Being politically correct makes Americans too sensitive
America has become a nation of individuals whose psyches are delicate. I don’t know when they change occurred, but that it has happened is undeniable. The proof is in our penchant for politically correct language. Watchdog organizations demand that we be sensitive to the feelings of every group. Any reference that might possibly be offensive is to be erased from our communications.
The NCAA has banned the use of American Indians as mascots for athletic teams. No longer can a team be the Apaches, the Indians, or the Chiefs. According to this policing agent for college sports, the use of such terms offends those clans and tribes. To hear advocates of reform, the use of such mascots demeans the entire Indian nation. When did the American Indian become so temperamental? I have always admired the way that the true caretakers of America have presented themselves as strong-willed, tough folks. Their past has shown them to be a spiritual people who have been above the trivialities of man. Now the portrayal Indians as mascots hurts their feelings. Such is probably the case for only the minority.
I should have seen this fiasco coming. For too long special interest groups have demanded that politically correct language be used. Women’s groups demand that sexist language be pulled from the English vocabulary. In place of those words, gender-neutral ones are to be used. Now, criminals are pursued by police officers, and fire fighters extinguish blazes in our homes. Postal workers deliver the mail, and a chairperson heads a committee. Folks, I have never used the words “policeman,” “fireman,” or “mailman” in a sexist manner. The fact is that I don’t care what sex captures the outlaw or puts out the fire in my kitchen; I simply want the protection that is offered by these brave souls. I want someone, male or female, to deliver my paycheck each month. Whatever gender the person is who leads a committee is irrelevant; few committees ever produce anything other than words or rules. We don’t need to rewrite our vocabularies to please a few complaining individuals.
How did this country ever get to the point where every minority has its own special name? None of us is African, Irish, Hispanic, or members of any other foreign citizenry. When we become citizens of this country, we forego that hyphenated name and replace it with the single identifier “American.” Yes, we retain our sense of heritage, but the past is not what we are about. Hector St. John de Cre`vecoeur’s essay” What Is an American?” forcefully drives this assertion home: “Here individuals from all nations are melted into a new race of men…The American ought therefore to love this country much better than that wherein either he or his forefathers were born.” Yes, keeping alive the culture of our forefathers is commendable, but being a part of this country means accepting the language and culture it offers.
In our area we have seen the end of the rebel flag at high school football games. Racism does exist, and many who tout that vile belief wave that flag. However, most high school students hold allegiance to their schools, not to some ridiculous vendetta against folks of a different skin color. Removing a flag won’t come close to erasing the prejudice and hate from an individual’s heart. We lose sight of the fact that the rebel flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth. Individuals assign the negative connotations to it.
The next step in completing politically correctness deals with professional sports. The Washington Redskins must go, along with the Cleveland Indians, and the Atlanta Braves. Carl Malone is bound for the NBA hall of fame, but he must first change his nickname from “the Mailman” to “the Mailperson.” Anyone who fails to use the proper language will be accused of harboring ill will toward special interest groups. Maybe these groups need to toughen up a bit and stop being so sensitive instead.
Will exceptions be made in the use of a nickname? They have already begun. Florida State is to keep its nickname the Seminoles. Persons of that tribe enjoy working with the university and reaping the rewards that comes with using their name. Before long, our society will mirror the one in the movie “Demolition Man.” The language police will ticket us for the use of any unacceptable term. Forget the right to free speech. The individual’s right to self-expression isn’t as important as the agenda of a group with a chip on its collective shoulder.