Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Out with Political

Out with Political Correctness
By Peggy S. Grose

I grew up in the Deep South and was taught to speak respectfully of all people. I was not allowed to use pejorative language to or about those of a different color, country or creed. I also learned correct grammar, spelling punctuation and pronunciation.
Now it seems that we have replaced these with political correctness. A young man explained to me, “My teacher says that spelling and grammar don’t matter as long as you make yourself understood.” But isn’t that its purpose--to make ourselves understood, for heaven’s sake?
How did we get from speaking and writing respectfully and correctly to this silly, stifling, stilted, stultifying and suffocating thing we call “political correctness” that keeps us from telling the truth? Is political correctness keeping us from telling the truth, like the child in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes?”
Does “vertically challenged" sound better than “short”? Does this imply that to be short is bad? If there is no shame in being short, why do we avoid saying it?
To say that one is “mathematically challenged” is also to infer some sort of shame, is it not? It’s avoiding a simple truth, which is that she is simply weak in math and needs some extra help. Why sanitize something that is not dirty?
Schools pass kids when they haven’t earned the promotion, denying the fact that the students haven’t done the work. Some even allow seniors to walk across the stage and pretend that they are graduating. By pretending he is successful, the student fails to learn from his failures and fails to learn to strive for success. Do we think these youngsters don’t know the truth that we’re trying to hide?
As a drug rehabilitation counselor, I work with individuals and their families. We have an expression that goes like this: “There’s an elephant in the living room, but no one talks about it. Mom’s drinking is out of control. She’s passed out on the sofa when the kids get home from school. They don’t bring friends home anymore, and Dad stays late at the office.” The family doesn’t mention it because talking about it makes it so. As long as they keep quiet, in their minds, the problem doesn’t exist.

Does an “insurgent” not kill innocent people, or is he not quite as bad as a “terrorist?” Calling him an “insurgent” is a form of denial of what he is doing but doesn’t make it go away.
Did calling riots in Los Angeles an “uprising” hide what they really were? Did giving them by a more palatable name justify their actions and make them more acceptable?
People in England and Europe have had a “pink elephant” in their living rooms for years because people are afraid to speak up and tell the truth. They care more about not offending some sectors than about protecting the precious traditions of Democracy and Western Civilization. They pretended that one culture is as good as another and kept quiet as they watched their own culture being destroyed. Now they are overrun by lawless outsiders who have no regard for culture, rule of law or respect for others.
Why do our representatives say nothing when people like Khalid Sheil Mohammed, the leading captured Al Qaeda terrorist, confess to such atrocities as cutting off a reporter’s head, holding it up in his hand and having his picture taken? Why don’t we express horror and disgust when the terrorists hide children in a car with explosives? Why don’t we all scream at the tops of our voices? Out of fear of offending someone, we are afraid to call evil what it is--evil.
What “political correctness” have you been hiding behind? How long will it be before it comes back, like a boomerang, and strike us all in the derriere?
When will we gather some courage and declare that the emperor has no clothes?