Reflections! Political Correctness!
By William L, Bulla
Recently, while driving, I heard a local radio station play a recording called "Music for Young Lovers." I listened, enjoying the music, very much. As it ended, I realized the station had not followed it up with "Music for Old Lovers." Perhaps, it doesn't exist, but, as an older person, I thought they should have played another tune for my age group. How can they, in this era of political correctness, fail to do that? I can understand why they may not play something called "Music for Senile Lovers", because the term "senile" obviously would offend numerous of us older persons. Perhaps, a tune named "Music for Senior Lovers" could encompass all of the older ones, including those "senile" ones.
Political correctness (PC) means the proper choice of words to avoiding offending a group of people. Now, you may say, this episode is not an important issue, or violation of political correctness. Why not? If political correctness is a mandate of not offending any portion of our citizens, why not in this situation?
Does that mean one has a choice of demanding political correctness in one instance, but can ignore it in another? I don't think so! But it happens!
There has been a movement to get the Redskins football team to change its name. Perhaps, it could be called the Native American football team. If so, that would make it the truly only American team. Would supporting any other team then be an anti-American activity?
The modern politically correct movement began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; one of the most liberal institutions in the United States and is often viewed as a liberalist degrading of the freedom of speech.
An example of political correctness is the changing terminology used to described handicapped people. In the past the term "crippled" was perfectly acceptable and not considered offensive. At some point, it was decided "crippled" was degrading and the preferred term changed to "handicapped". This, too, was eventually deemed offensive and "disabled" became the preferred term. Today, "disabled" is now considered degrading and "differently-abled" and "physically challenged" are now the politically correct terms.
The same can be said for the changing uses of terms for Black Americans: "Negro" and "colored", once perfectly acceptable terms, became offensive during the 1970s and "Afro-American" and "Black" came into use, which in turn gave way to "African-American", and in broader usage, "people of color".
People must be so careful when addressing those of another race, but they never seem to find a way of addressing all of us. My family tree shows relatives that were English, Irish, Polish, and Cherokee Indian.
Oops! Somewhere out there, someone has decided Indian is not a politically correct word, and has decided I am a descendent of a Native American. However, that's not the way my Cherokee grandmother told it.
So with the blood of those four nationalities flowing through my veins, what title must be used to address me in political correctness? I think I am very happy to be called an American.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.