Well, depending on which “you” I am referencing, you could be my sister, mother, brother, daughter, son, grandfather…………….any number of people. You could also be my neighbor, my enemy, my best bud, my banker, my dentist……….any number of people. However, if you are one of the thin-skinned people who now inhabit America, I will never know what to call you.
Because, you see, the Political Correctness Police have taken away my right to use words that used to be perfectly fine, but now, are offensive to someone. And, if even one person is offended, why then, we must get rid of that word and, if the offended person is lucky, they will receive a huge court settlement…………………for their pain and suffering, you know. As for the “offender”, there is no balm to soothe the financial loss, the loss of status in society, nor even an opportunity to explain that freedom of speech should be free, NOT paid for in various courts. So, think carefully before you enter the dangerous territory of the spoken word!
Let me give you some pointers on which words to use or avoid. You should know that Indians are only Indians to other Indians….otherwise, it is Native American. Black people used to call each other Negroes until they decided that was offensive and then, their ethnic “name” morphed into Black Americans and, I think, the preferred term is now African American. However, Black Americans who are conservative can be referred to as “Uncle Toms”, “traitors” and “white wannabees”…..but, ONLY if the person making the insult is himself or herself also black………..or, partly black……….and, to call that name, you MUST be Lieberal! And, oh, yes, it is still perfectly acceptable to make fun of blondes as g dumb, to tell jokes about Sven and Helga (euphemisms for those of Scandinavian descent), and to speak disparagingly of Conservatives and Republicans.
It’s strange that societal standards are non-existent –anything goes — unless you are referring to “offending” someone, and then, it is a roll of the dice as to whether you can say something or not. We learned today that a few students from the Fiji Islands were upset by other students wearing grass skirts and coconut bras because they felt it denigrated the Fiji history. Unfortunately for them, research shows that, historically, Fiji women did NOT wear coconuts, but rather went topless! And, then, there are the Muslims who were “upset” that the 911 memorial is showing a film that — gasp — actually says that Islamic terrorists blew up the Trade Centers! Do we have to tell lies now to appease those who don’t like the truth?
It’s gotten to the point that there is a move to suppress anything or anyone who might conceivably offend someone else. If that were the case, then I have some suggestions about truly offensive issues that I feel should be stopped. For instance, I am fervently against abortion. But, Planned Parenthood hasn’t listened to ME yet. I am adamantly against murder, but the Taliban and Al Quaida continue on their merry way, murdering countless men, women, and children. I know that Climate Change is a bogus issue and yet the President of the United States and his minions continue to wage “war” against this straw man. If we are trying not to offend people, why doesn’t anyone listen to what offends me? In fact, I’m offended that people who think they know what I should be doing, saying, or thinking, are determined to censor my word, thoughts and deeds.
It seems to me that we should all have the right to say what we think, how we think it. Yes, we should be conscious of others’ feelings because no one loves a bully. And, we really do not want to cause another pain. But, just because someone, somewhere, sometime, “might” be offended, is it really incumbent upon us to monitor every word out of our mouth? Must we change what we say or do? Must we all bend our life styles to suit the few who disagree with us?
Freedom of speech should mean exactly that. Whether someone is offended by my wearing jeans should NOT mean that I can no longer dress in denim. And, if I choose to refer to my maternal Grandmother as an Indian, no one should tell me that is inappropriate. The truth is the truth, whether it hurts or not……and, the truth should never be censored.
So, who are you and who am I?
Well, that depends. If you are a Lieberal, you might say I am a stupid Conservative. If you are a Republican, you might say I was a smart Conservative. And, at different times, you both might be right. That’s the beauty of our language and country. Let’s hope it stays that way.