Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “political correctness”

P.C. Concerns about 4th of July

So I said to Mr. P.C. that I hoped he would have a nice 4th of July weekend.

He replied, “Thank you, but I don’t celebrate America’s self-centered sense of superiority.”

“Oh,” I responded, “I think we are celebrating the birth of our nation.  Isn’t that okay?”

“No because it is insensitive to the heritage of other nations.  It is not inclusive.”

“Can’t other nations celebrate their own histories rather than have their feelings hurt that they are not part of the United States?”

Mr. P.C. was not satisfied by my logic.  He repeated, unnecessarily, that “the 4th of July is exclusively an American celebration and thus not inclusive,” (which everyone knows is the highest standard).

I stubbornly persisted, “America can celebrate being America, I believe, without it being negative about other nations who are not, in fact, America.  When it is your birthday, I don’t think it is my birthday too.  I know it is not my birthday and do not resent that it is yours, nor that you are you and I am not you.”

“That is different.  I am an individual.  This conversation is about nationalism.”

“Okay.  I do not object, for example, that Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  I have even attended events on that date without being Mexican and without resenting the celebration by Mexicans.”

“Of course.  So do I.  It is important to me to show that I am not prejudiced.  My celebrating Cinco de Mayo shows that I am inclusive; that I honor the history of Mexico and all nations.”

I saw a flaw in his argument.  “Let me get this straight — you celebrate Cinco de Mayo because you are not a Mexican but you do not celebrate the 4th of July because you are an American.”

“Precisely.  Now you understand political correctness.  I do not want to appear biased toward America.  The 4th of July is all about pride in America. Americans need to get off our high horse.”

“Umm.  Well, I still wish you a nice 4th of July, Barack.”

“You still don’t get it, but I wish you a holy Ramadan nevertheless.”

Happy Holidays or Not

May all my politically correct friends and relatives who celebrate Christmas have a merry one on December 25th, and, for those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, please have a nice day on Wednesday.

For those who recently celebrated the Winter Solstice or Hanukkah or Ramadan, I sincerely hope that  you enjoyed those holidays, yet I mean no offense to those of you who do not celebrate such occasions either.  Allow me to point out that my own failure to celebrate the same holidays that you celebrate by no means is intended to communicate that I have any animosity towards your own religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs nor your cultural affiliation.   And I say that in the most gender-neutral manner possible.

Also, may I wish a Happy New Year to those of you who use the Gregorian calendar commonly used in the U.S.A. as well as many other (yet not all) parts of the world!  By saying that, however, I do not mean to imply that particular calendar is in any way superior to other calendars, past or present, including but not limited to the Julian calendar, Mayan calendar and the Chinese calendar, nor even that the United States is any better than any other nation in the eyes of all despite  my personal loyalties to the U.S.A.   By acknowledging that not all persons and nations agree with my patriotism for the United States, please be assured that I respect your choice to not be patriotic, whether or not I agree with such a choice.  It is important to realize that I was born of a certain nationality with genetic characteristics that I cannot help, including race or combination of races, as well as height, hair color and eye color,  nevertheless  recognizing that others with differing genes and thus different nationalities, races, height, eye color, hair color, skin color, and gender could not choose their genetic makeup either, yet leaving for debate whether free choice exists as to sexual identity, without indicating my own views on such debate nor specifying my own sexual identity and gender preference.   And I say that from a bi-partisan perspective, without intending to offend anyone.  Rather, it is my sincere desire to enable and empower all readers to enjoy the coming year commencing on whatever date on the calendar of each person’s own choosing which designates a New Year, whether or not such calendar and the first day of the year for such calendar coincides with the calendar that I employ due to my citizenship in the U.S.A. by accident of birth.

To those folks who do not mind me saying so — Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Honest Abe, Free Speech, Hot Topics

Abraham Lincoln was frustrated by political correctness.  He encouraged free speech.  He did not duck an unpopular, divisive issue.

Slavery, thank goodness, is no longer a political issue in America because it was ended in the Civil War.  However, before the Civil War, it was a hot topic.  The quote below is something  Abraham Lincoln said in a campaign speech that he gave in 1860.   He chided the politically correct of his day who avoided talking about ending slavery because it made some listeners, well, uncomfortable.

Let us apply a few tests.  You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it.  Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong?  Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other?  You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow [slavery] to be even called wrong!  We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!

Substitute for slavery whatever hot topic you choose.  What do you think is wrong (or right)? Abortion?  Gay marriage?  Capital punishment?  Gun control?  Obamacare?  Illegal immigration?  Legal marijuana?  Prayer in the schools?  Christmas decorations in public places?  Military involvement in the Mideast?  Budget cuts?  Budget increases?  Fracking?  Twerking?  You may, under your First Amendment rights as an American, say that you believe something is wrong.  Others may disagree with you.  And vice versa.  We will call that free speech.  It is not just for liberals nor just for conservatives nor just for “the politically correct.”

By the way, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty can participate in the public forum as well.

Everyone should be allowed to speak their piece — with the possible exception of Billy Ray Cyrus.  That is where I draw the line!

Miley Cyrus and Duck Dynasty

I am using this post to exercise my constitutional right to free speech.

Recently, Miley Cyrus performed in a manner known as twerking, which appears to be simulated sexual acts, and swung nude on a wrecking ball.  Although she got some flak for it from people whose morals were offended, her performances were certainly not censored and she continues to perform.

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has been indefinitely suspended from that reality TV show for, get this, something that he did not say on the TV show but what he said in an interview by GQ magazine.  We have been told by the administrators of political correctness that practicing various sexual acts in privacy, yet talking about it (which is not so private), should not jeopardize a person’s job.  Imagine the hubbub that would occur if a gay actor was fired for saying he is gay.  Now try saying you are not gay  — that is where we draw the line!

Phil talked about sex acts that he does not practice or condone, and he is in big trouble.  For what?  For saying what he believes.

By the way, he was not self-righteous.  If you read the entire quote, it includes him talking about his own past with remorse for what he considers sins.  He even calls himself white trash.

He also talked about working with blacks.  He said that he did not himself witness discrimination against them.  He did not say there was no discrimination.  But even if he said racist and homophobic things, does he not have the right to say what he thinks or experienced as white trash?

It seems inconsistent and hypocritical for the political correctness police to defend the free speech rights of everyone except those who do not agree with them and are therefore not politically correct.

Our Founders were wise in adding the Bill of Rights to our Constitution.   The right to free speech is not conditioned on whether it offends anyone, and especially not on whom is offended.   You can speak in favor of or against Christianity and you can speak in favor of or against Islam.  You can speak against abortion and you can speak advocating abortion, or the death penalty, or gay marriage, or ANYTHING.  You don’t have to be in the majority.  The right is more important if you are not in the majority.

If I was the lawyer advising A & E, the network that makes lots of money from Duck Dynasty, I would tell them they needed only to say that the show producers did not air the GQ interview remarks yet stand by Phil’s right to free speech even if the network executives “do not necessarily agree with the views expressed” in the GQ article.

As A&E’s lawyer, I would tell the LGBT folks and NAACP folks to read the Constitution.  Even Christians have civil rights.  Phil may express an opinion on what he considers sinful behavior.  It is not just in the Bible, it is in the Constitution.  Pouting by opponents is allowed.  Disagreeing with Phil is allowed.  However, suspending Phil for his remarks is not a good legal decision.

If tolerance is the highest value for the politically correct, then should there not be tolerance for Phil as much as for Miley?

Go figure!

P.S.  I know what you are thinking, but it is not nice (or politically correct) to call Miley white trash.  Billy Ray?  That is another story.  Go ahead.  Make my day!

Politically Incorrect Statistics

Warren Buffet is praised for his ability to analyze the performance of companies in which he considers investing.  He uses information about the companies to predict future performance.  He has been very successful as an investor.

Bookies take bets on sporting events and base the “odds” for winning on statistical analysis of many factors about teams and athletes.

Insurance companies use underwriters to predict life expectancies and health risks based on statistics for people in certain categories based on age, weight, family medical history, and other factors, such as whether a person smokes or consumes alcohol.  They don’t know which smokers will develop lung cancer, but they know that smokers, for example, have a higher risk statistically than do non-smokers.

The TV show Criminal Minds is about a “behavioral analysis unit” known by the acronym BAU.  They study patterns of criminal behavior to solve crimes.

Analyzing companies, teams, and individuals is apparently done using statistical information because there is value for predicting probabilities of behavior (or danger) based on statistics about past behavior or performance.

Statistics are just numbers calculated by mathematical principles.  Statistics are not mean or prejudiced about race or religion.

Despite the neutrality of the process of statistical analysis, many people get offended by what the numbers reveal.

We are not supposed to “profile” Muslim Arabs as terrorists because that is somehow “prejudiced” despite the historical facts that the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks and many other terrorist acts fit that category.  You are not paranoid (or prejudiced) if they are really after you.  The jihadists have said they are in a holy war with non-islamic people, i.e., infidels.  The statistics bear that out.

The federal government has told us recently that it needs to look at private phone records of American citizens, which many see as a violation of rights to privacy, for the greater good of protecting us.  Would it not also help protect us to focus on tracking people who “fit the profile” of terrorists?  I do not see that as islamophobia.  Wouldn’t that be for the greater good of protecting Americans?

Who says I am unlikely to become an NBA star?  Are those scouts prejudiced against me because they are considering my age, vertical leap, speed, shooting percentages and stuff like that?  They think, based on statistics, that I won’t do well in the league.

I like sports that involve timed races, such as track and swimming.  Your time is your time, regardless of color.  Is it unfair that a skewed percentage of Olympic sprinters are black and the vast majority of Olympic swimmers are white?  Oh, well!  The performances speak for themselves.  Warren Buffet probably would not bet on me to win the 100 meter event in track, you know, based on statistics, including my time in prior races.  It is what it is, whether I like it or not.  Pulling the race card does not change how fast or slow I run or swim.

I understand intellectually, but I prefer to say that I am a victim of racial profiling which, my friends, is politically incorrect.

Please join me in protesting my exclusion from the NBA.

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