As we come to an end to 2015 the question of how we will remember the year starts floating around. Some will remember summer vacations while others may remember a marriage they had or the birth of a child or grand child. Those are very nice memories to have, however, I will remember 2015 as the year we all became offended by everything. And I do rmean everything. It is natural to be offended in a society that covets free speech, but the right should never be in jeopardy because off being offended of what is said. To quote Ron Paul and others, “We do not have the first amendment to talk about the weather, but to talk about controversial things that matter.” This is important in a free society. Imagine if you will, if in past generations free speech was limited or even banned as they are trying now. Would women have the right to vote if we did? Would the African-American people still be oppressed? It is the fact that we exercised the right to peacefully assemble and protest that these, and others, were addressed and changed. Speaking freely allows topics to be brought to light and discussed all the way through to conclusion.
2015 has just become a hodgepodge, or smorgasbord of silliness and outright attacks on free speech. Ironically, the attack seems to be spearheaded at the universities level through the typical liberal agenda. I say that is ironic cause the college campus use to be the birthplace of free speech and where real movements originated. Now we are seeing colleges used for things as outrages as the free tuition movement, safe zones free of offending others, and several other ridiculous movements.
Take Smith College for example when they banned the word “crazy” from being said. Yes, I agree, that is just……crazy! Are we that far gone that the word crazy is now offensive? The Smith College newspaper called Smith Sophian refused to print an article about free speech when a panel was put together to discuss, wait for it, free speech. When the speakers at the event were heard saying they were getting “wild and crazy” the newspaper’s PC police refused to print the article due to offensive language. What, crazy is now offensive to college students now? I imagine beer pong will now be an offensive act before to long. My how colleges have declined.
No, this is not an isolated incident on one college campus pertaining to political correctness. One has to remember the infamous burrito controversy at Stevenson College in Santa Cruz, California, right? Well if not listen to this almost laughable example. Well it would be laughable if it wasn’t true, but it is.
The students at the college was having a science fiction event about spaceships and aliens. When determining what to cater for lunch at this event it was decided on Mexican food because they have not had that at one of their events yet and of course couldn’t find anything related to “space food.”
One student took offense to this and even wrote to a school administrator claiming that they were offended because it showed , “a connection between individuals of Latino heritage or undocumented students and ‘aliens’.” I guess the appropriate thing would have been to just give the students Tang drinks and be done with it.
Of course UC Santa Cruz administrator Dr. Carolyn Golz immediately issued an apology saying, “This incident demonstrated a cultural insensitivity on the part of the program planners and, though it was an unintentional mistake, I recognize that this incident caused harm within our community and negatively impacted students.”
As a result from the food choice, now any student who wishes to organize an event on campus has to undergo cultural competence training. This was the solution that the college came up with in order to keep future events culturally sensitive and inclusive.
Political correctness isn’t just limited to college campus’, though there are many examples with colleges limiting free speech, but it has flooded our politics as well. We have a President that refuses to use the term “radical Islamist” when referring to the war on terror. Well Mr. President, if they aren’t radical then are you saying that they are everyday Islamist and all Islamist act this way. If not, then doesn’t the only conclusion have to be they are radical? He has no problem with identifying Christians, gun owners, returning veterans, and even Libertarians as domestic terrorist, but not acknowledging a radical element that uses Islam to promote fear and terror? Why? Political correctness is at the heart of the answer. We are so worried about offending people that we can’t even call a terrorist a terrorist anymore. Even when the said terrorist themselves make the claim of Islam. Once again, is all Islamic people terrorist or just the radical ones Mr. President?
Not to call out only one religion and not the rest. As a Christian I would label the Christian based group, Westboro Baptist as radical as well. I have no problem stating that they do not speak for me or my faith. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, all groups have a radical element inside them. It doesn’t make the whole radical, but to not make the distinction between the group and the radical elements is not doing anyone justice and is not protecting the right of free speech.
One thing we can all agree on is how political correctness has affected us in the workplace. It is becoming to obvious and has changed the way we conduct ourselves at work and even how we do business. We are at the point where, take for instance there are 50 people in your workplace, if one or two finds something offensive then policy and behavior is modified to fit that small number at the risk of liberties to the rest of the group. And in today’s times anything can be offensive. A simple brush up against someone accidentally now constitutes a Human Resource investigation where a simple excuse me would of sufficed.
If we are in the workplace, having a private conversation with an individual, and someone walks by and hears your conversation, finds it offensive, then you can be held accountable for the remarks you make in that private conversation. This is a slippery slope and has been proven over time with people losing their jobs over conversation. Not work performance, attendance issues, or quality of work, but conversation. While I agree we need to have tact and respect while working, private conversation is just that – private.
Political correctness is even changing the way we receive the news and the information we get. Depending on where you get your news source from you will hear political terms laced in every news story told. In fear of losing listeners, or readers, they pander to the politically correct crowd in their reporting. It is mind numbing sometimes sitting in my living room watching this charade. The media should be a perfect example of free speech and honest reporting, but we know that no longer exist. Where will this political correctness lead to. No where good that is for sure. Ultimately it will end in a loss of, or at the very least, a suppression of ideas, thoughts, and open dialogue.
The majority of Americans are sick of the political correctness agenda and it is showing in this Presidential election cycle. Many are saying they support Donald Trump solely because he is saying what they themselves either want to hear or say. Nothing about his policies or plans for America, but rather the fact that he is vocal and throws PC out the window. Like him or not, he is resonating with the anti political correctness crowd.
Here comes the thought police and the word monitors. Use your free speech while you still can. It is the only thing that has led to change and the change we are seeing is not what we need to welcome.
Written by: Michael Howell