As George Carlin remarked, what was known in the 60's as "shell shock", and I paraphrase him -"you can almost feel the fear from the shells flying by", has today become "post traumatic stress disorder". Why? Scores of other words have fallen by the wayside as 'politically incorrect' - especially any term which denotes race. No longer can you call someone 'black' or a 'nigger' - now we call them African Americans.
Another example: Harassment used to be pronounced 'her-ass-ment'. However, many people now pronounce it 'har-ass-ment'. The reason for this is due to pressure by self-labeled feminists over the fact that the word can be used as part of a joke, namely 'her ass'. Considering that a substantial amount of "sexual harassment" has to do with viewing that particular part of the human anatomy, the feminists decided to change how that word was pronounced... to kill a joke. And this has largely succeeded.
Tangentally, the feminists have also succeeded in having codified into law the only law I am aware of in which what constitutes a crime is determined by the victim. Specifically, sexual harassment - there are no guidelines and if one reads most of the laws on this, you will quickly find that it does indeed depend entirely on the recipient. An innocent remark such as 'nice shoes' could land you in hot water. I could digress for several pages on the horrifying results this has had on the workplace, but I think this single example conveys the flavor of political correctness quite well.
Political correctness, in my opinion, is an attempt by many political interests to practice discrimination in a way that is socially acceptable. A friend of mine once attended 'sensitivity' training as part of his job, which also included a seminar on what sexual harassment was. After a brief while, my friend cornered the presenter on a particular statement, namely that "if you are male, you are sexist." He questioned this, and stated that sexism is not a one-way street and that is can, and is, routinely practiced both ways. He nearly lost his job over that statement. It would seem to me that the people calling themselves feminists have gotten quite a few people practicing discrimination while thinking that they are being right or just.
But it's not just about gender issues - political correctness broadly encompasses anyone who can put themselves in a 'minority' group. Even though "people of color" make up over half of the voting population, they are considered a minority. Women, who weigh in at around 54% of the population are likewise considered a minority. About the only group that can't be considered a minority is the young white male, aged 18-25. Ironically, that segment is about 10% of the total population (my estimate).
Such groups have organized, and political correctness now encompasses a wide variety of topics. Controversial topics regarding this include:
- Reparations for slavery, which would be funded in the form of higher taxes.
- "Equal Opportunity" employment, which provides for preferential treatment for non-white, non-males.
- Sexual harassment legislation, including the "Crimes Against Women" act, which provided greater penalties for any violent crime committed against someone solely on the basis of gender.
- "Hate crimes" legislation, which provided greater penalties for crimes committed against specific minority groups solely on the basis of them being part of that group.
- anti-racial profiling legislation, which would provide greater legal protections to certain minority groups.
The most common justification for these and other movements is that it "corrects" the injustices being perpetuated against them by discriminating against others to "even the score".
But discrimination is discrimination, regardless of who does it. It seems these days that discrimination is making a vicious comeback. After the successes of the social unrest of the 1960's, we seem to be back on the brink of returning to the pre-civil rights movement era of intolerance and bigotry. Most people are not aware of this.
My experiences with this form of discrimination have been un-encouraging. I feel a strong need to educate people on this, but in most cases, particularily in a work environment, I am met with blank stares to sharp criticisms by my coworkers and managers. Most men I work with are afraid to ask women at work out, while on the flipside I have found many women complaining about how 'up tight' men are and how they feel that they must be the initiators in dating (many of whom paradoxically also believe that the 'sexual discrimination' laws and rules in place are for the best). In society at large, I am placed at a competitive disadvantage - most employers in Minnesota are 'EOE' (Equal Opportunity) - I have personally witnessed people who are less qualified than me in the same position, with the same salary, as me who are there solely on the basis of their gender or race. It seems to me to be, at best, an aberration in the smooth functioning of the capitalistic structures in place in this country and at worst a social paradigm of bigotry and intolerance that would bring tears to the student activists of the 60's. I have witnessed 'blacks' in groups harass 'white' people in groups in plain view of the police, taunt them, even take pokes at them, without fear of reprisal. The police are afraid to act, because their picture might appear in the next high profile race case. In the Twin Cities, the Mall of America will (to me, randomly) host what I have dubbed an 'all black' night, of which I have heard from several people are organized attempts to "scare off" white people. Minnesota is located deep in the midwest and is considered to be much more tolerant (liberal) of racial issues than elsewhere in the country - which makes me wonder how badly off my country really is.
I tend not to trust statistics from sources such as the Census Bureau or most private institutions as I have researched many race and gender statistics and found them to be flawed - the National Organization of Women funded a study on rape and concluded something around 3/4ths of women had been 'raped' by the time they reached the age of 25. Upon examination by a friend of mine, however, it was noted that a woman who took more than 2 aspirin was considered 'raped' if she consented to sex after doing so, as NOW reasoned that she was 'under the influence of drugs'. The Census Bureau (to me) seems to have doctored the statistics on how many 'white' v. 'non-white' people are in the population - they use what seems to me to be an overly-complex formula to determine whether someone is "white" or not, which is purely subjective.
The point of my article though isn't to foist my beliefs on to you, however - but rather to solicit commentary from you. Am I just imagining this, or is a pattern emerging here? How prevalent is this so-called 'reverse-discrimination' and what, if anything, is being done to prevent it? I want to hear feedback from people on a personal level - what do you see happening out there? Have you noticed other trends like this in discriminatory practices?
Your comments are much appreciated.