Saturday, 23 June 2007

Political Correctness

On another message board, we are talking about political correctness. I mentioned that referring to groups of people in the way that they would like is good since it's good manners that being practised, but I should add "within reason" because of the different labels and changes that can sometimes take place. For example, dark skinned of African descent like to be called "Black" or "African-American", but they generally don't like being called "coloured" and definitely not "Negro". People who have a physical or mental disability like to be called "physically challenged" or "mentally challenged" and NOT "crippled" or "retard". But when it comes to discussing issues, political correctness should have no place.

For example, there is one particular administrator who is into fitness. If someone were to ask him about junk food, he would say not to eat it, or at least in moderation, because it is not good for you, even though eating them may feel good. If someone were to ask this same individual about drugs, he would say to keep away from them, even though the drugs may make the person taking them feel good for a while. However, when this same individual is asked if kids experiencing same-sex feelings should act on them, he will say something like, " You encourage the child to be whoever he or she wants to be, regardless of sexual orientation" and will completely ignore the scientific evidence that it's not good for them (source). No truly responsible parent or anybody else who works with kids would encourage them to engage in behaviour that is inherently unsafe. That's political correctness for you. This is one example as to why political correctness is not good when talking about issues.

Abortion is another issue. Canada's birth/death replacement rate is dangerously low. The main reason is because of abortions, but politicans want to believe that it's something else and are not able to solve the problem. In some ways, I don't blame them because many people don't want to believe it either and probably don't care.

Another issue is "Happy Holidays" vs "Merry Christmas". Political correctness should not be used to look out for the wishes of minorities at the expense of the majority, in this case, religions. Most people know that the majority of people are celebrating Christmas at the winter holiday season. Yet some businesses and governments want to please minority faiths and disregard Christians.

The biggest problem with political correctness when referring to issues is that does away with freedom of speech. The concept of freedom of speech is, "I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". Political correctness does away with that. So for those who are reading this blog, if you don't like what I am saying, and wish to silence what I am saying, then you do not truly believe in freedom of speech. There are some reasonable limits such as not yelling "fire" when no fire exists, spreading lies, and that sort of thing. But when it comes to expressing beliefs, opinions, and especially verifiable information, there should be no political correctness to get in the way.

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