Monday, January 23, 2012

How Far Can We Take Political Correctness...Before It Becomes Stupidity?

I first have to thank a friend for sending me the article about this particular post.  He knew I'd go on a rant because, well....we really seem to be approaching 'The Line'.  "What line?" you ask.  The line that has common sense, civility and decency on one side....and sheer unadulterated, laughable stupidity on the other.  I'm sorry but we have truly lost our collective minds.  See?  I'm ranting already and you don't even know what it's about yet.  I'm saving that for the 'Big Reveal'.  It's too incredibly priceless not to.  When I read the article, though, I started thinking about this thing we call Political Correctness...and I think it's time for it to go.  True, we'll still need a modicum of civility and common sense which, as we all know, seems to be in short supply for many.  Still, we can try without having to be so concerned we're going to hurt someone's feelings.  When I began to ponder all this, I realized that this thing we've created is actually causing more issues than it helped resolve.  Let's put it into perspective - when I was a kid, we'd spend our days outdoors playing games, one of which has been renamed for our youth.  So that they might be politically-correct, there are kids that run outside to play, "Native Americans and The Frontiersman that Stole Their Land."  We called it, "Cowboys and Indians."  Whoa, what a huge no-no that is, huh?

I remember when much of this began.  Suddenly, we had to say that people were African-Americans because "black," was considered offensive.  To whom?  Jesse Jackson?  Al Sharpton?  I'm sorry, fellas, but I'm not trying to be disrespectful...and I will tell you why I am okay with using the term, "Black."  I always felt this way, however it truly hit home and made an impression when, in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, a black man wrote a letter to the editor.  He stated in his letter that he was a US Marine and had fought for his country.  He was born here and will die here.  He went back four generations in his family and could not find one person that came from Africa.  He refused to be called and African-American because he was, and is, American.  Kudos, brother - I salute you!  You see, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are always screaming, to anyone that will listen, of the grave injustices done to their ancestors.  I get it.  Hell, we ALL get it.  Trouble is, I didn't own any slaves nor do I know of anyone that did.  I thought it extremely ironic, too, that these are more men that are inspired to cause a fight rather than fix the problem.  Oh, they will portray themselves as the latter but I know differently.  You see, I had the opportunity to meet Jesse Jackson once.  While living in Richmond, Doug Wilder was recently elected the first black Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  As the participants and guests began to arrive at the State Capitol, I was on the grounds in downtown Richmond.  I looked up and ol' Reverend Jackson was about three feet away.  There were few people in the vicinity and I stuck my hand out instinctively.  I even said, "Rev. Jackson, how do you do?"  Yeah, that's a whole other 'southern thing'...but I digress.  Anyway, the man ignored me.  Not entirely true - he looked at me and brushed my hand away, saying nothing.  I lost no respect for him that day but, rather, allowed this to confirm my suspicions.  If you want us to be "PC," you'd better know it's a two-way street.  Many of us Irish-Americans are tired of strolling it in one direction.

Again, I digress, though.  I am missing the part of the story that involves stupidity.  Yep, he knew I'd rant...and here I am getting WAY off track.  My fault - please excuse the mess.  Anyway, here's the one I was telling you about initially.  The one that shows we have gone far too far....and we're becoming blithering idiots.  Hang on - you're not going to believe this one.  You see, it seems that, in Draper,UT, Corner Canyon High School will be opening in 2013.  It's a new school and they are preparing for their first classes.  In this state, Brigham Young University (BYU) plays a big part.  They are the collegiate powerhouse that enjoys a huge fan base of those that follow the Mormon faith, as BYU is a Mormon school.  Well......seriously, I cannot believe I am even going to share the fact that this issue arose......the high school needed to plan everything, including its mascot.  BYU Cougars gave them their inspiration...and the school board allowed the students to vote on what they wanted.  By an overwhelming majority, the students chose "Cougars," over "Chargers, Diamondbacks, Falcons, Raptors, Bears," and a few others.  A nice thing the school board did allowing student participation in the process, I feel, right?  Yeah, they WON'T let them use the name.  Nope.  Can't be the Draper Canyon Cougars.  Want to know why?  Because (and I quote), "Board members deemed it might be seen as offensive to middle-aged women."  Please read that again...and let it sink in.  These kids cannot be called the Cougars because we are too concerned that (according to Webster's dictionary #2 definition - a slang term), "A middle-aged woman seeking a relationship with a younger man," might get offended.  I....I's.....I can't.....well, but......ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  SERIOUSLY?  ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

So let's sum this up, shall we?  We can't say black, we have to say African-American.  Florida State shouldn't be called the Seminoles.  Atlanta's baseball team shouldn't be called the Braves.  The 'tomahawk chop' needs to go.  Now, we can't use the term Cougar??  What if it pisses off the cat?  I gotta tell ya', folks, I'm a whole lot more worried about that prospect than some middle-aged woman being upset.  Let me get this straight, too - if we decide to use the term, I don't know....'Tiger' mean a middle-aged man that wants to have a relationship with a younger woman, then Detroit's baseball team is going to have to change?  LSU changes their mascot?  That one works for me...but still, are we really going to go this far?

It's time we change the rules and stop making this a focus.  it always ends up in a court case that costs time and money, yet is nothing more than frivolous.  I have an idea.  How 'bout we just try being nice to others and less offended by the little things.  Sure, it's still going to happen and feelings will be hurt from time to time, but that's what makes an apology so useful.  Just sayin'.  I think it would make a lot more sense than the idiocy we're showing now...don't you?

Until next time................

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