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Est. April 5, 2002
June 16, 2016 - Issue 658

PC Attack

"Political Correctness is a necessary remedy
in a country with such a sordid history; one
that has enslaved humans based on skin color,
or denied Constitutional protections to those
not of the dominant culture."

For years, I have watched and listened to political conservatives attack the concept of Political Correctness (PC), a term that has become an accepted part of the US lexicon. PC is more than a personal computer or political correct speech; it’s “an overreach by liberals to make the silent majority of Americans bow down to illicit American values.” Such miss-characterization is an attack on PC - I vehemently oppose …and so should you!

Here we are re-visiting the opposition to political correctness in 2016 with presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. For America’s “traditionalists,” he has become their savior. For the conservatives and neo-conservatives of this nation, resistance to PC is the revival of “The Culture Wars” - wars in which I’ve been a casualty my entire adult life. The expression culture war entered the vocabulary of United States politics with the publication of Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America by James Davison Hunter in 1991. As in any war, there has to be extreme polarization of ends and means. Also as in any war, there must be casualties.

Hunter started a ball rolling that played upon the fears of white Americans that their hegemony and prior privilege was, not only under attack but on the brink of extinction. Hunter perceived a dramatic realignment and polarization that had transformed US politics and culture. This fear of losing all that was powerful and familiar excited traditional conservatives to “rise up” and stand against waves that had re-directed the course of American history.

Political Correctness is a necessary remedy in a country with such a sordid history; one that has enslaved humans based on skin color, or denied Constitutional protections to those not of the dominant culture. In this country, we’ve witnessed the marginalization of people based on national origin…and these polarizations are alive and well today - and so is opposition to them.

That opposition is necessary to preserve the theory and concept of a democratic society. Without that opposition, people outside the dominant governance structure are maimed, maligned, tortured or and eventually killed - either mentally or physically. Just look at Turtle Island’s (North America’s) indigenous inhabitants. They were once numerous and thriving but to speak in their native tongue was not PC. So, attacking their culture, belief system (BS) and values was deemed acceptable. I believe that the collectively, even if subconsciously, white America fear that happening to them.

Today, the traditionalists embrace the likes of Donald Trump. Why? Because they cling to the hopes of getting their country…no, not getting - but taking - their country back. There are lines drawn in the sand, rather than alternative bridges to the other side. Issues of abortion, same-sex marriage, federal and state gun laws, climate change and immigration pervade the American psyche and serve as polarizing hatchets. Heads are chopped off when we speak of separation of church and state, individual privacy, recreational drug use, homosexuality, and censorship. These debates rooted in public policy are what define today’s culture wars. Just when you think an issue is decided through constitutional edicts (The Supreme Court), a monkey wrench is thrown into the cogs of the machine.

Just look at Roe v. Wade; a woman’s right to an abortion was decided some thirty years ago, but abortion opponents in Oklahoma are racing the clock in an attempt to override Governor Mary Fallin's veto of what would become the nation's most restrictive abortion law. The measure would strip physicians who perform abortions of their medical licenses and possibly expose them to criminal charges - essentially banning abortion except to save the life of a mother. The bill's sponsors are trying to amass the two-thirds majority required in the state House and Senate to override the governor’s veto. State Sen. Nathan Dahm expressed confidence SB 1552 would pass constitutional muster, an opinion that Fallin, foes of the measure and some legal scholar question.

Fallin is an unwavering abortion opponent who emphasized in her veto statement that she has signed 18 bills "supporting pro-life and pro-family values," but she said this bill was vague and not the vehicle to challenge Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court, as backers hoped. But, know that if you attack pro-life proponents for attacking a women’s right to choose, then you will be accused of being PC.

PC, in contemporary context, describes language, policies, or measures that are intended to not offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society. In the media, the term is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive. PC has helped the US move the gains of the Civil Rights Movement into the norm. Being “civil” or PC has made the US a more admirable place to live. Beware of Conservatives’ screed that PC stifles their free speech. Conservatives want the right to insult you - for absolutely no reason and no consequences.

Know that the PC practice has its place. It creates an invisible barrier that can shield one from intentionally lewd assaults based on characteristics outside of one’s control, such as skin color, national origin, disability or “station” in life. When you hear someone attacking PC, up should go your red flag. Be alarmed because the attacker is getting in position to lob verbal assaults and, in turn, undermine the values of respect and fairness that I defend yet acknowledge are not etched into the collective psyche of this nation. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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