An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Law and Order: SVU’

Being PC

So, there is one major problem in modern society that one can address in a very professional way, because the fact is that this affects not only everybody’s personal lives, but also their professional lives.  There was a very interesting episode of Law and Order: SVU which addressed this problem in a very beautiful way.  It did so with some of the most amusing dialogue that has ever been on a Law and Order show.  The episode was called, ironically enough, “PC.”  For those of you who dont’ know, PC means Politically Correct.  This is a concept that has rather taken over modern society and made us all slaves to it, because people get really hardcore about it if it isn’t how they want it to be.

This stems for a deeper problem in modern culture – that you can’t get on anybody’s case.  The fact is that incompetance exists in the world.  While people don’t have to, and shouldn’t, criticize a person and use derogatory terms just because of that, they should be allowed to bring problems (that they interpret as problems) to light if they feel the inclination to.  That was guaranteed to us by the First Amendment.  While I have already written about how something being in the Constitution doesn’t automatically make it correct, it does make a lot of sense.

The fact is that people just go absolutely nuts over this.  And what’s more, it is kind of bigotry in and of itself sometimes.  Let me elaborate.  I hate bigotry.  More than anything else, it is the most detrimental aspect of modern life that we have to deal with.  It happens all the time.  It is widespread against the LGBT community (I am going to be coming right back to this initial, since I am talking about being PC).  It is still a problem in the black community.  It is a problem with every minority community.  So, it is not like we can ignore it.  The fact is that there is nothing worse of the health of a community than a bigoted group of people.

But there is also a side to this that people don’t really think about – PC bigots.  They exist, and in a very big way.  It comes up way too often in the modern world.  It isn’t politically correct to do this or that.  One great example that I have, that I take my cue from the aforementioned Law and Order: SVU episode is the initial for the LGBT community.  Last I checked, it is now seven letters long.  That is annoying in and of itself.  After five letters, unless it spells something pretty catchy, an initial is just too long.

But you can’t do that anymore.  If you don’t call it the whole initial, you are regarded in some sects as a bigot yourself for not calling it the entire initial.  That is not only ridiculous, it is unfair.  What’s more, some of the more “politically correct” terms seem even more offensive than the terms that the were replacing.

Granted, we have terms that were genuinely sexist and needed to be replacted.  I have no problem with the fact that the term “flight attendent” came up in place of “stewardess.”  Or that “office professional” came up in place of “secretary” (Although, we don’t call the person the Office Professional of Defense, now do we?).  That makes sense to me.  Then there are those that were demanded.  Like how the term “retard” is not acceptable at all to called a mentally handicapped person.  Those are terms that it is not only good that we came up with different terms, it was necessary.

But think about this – there are other terms that it is almost ridiculous that they came up with other uses.  Like the term “little people” for fore-shortened peoples.  If you ask me, that sounds even more offensive than the other terms.  Think about this – when you hear the term “dwarf,” doesn’t that make you think about Gimli from Lord of the Rings?  I mean, I heard dwarf and I think that some dude is about to whip out an ax and stick it in an Orc’s face.  That sounds cool!  And the term “midget” may not be all the good, so instead, call them “hobbits!”  But in all seriousness, that term does indeed sound more offensive than the other terms.  Not to mention, from a medical stand-point, there is a very big difference, and it needs to be remembered.  Not as a bad thing, but as just another concept that people have to live with.

I get why this is such an issue with people.  Discrimination and bigotry is not a good thing.  And there are plenty of instances that.  There are a lot of sexist terms that have been gotten rid of in our modern vernacular that needed to go.  But it goes so much further than that.  When people start judging you personally for the fact that you don’t use a word, that completely blankets over who a person is as a person.  A person like myself who doesnt’ want to use the complete now-seven word initial for the LGBT community just because it is way too long to remember is not a bigot.  I am just a person who is horribly impatient, and not particularly happy with being told that I am a bad guy because I don’t observe every single little nicety of human interaction.

And the fact is that most of these changes in modern vernacular are made to please a small group of people who are just really angry.  This is not advocating for not listening to the minority, for certain, but there are instances when people just wish to make trouble just to make trouble.  And nobody can deny that that happens.  But the fact is that if everybody is too worried about saying the wrong then, then nobody is going to say anything.  And every once and a while, it is necessary to say what isn’t exactly culturally kosher.  Not always, or probably even often, but people have to keep their minds open to the thought.

Bigotry is wrong, we can all agree on that, but let’s not go off telling somebody that they are a bigot just because of the fact that they don’t like a seven-word initial that doesn’t spell anything or roll of the tongue.

Peace out,

Eli

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