present - none older than 21 - who were asked: "WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE?" There was silence as five people squirmed in their seats with a look of fear in their eyes. "Don't pick me!" was on everyone's minds as they were each asked again "WHAT DOES BEING WHITE MEAN TO YOU?" One young woman confessed to having never thought about it. The others remained dumbfounded. It is not politically correct to even say you are white. White pride? Better not. White history month? Not if you value your life. There can never be an equivalent to the NAACP, even though we are past the point of disappearing as a race.

PC has completely bent over backwards to ignore the fact we are here, but not for long. When we have vanished even the history books will have to neglect mentioning our disappearance.

G. B. Miller said...

There is a wonderful blog called Marquette Warrior and it's written by a professor from Marquette who was subsequently placed on admin leave from his job for calling out a teacher by name for belittling a student in her class because he did not support gay marriage (Marquette is Catholic school in name only it seems).

She felt "intimidated" by the professor (tenured), and the admin not only placed him leave but banned him from campus and have tried to make his life miserable.

This is also the same place where faculty and students went bananas because the admin showed a tiny bit of spine by painting over a mural dedicated to glorious Angela Davis.

rhymeswithplague said...

This is not a joke, per se, but it is a true story. Our friend Rosemary L., who died a year ago or so at the age of 95, kept up her appearance to the end. She also was prone to malapropisms, and one day she asked another friend, Sharon S., to take her to the mall so she could get "a manicure and a pedophile"....

Now you have heard a not-exactly joke on that particular topic.

rhymeswithplague said...

If memory serves, the whole concept of Political Correctness began in the People's Republic of China in the days when Mao Zedong was still Mao Tse-ting and the Gang of Four whatever it was terrorized the populace. It only makes sense that extreme leftists in the U.S. who admired the Communist regimes in China and the Soviet Union so much would take up the cry. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

rhymeswithplague said...

Of course I meant Mao Tse-tung...

Joseph Pulikotil said...


Very interesting post. You present your thoughts very logically and with great lucidity.

In India we don't have to vote for any political party. There is an option called NOTA which means none of the above. Many times I opted for NOTA.

There are so many thoughts, ideas and discussions. But no one is prepared to grant freedom to individuals and people who raise their voice against any established norms and practices are dealt with an iron hand. It is surprising that this happens even in democratic countries where freedom is supposed to be paramount.

Our political masters and judges will make a mince meat of individuals who speak out their mind.

In other words, democracy throttles individual freedom.

Best wishes

Snowbrush said...

“Our friend Rosemary L….”

You need to know that my wife is in love with you because of your humor. If you and she ever want to run away together, just know that I won’t stand in your way because I want you to both have the best in life. (I will, of course, continue to draw her Social Security since she made a lot more money than I.)

“It only makes sense that extreme leftists in the U.S. who admired the Communist regimes in China and the Soviet Union so much would take up the cry.”’

I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Rhymes, but many if not most religious people are about as bad, and they’re hardly liberal. If they could get away with passing laws that would limit the freedom to criticize religion, I have NO doubt but what they would, just as they have in many countries. Joseph lives in India, and you can get in deep doo-doo if you criticize religion there (including Christianity), but you can also get in trouble to a lesser extent in Australia and much of Europe—and, of course, you would be killed in the Middle East—for writing the kinds of things that I write on this blog.

“democracy throttles individual freedom”

Long time, no see, Joseph, and welcome. I’ve heard it called “Tyranny by the Majority.” Here, we have a “Bill of Rights” that was intended to protect individual freedoms, but when the rich or the majority want to get around those rights, they can find a way to justify doing so. Of course, no one admits that they’re stomping freedom, they just say that we’re in “a state of national emergency” (that, conveniently, will never end) or that freedom was never intended to go THAT far, etc. There’s an organization here called the American Civil Liberties Society (commonly referred to as the ACLU) that fights against such abuses. I deplore some of the things they do, but I think they do more good than harm, so I’m a member. As you might imagine, it’s the most hated group in America after the “Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).

More later…

Sparkling Red said...

I agree that political correctness on university campuses has gone too far. It's the same in Canada. It's a very complicated problem, and human communication skills seem to be insufficient to handle it.

Snowbrush said...

“I suppose I was very close to victim blaming”

I watched part of a show last night about the Civil Rights movement in my home state of Mississippi. Quite a few young idealists came down from the North to register black people to vote, and three of them were killed. They were probably naive despite their training, and they certainly felt no need to observe local customs because they thought those customs were wrong and, by implication, they considered themselves superior to the Southern whites who observed those customs.

The “Freedom Riders” (as they were called) stayed in black homes and churches with both genders of both races in the same building, this in a state where whites didn’t enter black homes except to do carpentry, plumbing, or other such work, and, likewise, blacks only entered white homes to work, usually as maids. Otherwise, if a black person went to the house of a white person, he would stand in the yard and call out, or, at most, knock on the door and then go stand in the yard. To ignore these taboos against socializing was to risk violence even if you were from the South and previously respected. You might say that the murdered men brought the violence on themselves, and to a degree this was true, yet I’m sure they were doing what they thought was right. As I watched the show I was struck by the fact that almost no attention was given to the feelings and reasoning of the masses of white Southerners. It is the same today as it was then that they were simply seen as obstacles to the good. They might as well have been so many rodents for all anyone cared about them, so it’s a small wonder that the “Freedom Riders” were deeply hated. Even if people are in the wrong, they need to be considered because no one reacts well to being run over.

“White pride? Better not.”

This is true. Here in Oregon, I’ve seen the city council turn on a dime upon being called racist because they initially refused to rename Centennial Blvd to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. (I consider it an absurdly long name for a street)). Even if their ancestors moved here from Norway 70-years ago, white Northern liberals appear to feel guilty. I consider this an advantage of being from the South where there is very little white guilt. I don’t feel pride in being white, though, and I can’t even see why anyone would, but then I don’t see why people feel “proud” of being black, gay, straight, or even American, since I think pride must be earned, and no one can earn being born in a certain place or into a certain race, etc. Besides, doesn’t being proud of something imply that it’s better to be that way than some other way, and therefore constitutes a put-down of those who are some other way.

Snowbrush said...

“Angela Davis”

Yes, she got busted as I recall for getting guns for some black criminals to use to break out of jail (or, more accurately, I think, out of a courtroom), and at least one person (the judge) was killed. Honoring her is a bit like honoring John Brown who was not just a brutal murderer but a brutal mass murderer who was nonetheless highly regarded in the North, even by Thoreau.

“It's a very complicated problem, and human communication skills seem to be insufficient to handle it.”

I see it as ironic that schools that like to think of themselves as guardians of free expression are so eager to abolish the same with the claim that anything they disagree with “isn’t free speech but hate speech,” although it’s impossible for anyone but themselves to find the hatred. I really don’t believe their goal has much to do with abolishing hatred but a lot to do with forcing conformity to their values. “Playing the hatred card” (I just make that up) has become much like “playing the race card” (a famous and well-proven tactic) in that it has a high likelihood of getting you what you want without having to go the trouble of proving that what you want makes sense. At the very least, it forces people to take you seriously whether you deserve to be taken seriously or not.

All Consuming said...

'Political Correctness' as a term, has been taken by the right, (who run the media for the most), in just the same way that the word 'Feminism' has and been used for their own devices, to make the populace despise all the good things about those two terms, and hammer them back into the ground. We all want to have freedom of speech, and I agree with it, and I agree we must all have the right to be offended, and be offensive to. The point of political correctness was stop being ignorant/nasty/rude/intolerant, and be decent human beings. Stweart Lee, (who I've posted the link to below which is on a blog post I refer to as well), says that when he was a child, the right wing party of the Smethwick by-election of 1964, the Conservative Peter Griffiths ran on the line “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour“. There used to be signs in bed and breakfast hotels and pubs saying 'No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish'. There aren't any more. THAT is what political correctness is about. And it is that kind of behaviour that I'm glad has been stopped. Everyone has jumped on the 'what about me? Can't I be oppressed to?!' bandwagon, minimizing the quite serious stupid and cruel behaviour, that was fueled purely by ignorance in the fifties and up to the eighties. PC is supposed to be for ALL of us. Good things HAVE come out of it, and will continue to, despite the battering thrown at it, because that is part of civilisation, a part that uses the word 'civil' in it. Just because you CAN and have the right to say something, doesn't mean as a decent person you should do. Every day I read mass upon mass of media stories that are clearly trying to make people hate each other and start asking themselves - hey, why do those people get treated so well, we get nothing, to make them angry, because angry people do fear very well, and also fear their jobs being taken, and are so easily manipulated. The press isn't filled with all the good things that happen, the wonderful steps forward that have been made in communities, the positives, it grinds people down and makes them angry and bitter at their neighbours, and uses the 'Hell, I can't say ANYTHING these days' as a ploy to divert from the real aim of it. To be CIVIL!

I appreciate I may be in the minority with this view. Hahahaha. That's ok though. And yes, there are extremists on every side, and in every movement, and there's no point in cutting your own nose off to spite your face, or people will turn against you. It's about humanity. Where is the humanity? Everyone is so angry, they are losing their own, just as much as they believe they are having it taken away from them.

rhymeswithplague said...

To counter what All Consuming says about Britain, in the U.S. the media are controlled by the left (with the notable exception of Fox News) and it is the left that has turned political correctness into a case of "no dissent whatever will be tolerated" and "if you don't agree with us you are a racist, hate-filled bigot, a Nazi who must be silenced." This in spite of the first amendment in our Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech, assembly, the press, and religion.

Snowbrush said...

st because you CAN and have the right to say something, doesn't mean as a decent person you should do.”

No question about it, you’re completely right, and I never meant to imply otherwise (BTW, the Stewart Lee video won’t play in the U.S. because the BBC blocked it, supposedly for reasons to do with copyright). I’m NOT pro-rudeness but pro-freedom, and I don’t see how the two can be legally separated without a loss of freedom. A lot people would outlaw this very post as “hate speech” simply because it opposes PC.

“'No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish'. There aren't any more.”

Such signs are now absent in America too, but not due to imposed limits on freedom of speech, but because of laws that require equal access and thereby protect “blacks and Irishmen” (though not dogs) from discrimination. For example of how equal access works, Jessica Ahlquist was a Rhode Island teenager who took her school to court because she was discriminated against as an atheist. When she won, the Freedom from Religion Foundation tried to send her flowers. but could not find a florist in Rhode Island who would fill their order, so they took the florists to court and they won because equal access means that if you supply a public service, you can’t exclude a whole class of people from that service based upon religion, gender, sexual orientation, and so forth, i.e. you have to treat people equally. Now, individual states are passing laws to allow discrimination against gays, atheists, and other “not nice people,” laws that will eventually be challenged in court.

Again, it’s not PC that put an end to such signs, but laws that forbid discrimination, and those I certainly support. I would also support some limits of free speech. For example, I believe that government should be impartial, so, for example, to pray at a government sponsored event should be illegal because such prayers create an unwelcoming environment for those whom don’t worship whatever god is being prayed to. I would see any and all such religious symbols and observances on the part of government as no different from having a Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the South Caroline capitol. I would also limit the freedom to promote violence or pedophilia as long as the focus is narrow. For example, the National Rifle Association is a “gun rights” group that Cohen (linked to in the blog) would outlaw as advocating violence simply because it supports gun ownership. Now, I hate the NRA, but to claim that they promote violence is absurd. Once you start expanding out in such a way, there is not logical place to stop, and Cohen doesn’t stop.

Snowbrush said...

“the notable exception of Fox News”

As Sean Hannity used to say (and maybe still does), “Three hours a day is all we ask.” Add to that two or three hours of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Lars Larsen, and then throw in a couple of more hours of Michael Savage in the evening, and you WILL become more conservative, but the change won’t be based on truth. I used to listen to O’Reilly rage against “ragheads” (Moslems who live in the Middle East) daily because he was passionate and entertaining, but when I started doing my homework on the stories he reported in the “culture wars,” I found that they were shamelessly blown out of proportion. I also got tired of him inviting guests onto his program only to talk over them, call them names, misrepresent their views, and cut off their microphones so they could never ever finish making a point unless it was a point that he could immediately turn against them by taking it to some absurd conclusion. THIS IS JUST THE WAY THAT FOX OPERATES, and FOX presents itself as the voice of conservative America! As for the rest of the media being controlled by liberals, I don’t find this to be true. NBC is supposed to be the most liberal of the major networks, but even it promotes religion through heart-warming stories about prayer and such that—the anchorperson will promise—will warm the heart of the worst cynic (me, I guess), and this on the national news! There is no nationally known news media in this country, there’s entertainment that pretends to be news, and there’s pandering to sell advertising. It’s not about being conservative or liberal; it’s about making money through advertising, so whatever is thought to draw in the most potential customers will be what goes on the air no matter whether it’s FOX air or MSNBC air. I trusted Walter Cronkite, but he has been gone for awhile now.

All Consuming said...

"As for the rest of the media being controlled by liberals, I don’t find this to be true." - That's because the right is always where the most money can be made. So they are the ones with their hands in the media pie.

Generally...I don't agree with most of the comments, but I do understand why they think as they do. My sister said once again to me last night that which our great uncle Vin said to her when she was a teenager - "The young are always liberal left, the older you get, the farther right you go". I think this is sad, but often the case. I shall no go willingly myself mind you.

Snowbrush said...

“The young are always liberal left, the older you get, the farther right you go.”

This brings up a lot of thoughts. I’ve heard it too, and I see this in myself, but I don’t accept the claim that “the young are always liberal,” because the young are sometimes just the opposite (Berlin was considered a liberal and tolerant city before the Nazis). They’re prone to be conformist, impatient and reactionary (against the values of their elders); they’re more likely to be brutal and otherwise go to extremes; they’re often less touched by the consequences of what they advocate; they’re less able to envision the outcome of their actions; and they have no experience with the concept of unintended consequences.

As I look back, I’m unbelievably appalled that, at age 20, I somehow imagined that I knew more of the world than my elders who had been through the Roaring ‘20s, followed by the Great Depression, followed by WWII. Such is the arrogance of the young, and it’s often a laughable arrogance even to them when they look back at old pictures of themselves in their faddish clothes and their faddish hairstyles, and remember how condescendingly they behaved to people who were three times their age and survived so very much of what life can throw at a person. Yes, I’m more conservative. I’m certainly not A conservative, but I’m old enough that I can look back and see, not just what was bad, but what was good about “the old days.” In the ‘60s, my generation thought that we were going to bring into existence some kind of mythical Age of Aquarius, but our beliefs had no depth, and we were nowhere near so wise as we considered ourselves to be.

If you push the pendulum one way, it’s nearly always going to go back the other, and I’m a little fearful that this country is moving so rapidly and so far left in some ways—and so rapidly and so far to the right in others—that the reaction against it will someday be considerable. Quite often, decisions in this country aren’t made by the people but by the nine men and women who occupy the Supreme Court, and it’s a process that guarantees that a whole lot of people are going to feel shafted.

kylie said...

I think (and I say this often) that it is entirely human to have dislikes for particular groups. It might not right or fair but it is human. I also think that we all have a responsibility to keep our dislikes to ourselves and try to treat people well even when they fall into our dislike groups.

I recently read some comments online by a family who were trying to teach their three year old tolerance of all gender identities. I dont often get annoyed by political correctness but i thought that was extreme. "sometimes girls have a penis and sometimes boys have a vagina" yeah. right.

You can probably see that I have no idea where I am going here except maybe to say: lets be respectful without trying to have disclaimers and codas on every statement we make

All Consuming said...

Kylie - "sometimes girls have a penis and sometimes boys have a vagina" yeah. right.'

- Whilst I agree that the age of the child is a little too young, the statement is true, and the children born like that, who are so different, would, much as their peers, know that they were 'just different', not weird, or freaks, or impossible, or liars, or abominations, or their whole life be the subject of ridicule and disbelief, if people DID actually tell their children that these people exist, and it is no-more something to hide, than it is to hide that a boy has a penis and a girl a vagina. There is far more respect in acknowledgment, than ignorance because someone else is uncomfortable with these subjects.

kylie said...

All consuming,
I did think of all that as I wrote it so I hope I wasnt offensive because I should know better. It was the age that bothered me.And the fact that they seemed to be trying so very hard.

All Consuming said...

No worries Kylie. I understand, and that's all good *smiles*.

Joe Todd said...

Just Scary