That’s racist! That’s homophobic! That’s transhomophilialretrorayquazist! That’s… not what it is at all. It doesn’t help that many people throw words around without knowing what they actually mean. One person’s racist remark may actually only be nationally ignorant, for example. ‘Those Brits, they’re always drinking tea and eating scones with the Queen!’ …
There seems to be an attitude now that if you don’t actively support a cause, it means you are completely against it. For example I don’t go out and actively support gay rights. Does that make me a bad person? No. Does that mean I hate gay people? No, that’s a completely disgusting assumption. It simply means I don’t care (in the good way) and that they can do what they like, when they like – it is no concern of mine. My views are quite leftist but I am tired of seeing pseudo-liberals pretend to give a shit about something because it makes them ‘good people’. You HAVE to draw attention to and celebrate people’s differences. You HAVE to respect it. The whole ‘you should accept everyone in society’ idea is overly idealistic and may I say also pretty communist too, a bad thing. When people are telling you what to think and how to act, that’s a sign you’re being manipulated.
Imagine if there was a straight pride parade? You wouldn’t hear the end of it! Talk to me about tolerance. Whatever happened to doing as you do and letting others by their selves and living in a tolerant society where people can have their own opinions and not have to sing and dance about it all the time. That’s where people are going a bit wrong. I think that a lot of apparent -insert word-phobia and so on is actually people just getting pissed off because they’re sick to the teeth of hearing about a certain thing again and again because they don’t mind it at all and just want to live their lives.
When people are told off for saying words like ‘gay‘ or ‘faggy‘ I find it quite annoying because most of the time they are not being used in a way that is overtly derogatory to an individual or in any way referencing their sexuality. For example, the other day a friend of mine said something was gay because it was broken. The word ‘gay’ has shifted semantic meaning, to now mean ‘bad’, ‘rubbish’, ‘crap’, etc. Then another friend, who happens to be gay, got overly butthurt (that’s a neologism if you want to be a language nerd) about the fact*. The other friend retaliated saying he couldn’t care less about what he does in his spare time and that the other friend KNEW that is not what he meant. To be honest with you, if people can’t sit right with the word ‘gay’ changing it’s meaning should perhaps take a look at what the word meant before it meant ‘homosexual’. It once primarily meant happy.
However it was adapted to mean homosexual. This happens an awful lot in language – that’s how languages grow. They evolve and words both lose and gain meaning. You realise that the word ‘literally’ has literally the opposite meaning now? Crazy, right? So where’s this intolerance coming from, when it comes to it changing meaning again?
Something I also don’t like is this new expectation that, even if something has got nothing to do with your life or you as a person, you should go out and fight for a cause. I apparently need to go out and campaign for transphobia awareness even though I don’t personally know any trans people and equally anyone who has said something ‘transphobic’. Is this ignorance? No. I am a person that does believe that sometimes people draw attention to themselves in a way that makes matters worse.
Online, there is also this general consensus on certain websites of ‘checking your privilege.’ Until recently, I didn’t really know what this meant as I tend to live by the ‘try and be as tolerant and civilised as possible to people unless they give a good enough reason not to’ way. I will treat people with mutual respect and listen to them, hear what they have to say, respect their opinions no matter how extreme or moderate they are. However, if I do not agree with someone I will discuss it with them. I won’t indignify myself saying they’re completely wrong or start a hate campaign online. That’s because, I’d say, I’m more or less a pretty damn tolerant person! There’s this whole ‘white guilt‘ thing which I find particularly interesting as a concept. However outrageous it sounds, a minority on the Internet believe that white people – yes the entire Caucasian race – should suffer because of ‘their’ actions in the slave trade. Not only this, many people will have you responsible for the wrongdoings of people because you’re male, or Christian too. Aside from the obvious point of it essentially meaning using fire to fight fire, let me point out some other flaws in that idea. For example, every single race has been taken advantage of as slaves in history! That’s what humans do, if you’ve not noticed it yet. They conquer and enslave and mistreat others for their own benefit. It’s a cruel world. That is what’s wrong, sick and disgusting! What can we do to stop that? Simple. Let each other simply be! Distinguishing people in my opinion only makes matters worse – draws attention, mostly which is bad. White people were slaves to Arabians once upon a time.
I saw the following cartoon strip on the Internet and liked what it was getting at.
Not so long ago, people were upset over the face the Confederate Flag was being waved – calling it racist. I personally don’t think a flag can be racist, unless someone wrote ‘nigger’ or ‘cracker’ on it or something like that. However, I see how a large majority of people waving that flag can be racist – not exclusively, though. So waving the Confederate Flag to celebrate the lives of your ancestors, if they happen to be so, is fine. That’s like me waving the St. George’s cross in the name of my ancestors, which is something I wouldn’t do but if I were to it’d be a perfectly normal thing. It’s just the fact some people can come out and call it racist and act all upset about it, even going as far as to suggest that the people waving the flag think slavery is ok. If you’re going to play by that logic, the Stars and Stripes are also racist, no? A flag that represents the maltreatment and downright slaughter of native people, the genocide, the stealing of land. I sense a little bit of irony here, don’t you? Not as ironic as the fact America is such a culturally and ethnically diverse country however is one of the most intolerant. That goes for the UK – my home – too.
I find that many people call things racist when actually they were of their time and in its respective, contextual time it was not racist at all and therefore getting mad about it is 1) pointless and 2) a waste of time because nobody’s taking it seriously any more. I really do think some people just seek for reasons to complain, to be empowered for some reason or another. Was Tom and Jerry racist? No. A couple of episodes featured who’s been described as a ‘typical black female’ which is apparently a racist stereotype. Racist stereotype? I don’t recall even seeing the upper half of her body! Something else I found interesting, is that somebody had dubbed Lord of the Rings RACIST because there were no black people in the films. Seeing as Middle Earth is based on Ancient Europe, are you really surprised about that? Also, including people in something for the sole reason of not appearing racist/sexist/etcetera is surely against the point? I just remembered the music video for Die Antwoord’s ‘Fatty Boom Boom’ which features the crazy ‘ ¥OLANDI VI$$ER’ or Yolandi Visser with black body paint and yellow contacts. This caused a stir upon its release and many called that move ‘racist’ when actually Yolandi intended to look like a panther and it’s a mark of South African tradition to use body paint for expression – which is obviously the goal in the video, if you’ve seen it. To me, it just sounds like idiots on the Internet are looking for fights in which to claim the moral high ground.
Another thing I found out recently, was that yo could actually get a white poppy for Armistice Day – which of course represents pacifism (think white feathers). I think that’s great, if you do not support war but show respect to those who died in the war efforts. However, I’m put off by the fact there’s a black poppy for black and Asian people. Why am I? It’s not necessary. The red and white poppies encompass all people. Distinguishing race is adding to the problem, no?
Political correctness, in my opinion, is getting to a point now where it is ultimately ridiculous. So much so, it’s actually going full circle and that you actually get punished for being part of a majority.
‘I think it’s amazing that we can live in such a mixed society where people like you are accepted!’
‘Wait, people like me?’
‘Yes! Your people.’
I’m not saying that if you ignore the genuine accounts of racism, sexism, homophobia (and heterophobia too, you know!) that society’s problems will disappear but what I’m saying is that I think a lot of what is done to tackle these problems is actually counter-productive and may in fact be making matters a whole lot worse.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a video which I was sent by Alicja recently and I believe it sums up the issue on political correctness very nicely indeed.
The crux of this? Don’t be a dick. Also, don’t be a dick to people not being dicks but not telling others not to be dicks. They just want to get on with their lives.
* Whether or not this was intentional, is up to interpretation.