Primer for the politically correct generation….

It occurred to me the other day, after hearing a fat lady described as a “person of excessive girth”, that there is a complete generation of young people who have grown up in our society only since it became so politically correct. They have never had the benefit of  brevity in describing the events that so often occur in our lives. By way of illustration, let’s look at how a bank robbery might have been reported in simpler times:

A robber walked boldly unmasked into a bank yesterday and demanded money from a teller. He handed her a threatening note which said if she didn’t give him the money he would kill her. This criminal then walked out of the bank and disappeared down a sewer manhole. The police after receiving information from a snitch, who turned out to also be the criminal’s sometimes accomplice, soon collared the thief. When confronted about the robbery he gave them an alibi regarding his whereabouts. Upon hearing what was an obvious lie the investigating officer was overheard referring to it as being a “pile of crap”. Presented with irrefutable evidence that he committed the crime, his lawyer pleaded out using the time-tested “abuse excuse” to beat the rap. To which the DA responded, “over my dead body!”

And now, how that same news item is reported today.

 A wealth redistribution technician, obviously feeling comfortable in his own skin, walked into a bank today and strongly suggested a pecuniary exchange with one of the tellers. He handed her a prescribed annotation implying that if she wasn’t comfortable with giving him the money, he would have to exercise his option to render her into a state of metabolic dormancy. This person of interest  then walked out of the bank and disappeared down a sanitary maintenance portal. The police, acting on information obtained from someone who turned out to be the suspect’s erstwhile business associate, soon apprehended the unsavory person. When confronted about his alleged activity he told them an ontologically challenged story regarding his whereabouts. Upon hearing this explanation, the investigating officer was overheard referring to it as a fecal mass. Presented with eyewitness testimony and surveillance tapes showing him as the likely perpetrator, the rights advocate attorney for the accused promptly offered matters in mitigation and extenuation, such as his deprived childhood and dysfunctional family, in hopes of reducing the severity of the consequences. To which the DA responded, “when my life form achieves environmental balance!”

And so it goes.

17 thoughts on “Primer for the politically correct generation….

    • Way overboard? Aren’t you afraid you might offend someone with that harsh language? Didn’t you mean that PCness might now have acheived a possible exaggerated state?

  1. Speaking as the person of interest in the case, I just have to say…who are you calling unsavory? That’s not very nice.

    Thanks for manning that PC wall.

  2. The first version sounds like something from a 1950s crime drama and the second from a second-year law student. 🙂

    Political correctness, I’ll give you, can be taken too far. But so can disparaging or hurtful language.

    Pendulums, people. They swing. A while ago, the privileged majority could say anything they wanted to about anyone different from them and get away with it, regardless of how much it offended the not-so-privileged minority. Today, the pendulum has swung perhaps a bit too far the other way and the privileged majority has to be careful about what they say to whom (not what they think, just what they say), so as not to possibly offend anyone AND people in the not-so-privileged minority are perhaps a bit too sensitive.

    How about a little bit of balance and common sense? We should think about how we talk about other people. If it might hurt someone’s feelings, surely our vocabulary is vast enough to come up with another way to say what we want to say. If not, then maybe the old adage should still apply: if you can’t say something nice about someone/something, don’t say anything at all.”

    In today’s world, most people feel entitled to say whatever they want, whenever, and to whomever. I’ve found that that approach isn’t always the most productive… But that’s me.

    • Excellent comment, Lorna. Why do I feel like I might have touched a nerve?

      Actually, I am one of those people who is tactful and diplomatic almost to a fault. I have a longtime friend from college who always “tells it like it is” and we have butted heads over that for years. We could both stand to find some middle ground on this issue.

      Having said that, I am always angered by the way we coddle some criminals. Case in point. The man who shot Rep Giffords, Jared Lee Loughner, is still referred to as the suspect. He is not the suspect. He is the perpetrator. He is the shooter. That is not in question. He will receive a fair trial and may even get off due to insanity. That’s fine if that’s the way the law works. But to also give him the luxury of being referred to as the “suspect” is ludicrous. It’s political correctness run amok.

      At some point, this country’s pendulum swung drastically in favor of the criminal and severely against the victim. This is true in most rape cases. That’s why they’re under-reported.

      Anyway, your point is well taken. Usually, where common sense prevails, justice prevails as well.

      • Oh, now I see the problem. Common sense has to prevail…that well ran dry some time ago. 😐

        I agree with you about criminals v. victims. Our system is anything but “just.” We err on the side of the criminals’ rights too many times (at least in notorious cases) for my blood to boil. And even personally I’ve seen victims who never see justice while the “justice system” bends over backwards to make sure the person(s) obviously guilty of victimizing them were treated with kid gloves.

        I don’t think we should go back to the days of public flogging (not flirting while blogging, but beating) or “bread and water only” or vigilante justice, but victims are people, too, right?

      • Oh I have to get into this. I am not tactful, and I am insensitive at times. However, I never called a “spade a spade” at work which I have heard by white males within earshot of people of color.

        I do have some sense. On the other hand, I did tell some Black friends of mine i was a “redneck” because I gardened and my neck was red because I burned easily. They all said No No No. They thought I was the cat’s meow, but I thought it was time everyone understood how hurtful that term can be to some poor people in the South. Dianne

  3. I’m offended, Jodi – we call a spade a shovel 😉

    Good post, Al, but I think you’ll find most young people call it as they see it – just ask the embarrassed parent of any five year old.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s