Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Political Correctness

I came across this statement somewhere on an Internet forum: Political correctness is a form of neurosis and a curb on free expression in a world of hyper sensitivity and over reaction. Have you noticed that in many instances it operates on a one-way basis only?

Well, when I was a kid there was no such thing as political correctness, or at least this was my na├»ve understanding. The word ‘nigger’ had no connotations of inferiority or connection with slaves or people who lived in mud huts; it was simply understood as a word to describe a person whose skin was dark and of African origin. I never heard of the word ‘Paki’ until years later, and for me there was no inference of derogation, although I now realise the use of the word may have offended some Pakistanis. Being called a Brit or a Limy would not have offended me. Even being called a ‘nerd’ would not cause me offence. A person’s skin has to be a lot thicker than that. As long ago as I can remember, I was taught that, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’

The situation here in the UK is quite different today. We are repeatedly reminded that we live in a multi-cultural, multi-faith ‘community’, and that this ‘country’ is no longer a bastion of Christianity, having laws mainly based on Christian principles. European Human Rights legislation has changed the political climate to the extent that our representatives in Parliament are afraid to speak plainly; instead they have to consider every word that passes their lips. Indeed, ordinary citizens have to watch their words because they might be considered as being prejudicial, discretionary, inequitable, anti-egalitarian, or plain offensive.

Words must always be considered within their contexts for a true understanding of their intended meaning. Expression and import can place an entirely different meaning to the conventional dictionary definition. Over-sensitivity to what is said or written is a form of nervous disorder, and those who suffer from it can take affront where none was intended. In this age of anti-discrimination and claims for compensation one is on tenterhooks, walking a tightrope while having lips zipped in case a slip is made. Plain commonsense no longer prevails.

Surely we need to grow up and accept that the world is not a fair place where equity rules, because it never has been, nor ever will be, even when the Lord Jesus reigns during His Thousand Year Kingdom.

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