The PC community and I go way back. I’ve simply never understood how changing the name of something could possibly make it anything other than what it already is. It’s almost like they’re saying the Committee for Pallid Ascendancy is somehow better than the Klu Klux Klan. Or being Housing Challenged is in some way less horrible than being homeless.
True, these terms do fall gentler on the ear, but is that really a good thing. The PC terms are supposed to strip away all of the prior inferences of the older, uglier terms. Unfortunately whitewashing a broken fence doesn’t repair the damage done. Especially if the old color will do.
Don’t get me wrong. Back in its younger days PC had a valid point – people should be aware of the subtext of the words they’re using. Probably one of the easiest and most obvious examples is blacks.
(Oh, wait. That’s technically not the PC term anymore. It’s Afro-American. But do yourself a favor, go ask a black guy what he thinks about that term. I imagine they’ll tell you the same thing a lot of black people have told me… which really isn’t repeatable here. Suffice it to say generally they’re not real impressed with the term.)
And just for the record I’m not Italian American, or Dutch American. Or any variation thereof. I’m American, born on American soil, no other country having a claim on my genes, mental state or property. You could even say I’m a native American, but we’ll get to that in a moment.)
I’ll admit I grew up using a variation on the term negro. I thought it was a slang term for black people. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized it was an insult. And promptly quit using the term, along with a bunch of other words for various nationalities. That’s PC at its best.
But where PC gets carried away is assigning terms that aren’t acceptable to their assignees. Or asking people to change things when, at the time of their origins, the people involved dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.
I personally hope teams like the Fighting Chiefs and Red Sox never change their names. At the time those teams were created the people sponsoring them went to the appropriate sources and asked them What do you guys think? And those sources gave them a thumbs up, and agreed one hundred percent. We may not like what our forefathers did, but we should have the courage to live with it. After all, we’re not going to ask Toys For Tots to change their logo when tots is no long a PC term.
Another good example is Native American. Do you know who the biggest detractor of the term is? The one it’s being applied to. American Indians don’t like the term… kind of the way blacks didn’t like the variation on negro. But we’re going to give it to them anyway? Whether they like it or not? Doesn’t that seem a little… thoughtless?
As for me, I guess I’ll have to remain politically incorrect.