Browsing Category PC/Political Correctness

Laughing All The Way

Every year while ambitious people are making New Year’s Resolutions I am not. IF I were to make resolutions, one would be to practice having more tolerance for intolerant people. Since I am an admitted procrastinator, maybe I’d resolve to postpone saying or writing things that other people think, but wouldn’t dare say aloud or publish.

Since people sometimes take offense at my attempt at humor, I suppose I could resolve to write strictly serious content without trying to make folks smile or laugh out loud, but that would be like having the Times Square ball get stuck mid-way during its descent on New Year’s Eve. Imagine if that big, glossy ball suddenly stops while lowering on the pole during the countdown to midnight. Would all of the revelers collectively hold their breath and freeze? Heads upturned, mouths gaping, not a single eye blinking, all movement halted mid-motion, the only souls stirring would be city officials scrambling frantically to get the ball moving again? Perish the thought.

Why should I make New Year’s resolutions? If I’m planning to do something, I’ll do it anyway and if I’m not I won’t. Some optimists busy themselves jotting down resolutions days before the New Year; others do it moments after midnight on New Year’s Eve, while I’m usually sipping sparkling cider and reminiscing about bygone years. I know that change is inevitable, but that doesn’t stop me from longing for some days past – let me repeat, some days – and wishing for a return to the way things used to be. If I could turn back the hands of time, I might make resolutions, and these would be my top six priorities:

Number 6.           A return to normalcy. A definition I once read describes normalcy as “being usual, typical, or expected.” If that’s the case, it seems like hardly anything is normal anymore. Normal was unobtrusively replaced over the years by the so-called new norm. The new norm is a no holds barred, say anything, show anything, do anything, be anything, anything goes – insane world. The younger generation won’t get my point because they are used to the insanity. They were born into it and grew up with it. But many people of my generation get it. I’d like to see a return to normalcy as it used to be generally understood by the average intelligent person. I am not a person who follows everyone else over the cliff, meaning I cannot be persuaded to believe what I perceive to be abnormalities. You will never convince me that up is now down, black is white, left is right, and a natural born woman is now a man or vice versa because of a surgical procedure.

Number 5.           Common sense supersedes political correctness.  Granted the principle of political correctness is not entirely bad, but it’s not all good either. PC is intended to put boundaries on offensive speech and behavior, but when imposing one’s personal or a group’s belief on others, there is always the risk that someone’s rights will be infringed upon. One example of this is the use of the n-word. I hate that word and never use it. However, some black hip-hoppers and other black people use it freely, yet they are offended when members of different racial or cultural groups do the same. In a article, author, educator, and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates expressed his opinion – contrary to mine — about the use of that word.

Number 4.           Disciplining unruly children. There was a time when parents, teachers, or other well-intentioned adults could discipline their children or someone else’s minors without fear of being arrested. Back in the day, the worse reaction a non-relative adult would get when scolding a child for wrong-doing was for the brat to say, “You ain’t my mama.” or “You’re not the boss of me.” Today it is not unusual for some children to call the cops on their parent if the parent physically punishes them for wrongdoing. Go get my belt. I’m gonna whip your behind. It is not uncommon for a well-meaning school teacher attempting to discipline an unruly student to be attacked by a juvenile and sometimes even that child’s parent will come to the school with a bad attitude and clenched fists (especially when the parent is as immature as the child). Is it any wonder that there are so many rude and disrespectful youths wreaking havoc in the community and running wild through the streets?

Number 3.           Privacy. Ripley’s Believe It or Not stories of strange or unusual facts or occurrences had nothing on today’s world. Before the Internet, Google, people search engines, hackers, and social media one could expect to have some privacy. Anonymity was much easier to achieve a few decades ago; you could hide in plain sight. Not anymore. Today, if you want total anonymity you almost have to commit a deed that will get you placed in the witness protection program – and even then you may be discovered. Just about anyone from Internet snoops and sleuths to busybodies can obtain your social security number, address, phone number, banking info, medical records, police, court and credit records. They can even identify every one of your baby daddy or baby mamas you’ve ever known.

Number 2.           Telephones.  A non-published or unlisted telephone number once freed you from bombardment by unwanted phone calls. Now, telemarketers and robocallers are relentless. I block more calls on my phones than offensive tackle, Trent Williams does on the football field; but they keep calling. And while we’re on the subject of phones, I long for the days of one phone number per home. A good old landline. I could call the home of a relative or friend and if the person I was calling weren’t there someone would usually answer the phone and tell me that. Now, if I phone someone, it’s likely the call goes to a cell phone. If I reach voicemail or get no answer, and urgently need to speak with someone else – anyone else – in the household I have to call a second, third, or sometimes a fourth number before someone answers their phone. That’s because everyone in the household who is out of diapers has a phone and each of them has a different number.

I have no choice but to live with the issues I’ve cited above. But if there is anything that makes me hope that when the New Year rolls in at midnight, I will awaken to discover that like Rip Van Winkle I had been asleep for a long time and it was all nightmares, it is the Number 1 item on my if-I-could-turn-back-the-hands-of-time list.

Number 1.           There was a different outcome to the 2016 presidential election.

Happy New Year!


About Your Opinion

what's your opinion retro speech balloonListen up, opinionated people. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Some people hesitate to do that because they worry about what others may think or say about what they said. An opinion is just that – an opinion. And just like everybody has a brain, everyone has an opinion.

People often form opinions and judgments based on a variety of factors including personal life experiences. Sometimes just a gut feeling will persuade us to think one way or another. For instance, some people have the opinion that 45 is the great white hope. Others opine, based on what we’ve seen and heard, is that he is the devil’s disciple.

If you have an opinion and want to express it, then do it. Don’t feel intimidated by what “they” might say or think. People are going to say what they want to say about you whether you express your opinion or play deaf and dumb. Take that last sentence, for instance. The opinion of some people is that the phrase “deaf and dumb” should not be used because it could be considered offensive. Context people! Keep things in context, and you might avoid misconstruing what someone says. (Veering off-subject for a moment, I have to say that I agree with journalist Katy Tur whose opinion is that “This PC culture has run amok.)

If others have a difference of opinion about what you say, that’s okay. That’s their prerogative. Just like the adage “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” I say that “One person’s opinion may be another person’s nonsense, but it is still that person’s opinion.” You have a choice to consider an opinion that might differ from your own, or you can disregard it. Plain and simple.

If you are an opinionated person and other people are uncomfortable because you refuse to keep your opinion to yourself, that’s their problem. Don’t make it yours. Remember, you have as much right to your opinion as they do to theirs. If they think you are a loud-mouth because you make your thoughts known; you might think that they are wimps because they refuse to say what they are champing at the bit to say.

A strong opinion about something doesn’t always have to be made public. Sometimes a wise person will avoid expressing his or her opinion in order not to hurt someone’s feelings or be offensive. And because you may have a strong opinion it doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind.

Years ago, I was an ardent proponent of the death penalty and didn’t mind discussing my position. My cousin, David, a vocal opponent, will tell you that he and I had great debates on that subject. All of the arguments against it did not change my mind. But in time, after considering numerous circumstances and studying the subject, I changed my opinion on capital punishment.

Be opinionated if you want to and be vocal. Opinions are not gospel and sometimes they are not fact-based. Nevertheless, it is wise to be adequately informed about what you speak instead of shooting blanks from the brain and out the mouth. And to buttress your position, keep in mind the words of Arnold H. Glasow, “The fewer the facts the stronger the opinion.”


I’m Not Riding the Bandwagon

Street Road Sign Bandwagon“Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong, Whether I find a place in this world or never belong, I gotta be me.” Those song lyrics written by Walter Marks and recorded by Sammy Davis, Jr. define me to a tee.

Sometimes I feel like a misfit in a go-along-to-get-along, anything and everything goes society. I long for the days when there was a clear distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, and males and females, instead of a muddled mess of confusion.

Back in the day, if an acquaintance asked me, “What are you doing for the weekend?” and I said “I’ll be hanging out with my girlfriend on Saturday,” I did not catch a raised side-eye or feel the need to explain that she is just a friend, who is female. We are not lesbians. I resent that nearly everything today requires clarification to prevent the facts from getting twisted.

“We the people” are expected to climb on the bandwagon and support every non-traditional lifestyle, fad, or fantasy that surfaces. Personally, I would rather walk alone than ride along with those who are playing follow-the-leader.

I know there are others out there who feel as I do and they are not afraid to

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Taking the Christ out of Christmas

PC Snowman - RevisedI don’t send Christmas Cards every year. Whether I do or don’t depends on how much holiday spirit I have. When I send cards, I often write a brief message inside.

One year, I bought a beautiful card for one of my aunts and wrote a personal note in it ending with “Wishing you a very Merry Xmas.” Days later, as she and I were discussing how commercialism and anti-religious factions are destroying the true meaning of Christmas, she seized the opportunity to tell me, “I don’t like it when people substitute Xmas for Christmas.”

Immediately picking up on her subtle message, I respectfully asked (I emphasize respectfully because no matter how old we get, anyone with good upbringing is going to be respectful to their elders) “What’s wrong with Xmas?” Her response revealed her frustration with the issue and was similar to what I frequently hear from people concerned about Christ being taken out of Christmas.”

It seems like only a decade or two ago when the Merry Christmas greeting was put in the crosshairs of the PC brigade. Suddenly, on television broadcasts, in newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face people were saying, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

I understand that Happy Holidays is an inclusive greeting that is less offensive to some people including nonbelievers and freethinkers. Also, there are people who because of their religious or personal inclination prefer wishing others a “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanza.” Believe me — I get it!

Nevertheless, as I see it, PC is not only sucking the Merry out of Christmas, it is wreaking havoc all year long — revising the language, influencing behavior, and troubling the thoughts of people who are struggling to adjust to the so-called new norm.

American culture has rapidly disintegrated into one where people constantly

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