Paula Deene, Serena Williams, Anthony Weiner and the Fickle Gods of PC

I see in the news that Paula Deene a southern woman( which makes her instantly suspect) of whom I have no real knowledge has apparently committed verbal apostasy, sometime in her past, against the gods of political correctness and is to be shunned and exiled. I don’t know exactly what she may have said or done and may never know fully what occurred but whatever occurred I feel that personally I would rather pay attention to what people do and have done rather than what they say or have said in the past. Actions used to speak louder than words and sticks and stones would break your bones but now it appears you should be more afraid of words than any physical harm or insult you may offer or receive as words may destroy your life.
If you go back into the past of many of us, over 60 years old, you will find somewhere sometime what is now judged to be political incorrectness. My personal demon that lingers in my thoughts is in that area is making fun of handicapped people which I know I did as a high school student. I also know that I made and enjoyed what would now be construed as racist, xenophobic remarks in my past particularly in the form of jokes. I comfort myself perhaps self-servingly by the fact that is no longer what I do or say but there it lingers in my brain and consistently produces a sense of shame even now 40 years later.
I have been called a racist by some minority students for the use of words and defended by other minority students in the same classroom for example when I was a teacher I used to use the word “boy” for boys and “girl” for girls as in “stop that boy” or “quit talking girl” when I didn’t know student’s names. As a teacher I had to relearn an ingrained speech pattern to avoid potential politically incorrect mis-understandings of that usage. Occasionally I would slip during the re-learning process which in fact at least once did lead to me being called a racist even when that student knew that I used that term for all boys no matter what their color. After the accusation by a black female student the black student whom I had called “boy” said to her and I remember it quite clearly, “he don’t mean nothing by it, leave it be.” Oh, if we could all follow that common sense rule of language and life where we consider intent and meaning rather than definition and sensitivity we would all be much happier.
To judge someone and destroy someone solely on their choice of words with no reference to their actions is akin to judging someone by their weight, height, looks or skin color. We have learned that none of these things truly represent the whole person or the sum of their abilities or disabilities and in fact are certainly not representative of their value as a person.
Serena Williams an African-American also has also recently been attacked by the gods of political correctness for implying that people must bear some responsibility for their own actions. Admittedly she touched one of the “third rails of political correctness” when speaking of a rape victim. She did not condone rape or excuse the rapist in her remarks and I believe she was accurate when she stated that the girl who was raped bears some personal responsibility for the bad things that happened to her by intentionally putting herself in the position (passed out drunk) that allowed it to happen. Just, as I would add, a person wearing dark clothing walking down a dark roadway on a cloudy rainy evening bears some responsibility for being hit by a car. Responsibility, even if the car was driven by a drunk driver.
Finally I see in the news that Anthony Weiner has taken the lead in the New York City Democratic Primary for Mayor. A man who was actually sending lewd messages and pictures to women on twitter while in office and then lied about it and later recanted in a meaningless politically driven apology, is ahead in the polls and will probably be elected mayor of New York City rather than being exiled and shunned.
Amongst many other examples of questionable speech and actions such as Jesse Jackson, Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Kobe Bryant, Spike Lee, Rush Limbaugh who have not been exiled or shunned, I ask how does this equate?
Finally if I have offended you with these remarks, please be aware that I had no intention of offending you but that I too will be offended if you are offended by the truth, no matter how uncomfortable and politically incorrect the truth may be. Because being offended is always a personal definition then I will consider our senses of offense to be equal and thus your sense of offense is also my best defense against your sense of offense.


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
This entry was posted in Political Correctness, Society, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Paula Deene, Serena Williams, Anthony Weiner and the Fickle Gods of PC

  1. thelastgasp1 says:

    You expressed the feeling I have been unable to verbalize. I especially like the phrase, “consider intent and meaning rather than definition and sensitivity”. Well done!

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