A Feb. 16 article by Francis Marion on Last Resistance was headlined: “Students Suspended for Chanting ‘USA! USA!’”
This is what happened: “Four male students at Adolfo Camarillo High School in Camarillo, Calif., just east of Oxnard, love to show their patriotism at school sporting events by wearing American flag bandanas and chanting ‘USA! USA!’ At a recent basketball game, the four teens got the crowd chanting ‘USA! USA!’ with them. Officials stepped in and stopped them, and the four boys were subsequently suspended from school.
“Why? ... Because the principal ... believed that the chants ‘might’ have been racially motivated because a large part of the student body is Hispanic and they may be been offended by the chant. The suspension was soon lifted, but the incident is not over. Lipman explained his actions, saying, ‘We wanted to make sure (their actions weren’t) racially motivated, and I told the kids I just want to be sensitive to the feelings of everybody. If we’re doing it for patriotism, that’s fine. But if we’re doing it for something else that is racially motivated, I’m not going to allow that.’”
We seem to have reached the point in America where we can’t say anything to anybody without looking over our shoulder to see if the PC police are behind us.
I’ve never understood exactly how the term “politically correct” (PC) is defined. What is it, specifically? Who determines what is correct and what is not? Are there regular meetings of some PC board or committee? Who appoints or elects them? Is there a guide or dictionary that is used to determine what is correct and what is not?
To me, PC is BS (bad speech), but there are also “politically correct” images and conduct or behavior.
Political correctness is censorship. Free speech in America has been hijacked. We are no longer able to openly express our opinions. Instead, we are constantly looking over our shoulders for the next ad homonym attack on our character or values for something we might say.
Political correctness has taken over our colleges and newsrooms, two previously sacrosanct forums that are supposed to be bastions of free speech in our society. People can no longer say what they think without running the risk of sanctions, some of which may cost them their jobs or even expose them to the threat of bodily harm:
The gist of the measure was summed up in a sentence declaring that “no political, ideological or religious orthodoxy will be imposed on professors and researchers through the hiring or tenure or termination process, or through any other administrative means by the academic institution.” It also stated that “intellectual independence means the protection of students as well as faculty.” (Why was this necessary?)
Political correctness is not just about speech. It permeates every aspect of our daily lives, including what we wear, what we eat, our entertainment, our schools and institutions of higher learning, the names or slogans we use, such as nicknames of sports teams and schools, the definition of acceptable behavior, individual rights and more.
Writing in the American Federalist Journal (Sept. 23, 2002), Dennis Prager said, “One of the most common questions I am asked is, ‘What can I, a simple citizen, do to make our country better?’ The answer: Change the little things first. ... Here is a seemingly small project that any American who works at almost any company can initiate. If successful, it will send shock waves through the country: Rename your company’s ‘holiday’ party a ‘Christmas’ party. Nothing is quite as symbolic of the narcissism at the heart of contemporary ‘progressive’ policies than the belief that because there are non-Christian employees at a company, its Christmas party may not be called one. ... And when someone asks you whose idea it was, tell them it came from a Jew who doesn’t observe Christmas, but who loves and honors the fact that the vast majority of his fellow Americans do.”
Stop hyphenating Americans: “Personally, I’m disgusted with everybody’s continued use of ‘fill-in-the-blank American.’ If they are Americans, they’re Americans” (“College Dems Anger Indian-Americans for Attack on GOP Candidate,” Oct. 10, 2012).
“This idea of worshiping diversity is nothing more than saying that all other countries have a culture, but America does not.”
It seems to me that defining politically correct is a little like former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s statement about defining hard-core pornography (Jacobellis v. Ohio): “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description. ... But I know it when I see it ...”
Political correctness is really not about speech at all; it’s actually about controlling people’s thoughts, ideas and expression, defining acceptable behavior according to some nebulous and variable standard that is laid down by various special interest groups for everyone else to follow and manipulated for political purposes.
In the final analysis, PC is whatever certain vocal individuals, minorities or special interest groups say it is from time to time. It’s about using the power of censorship to stifle dissent for political advantage and monetary gain through the power of government. The oft-quoted statement “follow the money” applies here as well.
Personally, I am sick and tired of being told what is acceptable and what is not acceptable speech. All PC is BS.
It’s time Americans stood up and reclaimed their right to free speech.
— Harris Sherline is a retired CPA and former chairman and CEO of Santa Ynez Valley Hospital. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.