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"When Political Correctness in NOT a Virtue by Douglas Bower"
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The other day I was sucker punched, hoodwinked, bamboozled, had the wool pulled over my eyes, and generally sidelined by an expert in Political Correctness. In fact, so sidelined did I get that I have been depressed for a week—and I mean really depressed.
My second book recently came out and, proudly, like a new Daddy, I went on the newsgroups to announce the name of my newborn. Boy, was that a mistake.
I have been catching all sorts of heck over the name of my book. More than one Politically Correct Disciple has informed me that I offended the masses with the title of my book:
Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country.
It is "Third World Country" that I have been told is not a "PC" term and therefore I have offended many.
Well, you can imagine how I felt.
First, I live in Mexico and have gone to great lengths to attempt to assimilate the language and culture, to have Mexican friends, and to blend into the life of this wonderful country. Second, some person claiming to be Mexican told me I was Politically Incorrect.
"Oh my God, what have I done?"
I went scrambling to contact the publisher to see if I could change the title of the book—too late! I sent e-mails to everyone I have in my rather extensive writer's address book to see what they thought—American and Mexican alike.
I went into such a depressive funk that I had to not only increase my Prozac dose (long story) but go on some tranquilizers. I allowed myself to be convinced by the Politically Correct Ideologues that I had committed an egregious error, no matter my motives.
Wait just a cotton-picking minute! (It took an entire week to reach the "cotton-picking minute" epiphany).
"What did I just allow to happen to my already fragile and delicate psyche?"
It took me a week--an entire week of sleepless nights, panic attacks, and torturing my poor wife with my whining before I woke up and smelled the coffee.
Smell the coffee I did and it stunk to high heaven.
Just what is this Political Correct Cult supposed to be and what does it mean? Most importantly, how did I allow myself to become controlled by it?
First: The noun "political correctness" means, according to the TheFreeDictionary.com by Farlex,
"Avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."
Now, wait a minute: "That can be perceived to…?" Perception--is that what all this "PC" stuff has been about all this time?
Someone gets themselves all twisted into a knot because of a "perceived insult"? Think of what this means! There can be as many perceptions as there are people to have them.
I mean, is there some manual that one can buy that will spell out just who is going to get their feelings hurt over some innocent remark one might make?
Mexico's President Fox sure could have used one before having Lord Jackson and Prince Sharpton descending on Mexico last week over "their perceived marginalization and insult". Note, it wasn't Fox who said anything insulting but, according to the "PC" definition, it was Jackson's and Sharpton's PERCEPTION there was an insult.
How is something like this even a livable concept? Just think a moment.
Is this any way to live? You go through life giving the power and control of your life over to your perception of words, or how someone might perceive your words.
Isn't this what we are talking about?
Are we not talking about someone hearing something that his or her mental filtration system PERCEIVES as marginalization or insulting? Words are just words. They have no intrinsic power to do anything. It is not words that define something but the hearers of those words.
That is the problem with America. Americans have become a culture of victims and in the case of the Politically Correct crowd, victims of words.
Americans are people who actively and volitionally give away the power and control of their lives over to someone or something else—like words and the groups or individuals who say those words.
To those who feel themselves to be marginalized or insulted:
Why are you giving the power of your life over to words or the people who say them? They, the words and the speaker of them, have no more power over you than you allow.
Think about this! Do not trivialize this. Stop giving the power over your life to words and the speakers of them.
Second: I fell right into the trap. My American upbringing was right there to enable me to swallow, hook, line, and sinker, the notion that I had insulted the entire nation of Mexico with my book title.
Nevertheless, look what this person did—in the name of "you don't want to be an offense to someone now, do you"?-—a manipulation citing Political Correctness--I fell into his trap and allowed this person to control my emotions. I gave up my power. I gave control over the emotional well-being of my life to what?
I gave the power over my well-being to SOMEONE'S PERCEPTION of a marginalization or insult.
Here is when "Political Correctness" is NOT something virtuous. When someone's perception of a perceived marginalization or insult results in the loss of freedom of expression, it becomes thought control, it becomes inversion of the traditional social order and, ultimately, a totalitarian control over the lives of others.
Was that Politically Correct?
Doug Bower is a freelance writer, Syndicated Columnist, and book author. CLICK HERE http://www.lulu.com/content/126241 to see his newest book, Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country
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