Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm Politically Correct

politically correct
agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people

I’ll admit it, I’m politically correct. There’s this thing in politics right now where the politician comes out and uses crude language to talk about some group of people, in an effort to show that he is willing to say things that aren’t politically correct. There are people just eating it up. Which is ironic. But it’s made me think about what it means to be politically correct and what I’ve discovered is that I’m politically correct.

Let me give you example. I have some friends who are, let’s say, quite rotund. You might say quite round. Oh, let’s just call it what it is. They’re fat. I have some fat friends. I’ve been there myself. But I wouldn’t walk up to them and say, “How ya’ doing fatso?” If we have potluck at church and I see them with a plate piled high with food, I don’t go up to them and say, “Don’t you think you have too much?” No, I bite my lip, because it isn’t my desire to offend. It isn’t likely to change anything anyway.

For another example, I have friends who have gotten divorced. I don’t know what was going in their homes, but when I found out they were separated, I wanted to shake them pretty hard. “This is not the way it is supposed to be. Now get back together and straighten out this mess!” But hold my tongue. I don’t know that my saying what I want to say will do any good and I don’t want to ruin my friendship with them as well.

Then there’s politics. Many of my friends are pretty much right wing people. By their way of thinking, Obama can do nothing right, illegal immigration one of the worst problems our country faces, second only to the removal of God from schools. So, it is with care if I ever mention that I agree with something Obama did, or I try to correct something someone has said about illegal immigration, or I talk about the separation of church and state. That’s a big one. If you say “separation of church and state” in a right wing crowd, you’re going to offend someone.

So, I try to be politically correct. I’m not trying to be politically correct because I’m a left-winger among a bunch of right-wingers. Far from it. I try to be politically correct because offending people just causes them to raise a wall that removes all hope of having a meaningful discussion. People say that politically correctness is harming our country, but what they mean is that the other side (whoever that is) is trying not to offend some group that deserves to be offended. They never give any thought to their own political correctness. It seems to me that the real problem is bigotry. Again, both sides are quick to call the other bigots. The unfortunate thing is that they are both right; the other side are bigots, unwilling to work toward a common solution.

What’s wrong with being kind to each other? People like to talk about being kind, but their kindness is limited to the people they like. And they don’t like people who tell them they are wrong. They want people to be kind to them, and they’ll be kind to people who agree with them, but that kindness doesn’t extend to anyone else. So, yes, I’m politically correct, and I admit it.