By William Nardi for RSBN
With the rise of PC (Politically Correct) culture, we seem to be neglecting one of the most humanizing parts of our existence—laughing at ourselves. The goal of PC culture, as advocated for by so-called ‘social justice warriors,’ is to stomp our prejudice around the world, and I think that’s truly a noble goal. Their method, however, is to hypersensitize society to what they perceive as offenses, which has led to what some are calling a culture of victimhood.
If someone commits such an offense, the nearest social justice warrior is to immediately brand said person as hateful and prejudiced. These should be considered some of the worst titles anyone can bear, but I hear that word tossed around so lightly these days that its beginning to lose all its meaning.
One such transgression is using the term “colored people” instead of “people of color” in conversation. In an op-ed entitled “Is ‘Colored People’ A Slur,” linguist John McWhorter notes that for most of the 20th century, “colored people” was considered the polite way of referencing black people. Today you’d elicit a verbal gasp for daring to use that phrase when back in the day people like my grandmother used to say as an alternative to derogatory phrases such as the “n-word.” Meanwhile, the National Association For The Advancement Of “Colored People” (NAACP), an organization designed to promote black people, still operates under what is considered hateful in everyday conversation.
Without a universal standard of what is and isn’t considered appropriate, you might as well be walking through a minefield—you never know what the person you’re talking to might consider to be inappropriate.
I’d like to think we have come a long way towards purging society of bigoted views over the past century, but fight to end prejudice never seems to end. With technology giving us instant access to news and sensationalized journalism rampant, we always seem to be in a total crisis mode. With this kind of exposure, along with constantly changing standards of what is and isn’t considered appropriate then how can we ever find peace? Where does it end?
George Washington was a slave owner—does that mean we have to rename the capital of the United States? Washington and Lee University is also named after our first president, but includes the name of the confederate general Robert E. Lee as well!
As our new hypersensitivity brings these potential issues come into the spotlight, I can’t imagine how miserable progressives must be living a life where they are constantly finding some latent prejudice in one thing or another.
Personally, I’d offer an alternative approach to ending hate. Being raised in an Italian-American family, I soon became aware of Italian stereotypes. Movies like “Oscar” and “Analyze This” presented Italian Americans as mobsters. I could have gotten offended by this, but instead I laughed along. These movies were hilarious! Of course, some things were completely absurd, but others were spot on. Yes, I do eat a lot of pizza, but I know I’m not a mobster and that doesn’t bother me. Instead of being miserable, we enjoyed laughing at ourselves and we make fun of such stereotypes with friends and family. Personally, I think this is a much better way to go through life instead of constantly feeling like you’re a victim.
I get that’s easy for me to say. Maybe my stereotypes don’t affect how people treat me as much, and I can never claim to understand how another person feels, but getting angry with someone who didn’t intend to hurt me is a mistake.
In a different circumstance, if someone is trying to bully you or hurt you, then they win as soon as they get a reaction out of you. If you give them what they want, then they won’t stop. Getting angry and telling the teacher won’t stop a bully. Not giving in is what shuts them up. Or even better, laugh at how stupid they are and that will really piss them off.
I learned these tactics when I was a little kid back in middle school, but as adults today we seem to be forgetting the lessons of our youth. Today colleges teach us to be allies to our friends that are facing prejudice whether intentional or not. These people fight on behalf of victims and censure their oppressors as horrible hateful people. If you really think that’s going to change anything, then you’re just wrong. If you call a well-meaning person a racist, homophone, bigot, xenophobe, transphobe, sexist, ableist, classist, fascist for long enough, then one day you will suddenly lose their support and you’ll only be exasperating prejudice, not ending it.
Condemning good people for making a “mistake” under constantly changing standards is the least productive way to fight for your cause. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t know a single bigoted conservative person. Yes, I’m sure they are out there, and prejudice does still exist, but I think we’d all do ourselves some good to relax and laugh at ourselves sometimes.