Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What is Politically Correct?

More and more statements are coming under fire for wording that is being viewed as politically incorrect. I think we all agree that negative statements about specific people, cultures, or belief systems validly falls into this category but in some cases, are we going too far?
On the contrary, perhaps we are not going far enough.
(Badly drawn conclusions by SilverGenes)

(Badly drawn conclusions by SilverGenes)
The sign above is not politically correct. Although it does not identify in writing any particular species as being a predator, the illustration clearly indicates a shark. Is this fair? That depends on your view. Fairness, like pornography, is a question of geography. Is it politically correct? Absolutely not. The dangerous marine life might be a shark but one could put forth the argument that it may just as easily be a jellyfish, crab, moray eel, or a psychotic sea cucumber. Let's be very clear. It is no longer considered correct to insinuate in any way that there are any differences in people, places, celebrations or events unless, of course, you include and embrace ALL people, places, celebrations or events.
Let's study the box of crayons below.

Source: Nathan Gibbs
Kermit and friend  clubbing in Aspen.
Kermit and friend clubbing in Aspen.
Source: Asparagirl
Not a company to miss out on opportunity, Crayola has issued their special Multicultural pack that includes eight skin tones innocuously named white, apricot, peach, mahogany, tan, burnt sienna, sepia and black. Weren’t these colors already included in the original pack? Yes, indeed they were, but someone at Crayola had the bright idea to use our social insecurities as marketing tools. However, it occurs to me that this sort of thinking serves to divide and categorize people even further on a prejudicial basis. And does anyone on earth have white or black skin color? No. We are all varying shades of brown.
Naughty, naughty, Crayola! In their bid for political correctness, they are flagrantly politically incorrect. I could write them a nasty letter but wouldn’t have a clue as to what color crayon to use. I thought perhaps green would be safe but then remembered that sad song by Kermit the frog, or rather I should say, Kermit the amphibian species.
So instead, I am posting a lovely little poem by Emily Dickenson with the appropriate political corrections in italics.
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like an amphibian species
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring dryness-challenged area!

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse

Source: C. K. Hartman

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