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November 5, 2013

Proud to be politically incorrect

Chuck Pinkey
The Daily Star

---- — When the movement began to restrict smoking in elevators and restaurants, who would have dreamed that someday you wouldn’t be able to smoke a cigarette on the streets of Manhattan? Likewise, who would have envisioned multi-culturalism morphing into “press 1 for English” in America?

The granddaddy of them all is the politically correct movement. This little gem has come to bite us in the butt like no other. Just think of the jobs lost and the careers ruined, because of certain words spoken or benign deeds done that have been deemed forbidden by the politically correct police.

In 21st century America, the most horrible crime is to offend someone, and believe me, there are plenty of people just waiting to be offended. Worse yet, there are endless bleeding hearts policing America ready to “cry wolf” at the first hint of anything remotely offensive.

Recently, a white rodeo clown donned an Obama mask, and the politically correct police went berserk! Cries of racism were everywhere. My goodness, you’d have thought the Klan had burned a cross on the White House lawn!

Entertainers have been using presidents’ masks for years. Should President Obama be treated differently? If we’re ever going to get beyond race in our country, these harmless incidents have to go unnoticed. Not everything is a big deal.

Another PC victim is Hallmark, the greeting card company. They edited the lyrics of “Deck the Halls” on one of their 2013 ornaments to omit the word “gay.” It now reads “Don we now our fun apparel.” A spokesman for Hallmark said, “Today, it (gay) has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.” 

The speech police are the worst. Good manners should dictate our dialogue, not some self-appointed politically correct avenger. This PC censorship smacks of 1938 Germany, not the good old U. S. of A. 

Look at what we’ve become. Illegal aliens are now undocumented immigrants or as Jay Leno says, “Future Democratic voters.” “Founding Fathers” has been replaced in many school books in favor of “Founders.” Apparently “Fathers” was too sexist for the PC police. 

Many find “senior citizen” offensive, and the PC crowd suggests “older person.” Personally at 64 years old, I think both stink, but “crabby, complaining, ill-tempered, old coots” will never fly.

Seems our PC police have a foreign ally. According to Global Language Monitor, “Oriental, in the U.S. is considered offensive to Asians because the term is based on the geographic relationship of Asia from a Western perspective.” Is that true? Next time I eat Chinese, I’ll have to ask the waitress if “Oriental” is offensive. Wait! Is “eat Chinese” racist or hate speech? One can’t be too careful.

Before the PC movement, we would have said, “Many on the right, in the middle, and now on the left have come to believe President Obama and henchmen are the most dishonest — and with this Obamacare fiasco — stupid administration yet to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” Now, we say, “Ethically disoriented and intellectually impaired president and henchmen.” Is that better? 

Indians, feather not dot, have become Native Americans. Native Americans? What the heck is that? Isn’t that just trading one white man’s term for another? I’d bet the Sioux, Lakota, Cherokee and Apache couldn’t care less about what we call them. With real problems like alcohol, poverty, disease, and poor education going unsolved, the PC term “Native American” only makes the bleeding hearts feel like they’ve accomplished something.

Lately, the Washington Redskins have come under fire. The Redskins! That name alone will put a knot in the thong of any PC devotee, but let’s step back and think about it for a moment. The “Redskins” were fierce fighters, as were the Braves, the Vikings, the Fighting Irish, the Warriors, the Cowboys, and the Black Hawks.

These are monikers of respect and badges of honor. How many young boys dream of one day being a Chicago Black Hawk, a Washington Redskin, or a Dallas Cowboy? 

Read into these names whatever you want, but maybe, just maybe you’re creating a problem where none needs to be. 

Have we become so uptight, so sickening politically correct that names we bestow upon our most beloved sports teams, be they professional, college, or high school, need to be so sanitized and benign for fear that somewhere, someone may take offense? Is that what we have become? 

By the way, isn’t “Irish Coffee” a tainted reference to the stereotypical drunken Irishman? Should I be offended, Trace? 

Note: George “the Slovak” Machala passed away last month. A good man and a true patriot. George had seen the other side, and loved his adopted land with passion and pride. We will miss you. Rest in peace, my friend.

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at chuck.ontherightside@gmail.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.