Political correctness has failed us

Most of us were taught at a young age not to offend others or, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

These childhood lessons had a purpose and helped us to learn to get along with others. But what happens when this simple lesson turn into an overbearing weight of voluntary and involuntary censorship?

Political correctness is one of those ideals that means well but has several flaws. Like those childhood lessons, the idea is to get along with others as adults, but at what cost does it come? Also, who decides what is or isn’t politically correct?

Political correctness, in a broad definition, is a tool used by society or groups within the whole of society to keep individuals from saying or doing something that may offend someone.

Examples can be seen everywhere: taxi cabs in New York unable to put American flags on their car for fear of offending those from other nations. There are people who want Mississippi to change their flag as it still has the Confederate flag as part of the whole. Political correctness may have been a factor with Georgia changing its flag in 2001.

That brings me to my next issue, hyphenated Americans. When did we, as country, feel like it was a good idea to let individuals put another nation in front of our own? Irish-American, Mexican-American, or African-American and the list goes on. I have a friend who is just as pale as me from South Africa who now lives in Missouri. So since he is white is he still an African-American? Who has the rule book?

The comedian George Carlin brought up several examples of the absurdness of political correctness in one of his acts. He talked about how there is no “old people” only “senior citizens.” Instead of “shell-shock”, we have “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Here are some other political correct things that people say: We no longer have fat people, we have obese people. If you are taking the Hoveround to McDonald’s to get your four Big Mac and a gallon of coke, you are fat.

I have no issue with homosexuals, but if you are a man who talks with a lisp, has a limp wrist and collects tea cozies but wonder why others call you a fairy, you may need to look at yourself again.

I understand what political correctness is intended to do, but when has it gone too far? When do we grow our backbone back and say, ‘Hey, you know what? Sometimes you are going to be offended; that is life.’