Now you know that I am PC at all times…sort of. Supreme Court decisions, Confederate flags, religious ed,ISIS et alia have this poor old bald guy scratching his shiny pate. Let’s make it clear from the start that I believe we have gone over the top. I will also add that there are no easy answers but sides in the game Battleship America have been drawn so we should all get ready for torpedoes and salvoes from all angles.
We had a cocktail party in our building a few weeks ago. Just a get together to meet and greet. There were two new residents of #105 and they happen to be Mrs. and Mrs. .There was nothing dramatic or uncomfortable about their presence except for the fact when I first met them I was clueless about the situation.
As I chatted with both young ladies, I being fleet of mind surmised somehow this was out of the ordinary. Then putting two and two together and actually coming out with four I had an aha moment. Rather than being cute about it I asked them straight on. They have been married for almost three years. I said ,”What should I call your partner?” One replied, “My wife and vice versa.” Then she said something surprising, “Thank you for asking.” Wow.
I thought about that for a moment and all of a sudden it dawned on me how uncomfortable it must be for them. They love each and maybe a hell of a lot moreso than some straight couples I know. They were beyond pleasant and engaging. Yet for so long they have had to tiptoe around the subject and walk on eggs. The Supreme Court decision made them legal everywhere. They no longer had to hide. I don’t care whether you are for or against same sex marriage. As a human being you can’t help but be touched.
I let my mind wander to Indians, Redskins, and various other grievances. I have really been trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. What is the deciding factor that fine line separates one from free speech and denigration? Have I hurt you viciously or have I just caused you a minor irritation? Not easy to decide.
For my Southern Rednecks, sorry Southern Gentlemen(Redneck is not PC) there is a lot of hue and cry about the Stars and Bars. If I am black I hate it. If I am white I look at it like a college mascot. Adorning hot rods to barns is it really a vestige of white supremacy or is it nothing more than continuance of some sort of crazy history? I had a whacko roommate in OCS who after a few beers would get this fire in his eye and through gritting teeth declare vehemently,”The South shall rise agin.” Him I worried about. Do I really get crazy when I see Bubba Watson driving the Dukes of Hazard limo with the rebel flag on top? Not really
I had a wonderful discussion with my shift mate at hospice yesterday. We have had a controversy regarding school vouchers here in Colorado. The state Supreme Court ruled you couldn’t use them for religious schools. Others disagree. Was it because they were religious or because the public school advocates felt threatened? Was it a real issue or fabricated? Interesting to ponder.
I have been involved in inner city schools and they have been parochial. At first when discussing this with someone I have to wade through stories about how they were beaten by nuns or abused by priests. I don’t deny it is a problem but is this the crux of the issue? We take underprivileged kids of all beliefs and academic ability. There are no entrance tests and quite frankly there are very few religious in evidence. Sure there are crucifixes but theology is not jammed down anyone’s throats. But you wouldn’t know that.
The real rubber meeting the road is a thing called graduation rates. We had a school in Paterson New Jersey that graduated 100% of its students and 80% went on to some form of higher education. The public school figures were 55% and 30%. The public school at the time cost over $10,000 per student and we needed to raise $2500 per. Point being because of prejudice and narrow mindedness some real good never gets accomplished. Is it part of a discussion on political correctness? I think it is.
Every time we try to restrict or rule out we limit possibilities. We have preconceived notions about this or that and are so afraid of offending someone else that we inhibit creativity and innovation. How can I be spontaneous if I have to measure every word or thought? How can I let it rip as I do if I take every possible consequence into consideration.
Look at politics. How can someone really speak their mind if they are castigated for something they wrote 40 years ago? When you re in a news conference God forbid you give an unrehearsed and not fully vetted answer. The absurdity of this is that the true you can’t possibly come out and your life is defined by handlers and speech writers. Some might get crazy about the Donald and they probably should but at least His Hairness is letting it all hang out and we can judge accordingly.
Long story short there are no easy answers. There is no committee of judges to say what is wrong and right. I would not and hope I have never hurt anyone’s feelings on purpose. I hope you wouldn’t either. The anonymity of the internet and web sites have made us a nation of gotchas. Instead of hearing what people have to say as a whole we look for a word or phrase to set us off in a totally wrong direction.
I am working overtime on listening for heartfelt emotion and passion. If it rubs me the wrong way I am trying not to dwell on it. I take as the beauty of our individuality that you are entitled to whatever you want to say. I will try to do my best to find out what’s in your heart and forget the particulars. It’s going to take awhile but that’s how I want to be correct in my thinking
Ted The Great
Political correctness may have given birth to our “Victim” society or vice versa. I claim to be wronged by every aspect of society and its vocabulary. Therefore I am not responsible for my actions, you are.
A professor at Ball State University was recently banned from even mentioning the concept of intelligent design because it would supposedly “violate the academic integrity” of the course that he was teaching.
In 2007, Santa Clauses in Sydney, Australia, were forced to revolt for the right to say “Ho Ho Ho”, the traditional laugh of jolly old St. Nick. It turns out that their employer, the recruitment firm Westaff (that supplies hundreds of Santas across Australia), told all trainees that “ho ho ho” could frighten children and be derogatory to women. Why? Because it was too close to the American (not Australian, mind you) slang for prostitute.
Administrators at a California high school sent five students home after they refused to remove their American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican Day of Independence. That’s right, kids, you can’t wear your country’s flag in your country, lest it offend someone celebrating the holiday of a different country.
Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Larry The Cable Guy do not do college performances any more due to the PC of today’s higher education audiences. I think the intelligentsia are missing out on a lot of fun and will probably watch it on Facebook or Netflix when no one is watching.
Growing up in Northern Virginia, I went to Fairfax High School, Home of the Rebels, and our mascot was Johnny Reb, sporting the Confederate Flag. Even then there were attempt at change, creating a flag that was grey rather than red in the early eighties. Now I believe the mascot is a lion, even though the name is still the Rebels. A lot of my high school buddies are rankled by the uproar and attention, but maybe the US flag on the General Lee is a better idea. Wonder when they’ll change that name? Even more of us NoVa natives are attached to the Redskins name, but I believe they too will have to change despite Dan Snyder’s attempts at pacification. At which time I will no longer need to worry when the Redskins might ever win another Superbowl. Sometimes change is a good thing. As always, thanks for your thought provoking, TTG.