“In this era of political correctness, some people seem unaware that being squeamish about words can mean being blind to realities.” Thomas Sowell
Words are real things, they bless or they curse, they lift up or they knock down and they can just plain hurt. When I was a kid we used to always quote the line, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. Kids are always out to put each other down in their formative years and we used this little “untruth” to save ourselves from being hurt, it didn’t always do the job. I agree with the importance of being careful with our words in order to avoid unnecessary hurt, but I believe that this whole idea of being “politically correct” has been abused and misused to justify what should otherwise most certainly be condemned.
Let’s look at crime for example, we naturally feel that it is only right by law to not condemn anyone without following the “due process of the law” so, although we may have on film an individual such as Jared Lee Loughner who committed multiple murders in the town meeting that Sen. Giffords had held in Arizona, it is stated “correctly” that he “allegedly” shot and killed that day. We had to wait until he went through the whole process of expensive court hearings to condemn him. But it all depends of course where the crime was committed and by whom to then find it perfectly within our right to “execute” the likes of Osama Bin Laden, or Gaddafi without holding a trial.
Is all really “fair in love and war“, as the old adage goes, which I thought was just yet another little line we used to playfully excuse our personal lacks in certain circumstances, or is it actually a crime being committed legally? Let us talk about other politically correct statements that we read about on a daily basis. We pick up our paper and read, “35 (to give a number that was reported when in reality the number is more in the hundreds) people were killed today by “collateral damage“. Oh gee wiz, gosh sorry about that, we were aiming at that dirty rotten terror enemy, and happened to have taken out a neighborhood of innocent men, women and children, but we didn’t mean it, they were just “collateral damage”. Certainly to you, the reader, “collateral damage” sounds fine, it doesn’t make you toss and turn in the night with the thought of your troops having “accidentally” taken out hundreds of innocent people.
How about the unfortunate “friendly fire“? Oh, darn! Two men were taken out by a mistaken shot, but it was unintentional, and all was erased and forgotten in the minds of the everyday reader in the comfort of their home thanks to these two partially easy to swallow politically correct cliché’ “friendly fire”, but is it really right? And when does the “freedom fighter” become a “terrorist”, well that just depends you see, which paper are you reading and where you live on the planet.
Folks, words are truly still hurtful, no matter how “politically correct” you try to be, because remember, political is an imaginary line drawn to separate states, or better said people. By being “politically correct” you are only being “correct” towards a given populace, you are not being “correct” but rather, you are simply attempting to justify what you perceive to be right and attempting to convince the world that your cause is justified. But is it? Which should we have done or not done? Taken Jared Loughner out back instantly and shot him right in the dead, or possibly assured that Osama and Gaddafi were taken safely into custody and tried in an international court? Both perhaps, or neither? It all depends on what side of the street you live on, it all boils down to an opinion, but who’s? So which is “correct”. History reads differently as you travel the globe, you may attempt to justify murder, but it will always be just that, simply murder.
Are you really righteous or just being politically correct?