What place does/should political correctness hold in our society?
At what point does a word or phrase overshadow the intent behind it?
We call steward(esses) flight attendants now... Isn't a steward a caretaker? Is that an offensive term?
Why the controversy over black/african-american? Not all dark-skinned people are american, and not all Africans are dark-skinned. It's confusing.
Is it OK for me to insult someone, so long as it isn't recognized as an insult? Is it actually any better to call someone "Far right/left wing" than it is to call them a "radical conservative/liberal"?
I believe that words mean something... But why must we play so many games with them? Why do we have to trick others into hearing what we didn't say, rather than just saying what we meant?
I agree that Political Correctness is largely meant to obscure language rather than to redefine its meaning more properly. I tend to think of myself in the George Carlin school of practical linguistics, which questions euphemisms and unnecessary obscuring of words.
We have been conditioned that to offend someone is wrong, no matter what our own beliefs are. Sometimes you just can't help pissing someone off. It's going to happen, and it's better to be pissed off, than pissed on.
I wish that we could all just be Americans. If I were to label myself as a White American, I would surely get some weird looks. If someone started that NAAWP there would be an uprising.
Personally I'm tired of the hypocrisy. What is ok for one group of people, should go across the board.
Two things that I have made no secret about detesting in my Weblogs are political correctness and "hyphenated Americans".
Political (or "cultural) correctness is dangerous because it has a grain of truth, but that truth is out of balance. I do not wish to offend the undeserving and the innocent with careless words, but too many people are either thin skinned or, as is more likely, walking around with chips on their shoulders looking for something to cry about. A careless slip of the tongue can have you in trouble before Al Sharpton (unless you happen to be a black Conservative), B'nai B'rith, the Arab Anti-Defamation League, the National Order of Women and a host of others. It is not about trying to be more sensitive to the feelings of others, it is about power.
Political correctness is, in fact, an attempt to stifle freedom of speech. "Careful! I'll be offended and I'll tell Big Brother! Wait, can you see the tear in my eye already?" Go ahead an whine, Skippy. People are getting tired of the power plays.
The other thing I detest is a hyphenated-American. (Or is that "an 'yphenated"...?) My feeling is that it is only valid if you are an immigrant, so Irish-American is an accurate description. When someone has been in this country for generations, then they are putting their emotional loyalty (and perhaps literal loyalty) to their national origin. In the case of "African-American", the offense is more absurd because nobody knows which part of the African continent someone is from, but places like Egypt, Liberia and others are African nations.
Someone in the black leadership kept changing the term. As economist Walter E. Williams said, he was Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black and then African-American, but he refused to make the last change, so it's "black by popular demand". One fellow attempted to rephrase it into something more accurate by very awkward: Americans of African descent.
Anyway, I seriously feel that we should not be hyphenated Americans (and I suppose I should be a Swedish-Danish-Scottish-American, and my wife with an even more horrid abomination in front of "American") because we should be Americans first.
And I suspect people in other countries feel similarly.
I see that you are a Discerning-American. A metal sign of that Duke picture is on the wall three feet away from me, and I have that song. Wish I had thought of "Divided American" to put in my diatribe.
Political correctness is an attempt to change truth. Those who don't like truth will always choose to take offense when it is spoken. The evil of political correctness is that it is false gentility. As long as you speak using the correct words your heart can be evil but you are not. It is a tool to hide evil and corrupt truth.
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