Sunday, November 8, 2020

Really stupid words, Chapter 14.

    For several years now there has been a tendency among us, when bereft of any logical argument against an opposing point of view, to sniff in derision and make a weak-kneed accusation of “political correctness.” It’s easy to do and allows us to simply—and thoughtlessly—dismiss people and ideas we disagree with.
    When I was a young man (or old boy), I tended to run in packs that were (as we put it) rude, crude, and unabashed. And, in some sick way, we were amused by it. We poked oafish fun and made mean jokes based on race, ethnicity, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation, employment, politics, ideas, points of view, or anything else we thought might get a laugh—no matter how cruel or heartless.
    In hindsight, it wasn’t funny. Even then. And though it took too many years to outgrow those ways of thinking, I like to think they are behind me. I hope so.
    A common defense, usually heard just prior to an accusation of “political correctness” is that “those people” are just thin-skinned and too easily offended.
    I do not get to decide what offends you or anyone else. Likewise, it is not up to you to decide what I or anybody else finds offensive. Or cruel. Or hurtful.
    It seems to me that anyone who claims to be guided by any kind of moral compass would make every effort to avoid causing pain to others. To, as the old saying goes, treat others the way we would like to be treated.
    Then again, such thinking may be nothing more than “political correctness.”

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