Recently Frank Beckmann wrote a controversial piece regarding the flippant statement Sergio Garcia made when discussing his squabble with Tiger Woods. While Sergio and Frank both subsequently apologized for their remarks, the issue of political correctness, which Frank says he was attempting to critique, is a source of much consternation for many conservatives.
While Frank has discovered the error of his ways, his column still received a troubling amount of positive responses. It seems that there is still a considerable portion of the population that is very concerned that their right to arbitrarily insult and belittle those not like them is being infringed upon. To these people the true injustice being perpetrated here is that they now have to hide their disdain for others or worse yet put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
After all the “N” word is just African American’s being too sensitive, complaints about entities profiting from the names and images of groups our fore fathers slaughtered just proves how thin skinned Native Americans can be, and concern over being asked to endure a more thorough examination at the airport is an example of Muslims being too touchy.
The reality is that to the person who is being insulted, asking others to recognize why certain words and phrases could be considered abhorrent isn’t silly. And honoring that persons request to speak to them in a more respectful way doesn’t mean you’re weak or pandering.
Of course complaints from conservatives regarding political correctness are quite ironic given their response when the shoe is on the other foot. When a liberal group made an Ad comparing President Bush to Hitler conservatives were outraged. Jane Fonda’s inconsiderate words and actions towards US military personnel serving in Vietnam, still bothers many veterans today. Use “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” and you are likely to get an hour long special on Fox News. When Helen Thomas made insensitive remarks about Israelis, conservatives were quick to call for her dismissal. And perhaps nothing was more irritating to conservatives than when Michelle Obama said “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country”.
The real problem here is not that we are too politically correct or too sensitive but that we don’t really understand why someone might be offended by our words. So rather than listening, accepting that our statements might be hurtful and attempting to treat others as we would like to be treated – we pretend there is something wrong with everyone else and claim “political correctness is killing this country” to cover for our own ignorance.
Having said that there is an easy way to keep the PC police from targeting you – take a little personal responsibility for what comes out of your mouth and stop making thoughtless insensitive comments – problem solved!