Friday, June 12, 2015

The Latest Craze In Political Correctness

There is a new twist in the effort to make everyone politically correct so that no one ever feels any negative feelings about anything, ever. OK - it's not really new but it is making a strong comeback lately. I call it the latest craze because that's what it is - a bit crazy.

I'm talking, of course, about "micro aggression," defined as "the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership."

That's a lot of words to say that micro aggression is pretty much anything and everything you do or say that might offend someone in some way. There are examples below that I found in several articles. Rather than micro aggression, most of them I would chalk up to human ignorance. But see - the people pushing micro aggression say you can do it without even knowing you're doing it. That way they can include nearly everyone - although most of the examples given seem to be whites being aggressive on minorities.

Here are just a few of the examples given in a chart.

Examples of Racial Microaggressions

"When Asian Americans and Latino Americans are assumed to be foreign-born “Where are you from?” “Where were you born?” “You speak good English.” A person asking an Asian American to teach them words in their native language."

The message this is supposedly sending is "You are not American You are a foreigner."

What it says to me: "That person is ignorant of the real world and the diversity of our nation."

Assigning intelligence to a person of color on the basis of their race. '“You are a credit to your race.” “You are so articulate.” Asking an Asian person to help with a Math or Science problem."'

What they are supposedly saying: "People of color are generally not as intelligent as Whites. It is unusual for someone of your race to be intelligent. All Asians are intelligent and good in Math / Sciences."

What it says to me: "The first person is a racist who believes, for whatever reason, that black people have an inferior intellect just because they're black. Again - stupidity. Perhaps he/she should meet Ben Carson or the President of the United States. And while Asians are statistically more successful in school, including math, than the average white American - it's mostly because they have a determination instilled in them through their family values, which is far more common in Asians than in white families in the US. And that's a good thing for them - not so much for us white folks."

To me it seems a complement to a person to automatically believe they ares more intelligent than you (in a particular subject or in general) rather than aggressive. But that's me.

 Color Blindness Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to acknowledge race:

“When I look at you, I don’t see color.” “America is a melting pot.” “There is only one race, the human race.”

What is supposedly means: Denying a person of color’s racial / ethnic experiences. Assimilate / acculturate to the dominant culture. Denying the individual as a racial / cultural being.

What it means to me: While saying it out loud may be a little ridiculous, there are people who really can get past the color barrier in a relationship. One of the best compliments I ever got was from a woman I was seeing years ago. An old friend of mine was in town and I invited him over for dinner. We had an enjoyable evening and after he left she said to me "You didn't tell me he was black." I was somewhat surprised and my answer was "It never occurred to me." John and I had been friends for nearly 10 years. Back then we worked together. We went to the gym together. Our boys had played together as kids and we socialized in each other's homes on a regular basis. There was no color barrier between us and, as such, I never had in inclination to tell anyone he was black. It wasn't important.

The old saying "There is only one race - the human race," is a wonderful concept. Would that we could all feel that way. But we live in a country where we've gone from "melting pot" of assimilation to a country that promotes division by magnifying race, color, nationality, sexual orientation, etc., and then attempting for force people to accept and embrace anything and everything. We have become hyphenated Americans. We have become LGBT Americans and if you're not LGBT or don't embrace LGBT then you are a bigot and a homophobe. At least - so says the politically correct crowd.

Criminality – assumption of criminal status A person of color is presumed to be dangerous, criminal, or deviant on the basis of their race. A White man or woman clutching their purse or checking their wallet as a Black or Latino approaches or passes. A store owner following a customer of color around the store. A White person waits to ride the next elevator when a person of color is on it.

What it supposedly means: "You are a criminal. You are going to steal / You are poor / You do not belong / You are dangerous."

This one is difficult to get around because many people who are not black or Latino do feel this way. And whether or not it's fair, much of it can be explained by every day occurrences. Black crime in the United States is off the chart - particularly in the inner cities. The black murder rate is exponentially high. According to FBI statistics, blacks assault and/or kill whites at a higher rate than the other way around. Gang activity is high among both blacks and Latinos, again - mostly in the inner cities. So yeah, I think it's understandable to a point. News media is all about sensationalism.

Denial of individual racism A statement made when Whites deny their racial biases “I’m not a racist. I have several Black friends.” “As a woman, I know what you go through as a racial minority.” 

What it supposedly means: "I am immune to races because I have friends of color. Your racial oppression is no different than my gender oppression. I can’t be a racist. I’m like you." 

What it means to me: I think there is far too much emphasis on our differences in today's society. As I said above - we are supposed to be a melting pot. A melting pot, by definition, is a pot in which various metals melt down and combine into one. Can you imagine what the tensile strength of steel would be if the metals didn't actually combine and instead maintained their separate qualities? It wouldn't be as strong nor as reliable. It would break apart with increased pressure and tension. And I believe that's where we're headed as a country because of political correctness.

Here's one of my favorites: Statements which assert that race does not play a role in life successes “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.” 

What it supposedly means: "People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race. People of color are lazy and / or incompetent and need to work harder."

What it means to me: The job should go to the most qualified person regardless of race, color, ethnicity. That's how a free market society works. You get educated and you work hard to become qualified for the position on your application. Why should the job go to someone less qualified - to meet a quota? That's simple, ridiculous, political correctness.

As for the second sentence - there are people who feel that way. But that's just stupid bigotry, nothing more. Dr. Ben Carson and Oprah Winfrey have proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that people of color can make it big if they work hard. You don't get to be a neurosurgeon without hard work. And Oprah certainly didn't have anything handed to her.

I could go on. There are many different "micro aggressions" listed. Some are race based, some are gender based and some are sexually based. And I'm sure there are thousands of them pertaining to any and all other differences that people have. The point is that most of these micro aggressions are simple ignorance and not meant to be aggressive or insulting in any manner.

America is turning into a nation of pantywaists (that's probably a micro aggressive word in and of itself) these days. Everyone is so sensitive that they're offended and get their feelings hurt by anything and everything. You can't disagree with a person's lifestyle or or their preferences or even the things they do because you're labeled by the PC police as a bigot or a hater or some other ridiculous label. When the reality is that you're human and you make mistakes. And you don't spend every hour of every day planning your speech and/or your actions so that nothing you say or do will in any way offend anyone at any time.

Who lives their lives like that? Wait - I know...  the PC police!

Trying to please everyone all the time, or trying to keep from offending anyone all the time, is crazy. People are human. They get offended. They get over it and life goes on. Kids today are being taught that they have the right not to ever be offended by anyone. Maybe not in so many words but that's the message society is putting out.

Those of you my age - remember back when you were kids and you got into fights, verbal and even physical fights, with your friends and as soon as it was over you forgot about it and were friends again? Remember when your Little League or Pee Wee team lost and you actually had to congratulate the team that beat you? Remember when you lost and you didn't get a trophy and it just made you work harder the next year to win?

Well - no longer. These days losing is harmful to a child's inner well being and cannot be allowed - lest he or she learn that sometimes the real world hurts. And these kids will one day be running things. I wonder who they're going to run crying to the first time they actually have to face a painful experience...?

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