Jay Rifenbary

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Political Correctness Run Amuck

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Political Correctness is defined as, “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” I believe we have reached a crescendo in this nation where political correctness has become a liability to our way of life, rather than a socially respectful and responsible form of tolerance and appreciation for difference. It has become a way to manipulate the masses, stir dissension, and create even further separation.

This social liability was best exemplified in the lack of action taken against Major Nidal Hasan prior to his terrorist attack against his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, TX. Yes, I did say terrorist attack and not “man-caused disaster”. I welcome rebuke from my readers who actually believe that this attack was not religiously based and motivated by Jihad. I do not believe this is a reflection of the Muslim people, but rather another example of extremism at its best. In regard to the motivation for this attack, political correctness also influenced our leaders to be less than courageous and forthright with those who witnessed and were victimized by this terrible tragedy. To spray pixie dust over what was clearly a religiously based motivated massacre is being dishonest. I would share the same sentiment if it were any other fanatic from any other religious affiliation.

The over use of political correctness has taken common sense to common fear, and sensible communication to an irrational feeling of guilt. There is no question of the importance of being respectful to those of all race, creed, color and difference, and I personally espouse to that belief, but to not take action in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings and a potential law suit with the end result being the death of innocent young men and women is preposterous. All the red flags were there for action to be taken against Major Hasan, but the fear of ridicule for addressing the issue because others may see it as being racially motivated is the purest example of political correctness run amuck. Jacques Barzun, a French-born American historian of ideas and culture, author of “From Dawn to Decadence” and still alive at the age of 102 stated, “Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.”. Let us all be mindful of the potential sensitivity of what we say, but let us also use practical sense in discriminating between being sensitive and avoiding the truth. For example, we are not fighting a “Global War on Terror”, now it is an “Overseas Contingency Operation”. Are you kidding me? If our fellow American citizens cannot see through this manipulation of vernacular I believe we are in serious trouble as a society, oh I meant, societally challenged.

With the “Holiday” season upon us, I am wondering if anyone was insulted by a Cross, a Christmas Tree, a Star of David, a Menorah or a Crescent Moon and Star or any other religious symbol growing up. I grew up Catholic but never took offense to others celebrating their holiday in their traditional way. It was only when these symbols became a platform for dissension, and political gain, did I become aware of the negativity associated with difference. I doubt many Muslims are saying Happy Holiday during Ramadan, as I doubt many Christians are substituting Happy Holiday for Merry Christmas, or those of Jewish faith Happy Chanukah. Yes, I am aware I am politically incorrect for leaving out all the other religions. In this particular example, genuine tolerance is respecting those who may be religiously different, and who celebrate differently than you. There have been many benefits to an increased awareness of what we say, and what may be offensive to others, but to use political correctness as a platform for power, greed and a controlling of the masses deteriorates the very fabric of a society that was founded on freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.


 



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