Posts Tagged ‘political correctness’

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Hey, white guys

December 20, 2016

Here’s an interesting video from MTV, who evidently still don’t understand the backlash against political correctness involved in the recent election. (Robby Soave has another good column about that, btw.)

Update: Looks like the tweet has been deleted. Luckily, the video’s on YouTube.

This struck me as surprisingly tone-deaf and patronizing. But others had more amusing reactions.

Jonah Goldberg tweeted.

And Nick Gillespie wrote at Reason:

We’ve gone beyond virtue-signaling to toxic brew of all-you-people-need-to-shut-up-and-listen-to-why-you’re-the-problem ranting.

[…] This is a remarkable document not so much because of the individual “resolutions” but of the source — one of those nefarious multinational corporations that specifically tries to sell fake coolness and hipness to youngsters that progressives are always railing about — and the tin-ear quality of its overall effect.

Whole swaths of corporate America — especially in the entertainment industry — seem utterly convinced that their audiences are irredeemably stupid, racist, homophobic, and beneath contempt. All this, despite massive strides toward equality under the law and growing comfort with all sorts of ethnic, racial, sexual, and lifestyle diversity. […]

The MTV vid goes beyond mere virtue-signaling into uncharted territory of contempt and spite that works to undermine all feelings of common cause that might actually make for an even more-open and tolerant United States. In this, it rivals the sort of remonstrations emanating from the pages of another hugely powerful corporate entity, The New York Times.

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The cost of political correctness?

November 11, 2016

These are a few interesting items I came across in the last two days about how the current atmosphere of political correctness may have affected Tuesday’s election.

What occasionally strikes me is that many organizations, including our government, are so invested in regulating diversity of race, sex, and gender that they’re doing so at the expense of diversity of opinion. The antidote to free speech you don’t like is more free speech, not less. Let speakers open their mouths and show themselves to be fools*.

Likewise, the antidote to those who break laws to harm people (or to damage property) is to prosecute them for those crimes. Allowing your government to increase penalties for hate crimes is just giving it power that it might someday use it against you — when a later set or governors decides to redefine "hate".

Robby Soave writes at Reason (my emphasis):

Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash
What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand

Many will say Trump won because he successfully capitalized on blue collar workers’ anxieties about immigration and globalization. Others will say he won because America rejected a deeply unpopular alternative. Still others will say the country is simply racist to its core.

But there’s another major piece of the puzzle, and it would be a profound mistake to overlook it. Overlooking it was largely the problem, in the first place.

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness. […]


Katherine Timpf at National Review had this to say:

Classes Being Canceled Because Trump Won Is Why Trump Won

So, Donald Trump won the presidential election, and colleges and universities around the country are predictably canceling classes and exams because students are predictably too devastated to be able to do their schoolwork.

It’s everywhere. […]

Reading all of these stories, I really have to wonder: Do any of these people realize that this kind of behavior is exactly why Donald Trump won? The initial appeal of Donald Trump was that he served as a long-awaited contrast to the infantilization and absurd demands for political correctness and "safe spaces" sweeping our society, and the way these people are responding is only reminding Trump voters why they did what they did. […]

The headline of Ms. Timpf’s article reminds me of the headline of Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone about Brexit: The Reaction to Brexit Is the Reason Brexit Happened.


Here’s Jonathon Pie (British comedian Tom Walker) with a hilarious rant about why he thinks Trump got elected – and why Brexit happened and why the Tories rule England. Mind the volume: the language gets a little salty.

The only comment I’ll add to this monologue is that in addition to being shamed by the dominant media stories of their opponents, potential Trump voters may also have been shamed by things Trump himself said or did. I’m guessing it got a little complicated for some of them.


Jonah Goldberg (also at NR) writes about priorities in the Democrat party:

The party of obsession with diversity forgot about bread-and-butter issues

[…] Liberals want to claim that racism explains it all. That’s a hard claim to square with the fact that a great many of the blue-collar counties that favored Barack Obama — the first black president, in case you hadn’t heard — by double digits also favored Trump by double digits.

The fact that so many liberals went straight to this explanation gives you a sense of why the Democrats lost the white working class in the first place. The Democratic party went crazy for issues that appeal to the new Democratic base: campus leftists, affluent cosmopolitan whites, and racial minorities.

One obvious example is diversity. There’s nothing wrong with placing a high value on racial, sexual, and gender inclusion. But Democrats have earned the reputation of being obsessed with it to the exclusion of bread-and-butter issues.

Moreover, by constantly invoking the primacy of identity politics for minorities and immigrants, they encouraged many whites to see themselves as an aggrieved racial or religious constituency. That genie will be hard to get back into the bottle. […]


*IMO, we’re all ‘Children of Eve’ and I don’t care whether you take that to mean the Evolutionary Eve, the Biblical Eve, or a figurative Eve of Enlightened Self-Interest on a global scale. Treat your cousins well.

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Why are people fed up with political correctness?

August 6, 2016

This article by Noah Feldman appears at Bloomberg.com. The EEOC complaint he describes is practically a reductio ad absurdum of political correctness, IMO. Where does this stuff end?

When a Flag Crosses the Line to Harassment

Is it racial harassment in the workplace to display the yellow “Don’t tread on me” flag? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it could be, depending on the context. The commission acknowledged that the Gadsden flag, which dates back to the era of the American Revolution, did not have racist origins. But it called for a careful investigation to see whether recent uses of the flag have been sufficiently “racially tinged” that it could count as harassment.

A strong argument can be mounted that this EEOC decision is a threat to the First Amendment — and that’s exactly the argument made by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh on his blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, in reporting on the commission decision. But on closer examination, I think the commission got this one right. When it comes to the meaning of symbols, social context is everything. Even symbols that have no direct historical connection to racism can change meaning over time. And if we’re going to have laws against workplace harassment, we have to prohibit all harassing behavior — including harassment that’s overtly political.

The Gadsden flag […] is said to have been designed or at least promulgated by Christopher Gadsden, a politician and patriot from Charleston, South Carolina. He was a member of the Marine committee of the Continental Congress; the newly formed Marines were reported to have used some version of the image and logo on their drums in 1775. […]

Gadsden made his money as a merchant in South Carolina, and both owned and sold slaves. As it happens, in common with other slaveholding members of the founding generation, he also sometimes spoke against slavery. In a 1766 speech, he referred to slavery as a “crime,” while observing that “slavery begets slavery” and predicting that South Carolina would see more of it.

But there seems to be no dispute that the flag, as used by the Marines and others in the Revolutionary War, was a message to King George, and had nothing to do with slavery or racism per se.

In his complaint to the EEOC, the anonymous writer objected to a co-worker wearing a hat bearing the flag “because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves.’”

On its own, that’s a pretty weak argument. The fact that a slave owner created a symbol doesn’t mean that symbol is racist. The Constitution itself, after all, was designed in large part by slave owners.

Needless to say, I disagree with Feldman’s conclusion (my emphasis above) and I agree with Eugene Volokh’s opinion; Volokh’s post is worth reading.

If we accept Feldman’s conclusion, where’s the stopping point? If the goal is to eradicate any historical reference that over time may be seen as racist in some social context, then there’s no limit to it. Will somebody, somewhere, someday be offended by something innocuous? It’s a sure bet.

Now… who wants decisions like those made by EEOC bureaucrats in Mr. Trump’s administration? Raise your hands.

Gadsden-flag

My suspicion is that maybe the complainer associates the Gadsden flag with the Tea Party and this is really an attack on what the complainer regards as offensive political speech. See this story from 2013. In that case, the EEOC’s decision is even more troubling.

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Tell us what you really think

August 4, 2015

Here are a couple of interesting videos about free speech, political correctness, and all like that. This first one is a comedy routine by Steve Hughes.

I liked his comparison of political correctness to health & safety rules. That’s another "Mother, may I?" category.

This second clip in an interview by Reason.TV with Jim Doti, president of Chapman University.

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There’s usually a lot of that going around

July 7, 2015

From The Washington Post, a sensible opinion about the tempest-in-a-teapot over the Confederate flag.

There’s no race war in America

Did you know that this newspaper is named for a slaveholder? It’s right there on our masthead, the name of a man who for 56 years held other human beings in bondage on his Virginia plantation — a man, according to the official Mount Vernon Web site, who “frequently utilized harsh punishment against the enslaved population, including whippings.” This dreaded symbol of oppression is delivered to the doorsteps and inboxes of hundreds of thousands of people each morning.

Sure, George Washington also emancipated his slaves in his will, won our independence and became the father of our country — but no matter. It is an outrage that this paper continues to bear the name of such a man.

It is time to rename The Washington Post!

Think that’s stupid? You’re right. But there’s a lot of stupid going around today. The latest example: The TV Land network has pulled the plug on reruns of one of America’s most beloved shows, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” because the car in the show, the General Lee, bears a Confederate flag. There is nothing racist about “The Dukes of Hazzard.” It is a show about moonshine, short shorts and fast cars. What is accomplished by banning “The Dukes of Hazzard”? Nothing. […]

This impulse to wipe away history is Stalinist. Just like Joseph Stalin once erased people from photographs, we’re now erasing people from our collective history.

These historical purges are not only wrong, they are also completely unnecessary. If you want to see where race relations are in the South, just look at how the people of Charleston, S.C., reacted to the shootings at Emanuel AME Church. There were no race riots. The city didn’t burn. People came together — black and white — to mourn and heal together. The white mayor of Charleston joined hands with the state’s black senator and its Indian American governor to pray. Thousands of people of all races, creeds and colors formed a “unity chain” that stretched two miles across the Ravenel Bridge to honor those who died.

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Who’s Too Weak to Live With Freedom?

August 22, 2013

An interesting interview of Alan Charles Kors, a co-founder of FIRE.

Via David Thompson

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