I am walking along a sidewalk on a warm overcast day, occasionally stopping to look through shop windows. I happen upon an electronics store, with several models of televisions glaring through the large glass window. They are all tuned to one news station. Currently it features one of those politico talk shows, and the participants appear to be arguing over a social issue. On one side, they are arguing that problems plaguing a particular “community” (read: subculture) are inflicted by outside forces, and those accused must learn to alter their behavior to be more accommodating toward this supposedly oppressed group. The other side is arguing that all the opportunities of the majority group have been afforded to this minority group, but the minority group continues to drag itself down, through different actions and complaints, and this ridiculous expectation of handouts and an absurd notion that, at this point in history, they are still owed something.
I shake my head, and continue my leisurely stroll. But, now I am full of fire, deep down, like lava spilling out of a rupture under the surface of the sea. Perhaps at one point, those people were owed something. They were oppressed, enslaved, beaten, murdered. But, the country has made many moves toward correcting those wrongs. Again, all the opportunities they have are the same as the opportunities I have. At some point, if you want to improve your and your people’s stations in life, you must stop playing the victim and pick up your own burden to carry yourself.
But that is a hard fought battle. It is not politically correct to make them do it; then we would be perceived as racist bigots. But it is okay for them to hate me and to accuse me of trying to hold them back or other just as unlikely things. It is not politically correct for me to point out the painful truth to them; even when one of their own fellows takes a position similar to mine (by preaching personal responsibility versus government dependence; i.e., if you want people to stop perceiving you (plural) in a certain way, then take responsibility for yourselves and change your behavior accordingly), then he is accused of being a self-hating Uncle Tom.
By now you must have figured out what I am talking about. It is an issue that has existed for almost three centuries (which is actually a fairly short period of time, but I’ll leave quantum discussions for future posts). And yet, we still struggle with it. While I disagree with racism, that does not mean I owe anyone anything for what their ancestors went through. By that logic, Italy owes my family reparations for what Romans did to some of my ancestors. Further, the absolute “politically correct” dogma surrounding the racism issue has become so convoluted as to create a disgusting double standard. I want to scream at people, I want to let them know that black people and brown people and yellow people are racist, too; this is not a stigma solely attached to white people.
But, I digress on that. The point is that political correctness can be an enormous damper to truthful discussion. It causes people to be afraid to express fears or concerns. The alternate side to that proverbial coin is that many people, at least in America, have no idea how to speak the truth tactfully. And, ultimately, humans are just animals; they often let their emotions overrun their ability to reason, probably spurred by a limited vocabulary that caused one person not to say precisely what he or she intended. I do not care for any discussion with those who scoff at truly learning the language you use; semantics does matter.
In closing, political correctness has led to a society where playing the victim in whatever your circumstances gets you free stuff from the government. I suppose it may be humans’ natural instinct to seek the easier route, but often they are too short sighted to see where it will lead. When a people are too dependent on their government, they lose freedom and power, and the government gains a stranglehold. One thing this country has prided itself on is freedom, and opportunity. But it seems, as of late, that we are slowly letting that get away from us. And, I believe, it is due to “political correctness.”
Damn the man! Save the Empire!