Tuesday, November 27, 2007

PC Buffoonery

Today's American Thinker (yeah, I know. But they've just had some interesting little articles lately.) had a column on the University of Wisconsin-Madison and their "Think Respect" program. The article was actually on how this idiotic program withered away from non-participation. What struck me was that someone in a position as lofty as a dean at a major university could be so stupid as to think it was a good idea in the first place. What was called for was turning in or reporting anyone who engaged in any behavior or speech that was deemed offensive by any of a number of groups of apparently overly sensitive people. Yeah. I want my daughters to go and whine about being called a "chick" or a "broad" or a "Christian" or a "conservative". Oh wait. The last two wouldn't garner them the time of day.

In any case, it's nice to know that even if the kids are hopelessly indoctrinated already, that they still retain the sense to know crap when they see it. A student wrote in the school paper how they were capable of dealing with inappropriate speech without the help to the faculty. Good for them. Let's hope they see political correctness for what it is as well.


Les said...

I might be in the minority here, but I actually think the PC craze is losing steam. As a Gen-Xer, I think PC was at its height during the 90's. While it's certainly alive and well in various circles today, I find it less overbearing than it was a decade ago by miles. I think most people gradually realized how absurd it really was.

Thank you, Jeremy Pivens and PCU.

Marshall Art said...

As a matter of fact, Les, the column speaks to that very notion, that PC is running out of steam, or "going out with a whimper." However it goes, as long as it does.

Mark said...

I don't see it losing steam. When people get litigious over a noose hanging from a tree, or the presence of a Confederate flag in a garage at a country club, etc, it still is going on and in many cases even more ridiculous than ever.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow. You think being upset over a noose over a tree is an example of being PC?

So, what's a little lynching between friends, right?

Les said...

"Wow. You think being upset over a noose over a tree is an example of being PC?"

My thoughts exactly. Apples and oranges, Mark.

Marshall Art said...

Noose in a tree? As long as no one's hanging from it, bad taste is about the worst it is.

Dan Trabue said...

You obviously have no lynching in your history. Believe it or not, it is fresh on the minds of many of our African American brothers and sisters and it is not "merely in bad taste" to them, but a very real and palpable death threat.

And y'all wonder why the Republicans have a hard time winning African Americans over - this sort of thinking is a perfect example of why there is nearly an entire race of people refusing to cast a vote in their direction.

Marshall Art said...

Actually, Dan, I have a much higher opinion of my darker brothers and sisters than to think very many of them get the vapors over what guilty white guys like yourself perceive as too horrible for them to endure. Perhaps we need to examine that PayneHollow community in which you live if you've developed the perception of this quivering and oversensitve black person wailing in fear and terror upon viewing a noose. Why might the black people YOU know be so fearful?

Dan Trabue said...

ummm... their very real history - extending back hundreds of years and up to quite recently?

Dan Trabue said...

I have a much higher opinion of my darker brothers and sisters than to think very many of them get the vapors...

And it's not so much fear they might experience today but outrage at the way a privileged group would so easily dismiss their concerns.

If you truly had a high opinion of folk, you'd do well to listen to their concerns and issues instead of dismissing it as merely bad taste and examples of political correct-ness. But, instead, you dismiss their concerns showing that you have not much an opinion of them to begin with.

Whether or not that's your intent (and I'm sure it's not), it's how it is often perceived.

And now you know.

Marshall Art said...

Well, Dan, perception is one thing. Basing all on perception without any effort to seek clarification is quite another. If one is perceived in a particular manner that is less than desirable, it is a good idea to determine if the perception is valid. Barring that, why should anyone else care what the perception is? Are we to remain motionless until we've assertained the feelings of each and every individual or group that MIGHT be offended? I think not. Far better, let us assume the best of others first rather than assume some unsubstantiated bigotry or predjudice. I am sick to death of this racial crap and sickened more so by white leftists who seek to impose their guilt-ridden standards of right/wrong on the whole of society.

As to the black community, I would wager that the percentage of those who experience "outrage" over stupid incidents like a noose in a tree is far less than you might imagine. I can't help but think that most hear of such events and think to themselves regarding the perpetrator, "What a freakin' idiot." and not much more. What you suggest about them indicates a failure on your part to truly understand them. I've no doubt the lion's share of them prefer to simply be treated as people with the same desires for a successful life as anyone else. Your attitude plays right into the hands of the Jesse Jacksons, Al Sharptons and Spike Lees of the world.

"ummm... their very real history - extending back hundreds of years and up to quite recently?"

I've met very few black people who give such thoughts a moment's time. I know they're out there, but I doubt they constitute a majority. Likely, they've found a real pidgeon in you and they'll play it for all it's worth. Those types exist in all races.

Bear in mind that for all that, I feel that it might be stupidly necessary to announce that I in no way endorse, encourage or find palatable the hanging of nooses, the painting of swastikas, the burning of crosses, or the shouting of racial/ethnic epithets with the intention of harming others. At the same time, I do not suffer easily those who would cry wolf over every little racially tinged incident. The first step in reducing racism is to avoid giving it any credence with every episode.

Erudite Redneck said...

There is no constitutional right not to be offended. Period. Nooses in trees are terribly offensive. Tough tits.

Death threat? Bull -- unless it's hung in someone's yard *as* a death threat. Give me a break.

Makes me make want to throw a rope over a tree limb in my own yard as a matter of freedom of expression. And others could give me hell inj the exercise of *their* freedom of expression.

Sorry. Hit my redneck nerve.

And campus speech codes are un-American. PC has done more to divide people in this country than unite them.

Putting controls on expression is like price controls: Each may have its place in a real emergency; but the eventual effect, assuming a freeish market, or a free marketplace of ideas, resumes, is hyperinflation.

While I'm on the general topic of freedom, Chris Mathews pissed me off, again, tonight, by conflating the constitutional protection against religious tests for public office -- actual legal requirements -- with the right of people to vote, or not vote, for people for whatever reason, including religion.

People can vote, promote, campaign for and otherwise explicitly support Mikek Huckabee, for example, precisely because he is a Baptist. Amd I am free to withhold my support for him for the exact same reason.

Oh, hey MA. How ya doin'?

Marshall Art said...

Well said, ER. And I'm doing fine, thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, I'll have to disagree with both of you on this. There are indeed a good many folk silly enough to take offense at suggested lynchings. Jokes or not.

And making light of it is exactly one reason why so-called "conservative" Republicans have so very little support or respect amongst the black community. Believe it or not.

Marshall Art said...

It's the degree to which offense is taken that's the point. Heck, I'M "offended" at the sight of racial or ethnic activity of any kind, but not to the point that I fear for my life. You make it sound as if black people the world over are quivering in fear at the mere mention of a noose. Again, I'd wager most take it in stride for the most part. Not that they wouldn't wish it never occurred, but that they give it much attention unless there was some clear and directed meaning to it, such as a direct threat on a particular person or group. The simple and random hanging of a noose does not elicit the emotional trauma you suggest.

Erudite Redneck said...

Well, my point is this: It may very well be the right thing for me to do, to be kind to someone, to take pains to help that one avoid things that he finds offensive. But whether I, or anyone else, is so kind is up to me.

I may very well offend someone, and if I set out to offend them, that is one thing. If someone finds me, or something I say or do, offensive, however, and that is not my intent, then that is their problem.

I have a small ceramic rooster draped with a Confederate battle flag on my desk at work. It's the goofiest thing I've ever seen. Someone may some day be offended by it -- although I use it, when someone notices it, as an object lesson in how symbols can be misused tot he point where they lose their original meanings. If someone, despite my efforts in that regard, remains offended by it, then I will be offended by their stubborn-headedness. And it'll be a draw.

Dan Trabue said...

For the record, I'm not talking about "hurting people's feelings." I'm talking about whether a thing is right or wrong.

Throwing a noose over a tree as a "joke" is wrong. It's not being PC to say that it is wrong to do so.

That was my original point in response to Mark's suggesting that suing someone over throwing a noose over a branch is being "politically correct." If you want to make the case that lawsuits are frivolous or not warranted, then do so. I just tire of having every action you disagree with being dismissed as "oh, they're just trying to be politically correct and not offend anyone."

No. In that case, they were trying to send a message that it is wrong in this day and age to use a lynching as a joke (or a threat).

I don't know that I want a kid who's done that sort of thing as a joke to be imprisoned or even sued successfully, but being disgusted by it is not an example of being PC. And suggested lynchings aren't a matter of free speech.

Some actions are just wrong and ought to be denounced as such.

Erudite Redneck said...

Some free speech is wrong. But is should remain free. Because stifled speech is the greater wrong. Let the lawsuits or other consequences fall where they may -- but no stifling of speech, and no prior restaint of the press!

Parklife said...

PC Buffoonery?

Marshall Art said...


Do you mean to infer that the provided link shows examples of PC Buffoonery? This is goofy. Expecting more professionalism and respect toward our elected officials by one who's job is to simply report is hardly PC.

Parklife said...

This IS goofy. I would never suggest that you would ever think of Mark in a poor light. Or.. that you would approach something from a neutral perspective.

"respect our elected officials"
Have you ever thought about doing stand-up?

Marshall Art said...


Mark has done nothing for which I should view him in a bad light. Rest assured, should he, I will. I'd be interested in any examples of your neutrality on an issue. It's a silly thing to ask of anyone. Once an issue is on the table, it's pretty difficult to NOT take a side. Of course, lefties aren't comfortable being pinned down on anything for fear they might be "seen in a bad light".

Finally, I never implied that WE need to respect every public official, for some have shown they're unworthiness and all of them are required to earn our respect. But for a reporter on television to so blatantly crack wise about a US president, and poorly so, is outside her job description. For that, she'll need to be a columnist or commentator hired to give opinions. Or didn't you know that?