The phrase “politically correct” should hold no value in our society. It is a senseless, useless marque, that does more to identify the thinned-skinned, ill-informed and neofascist amongst us.
Contrary to its intended purpose, political correctness does nothing to promote respectful conversation between rational people with different opinions. Political correctness has become synonymous with fanaticism.
Some will deliberately misinterpret my point, so let’s be clear about what I am saying. Decorum, respect and civility are virtues we should all adhere to, especially when debating those that hold an opposing view. However, that is not what political correctness is about. There are those that have weaponized political correctness to the point of the absurd. The term political correctness is no longer just a shield used by the self-proclaimed, vulnerable members of society, but is now used as a sword to attack people who dare to have an opposing view.
The bigger issue with political correctness is that, like all movements based on emotion, opposition to your point of view will come in the form of a mob, every time. Should any of us have a valid, intellectual disagreement with those that fly the banner of political correctness, you will be branded and targeted, and the mob will descend.
Debate is not what the PC crowd aspires to. It is the unconditional surrender of free thought and reason the PC mob demands. Anything short of that will not be tolerated. Pretty ironic from a mob of people who also happen to drive or walk around displaying “COEXIST” and “TOLERANCE” stickers.
Let’s take a look at just a few of our collective community’s attempt at political correctness that is nothing more than issues wrapped in a blanket of nonsense.
Just before the 2019 celebration of America’s Independence Day, the Wall Street Journal was the first to report former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick told Nike a new line of sneakers it was about to release were “offensive.” Why? Because these sneakers featured a representation our nation’s first official flag, which of course features red, white and blue stripes, as well as 13 stars forming a circle. The design concepts of this first flag are still used today for our current national flag.
Kaepernick, who receives a great deal of money to serve as a Nike spokesman, stated the shoes were offensive because he believed the original, 13-star American flag, allegedly designed by Betsy Ross, has a connection to the era of slavery in the United States of America. And there it is, political correctness run amok.
Kaepernick’s ludicrous perversion of the origins of our national flag became a rallying cry for the PC mob to rise up. One sure member of the PC mob, Georgetown professor and MSNBC regular Michael Eric Dyson, took Kaepernick’s claim one step further.
Not to be satisfied with promoting a false narrative of our nation’s flag, Dyson stated (on MSNBC) “Symbols matter too. Why don’t we wear a swastika for July Fourth? … It makes a difference… The cross burning on somebody’s lawn. Why don’t we have a Nike, you know, celebration of the cross?”
He compared our national flag to the Nazi swastika and KKK cross burnings. It boggles the mind, but not unexpected, how far the PC crowd will go to divide this nation even further.
What makes this even more ridiculous is that many historians believe Betsy Ross most likely did not “create” the first American flag. Ross sewing the flag of our new nation is a quaint American fable. Also lost to the PC mob is that we know Ross was a Quaker and abolitionist, but none of that matters to a mob.
The PC mob is vast and touches every part of our society, even in our local communities like York, Maine (https://tinyurl.com/yorkpcmobamok).
Recently, the family of fallen police officer Trooper Charles Black placed a “Thin Blue Line Flag” on a telephone pole on a York street. The flag was removed. As reported by this publication, “Members of the York Diversity Forum noticed the flag and, not knowing any background about who put it up, had real concerns about the message it could be sending,” said President Susan Kepner. “Knowing the background” isn’t a prerequisite for the PC mob, because emotion dictates their actions, not reality. Bravo/brava York Diversity Forum, in your effort “to spread empathy, justice and fairness,” you achieved the complete opposite.
The Thin Blue Line Flag is a black and white American flag with one blue line, and is meant to honor those who fearlessly serve our communities. It is not racist. Trooper Black was killed in the line of duty, and his family and his community were paying their respects by flying a flag that has come to symbolize support for our first responders. Shame on the York Diversity Forum for its rash reaction, as well as the cowardly York town representatives who capitulated to this nonsense.
Although the Betsy Ross and Thin Blue Line flags may have been seen at various racist rallies around our country, just because some might misappropriate non-racist symbols, we cannot just cede that ground to actual racists. There are symbols of racism, but not every symbol misused by racists is in itself racist.
We lose as a community when we allow a person with hate in their heart, in an effort to legitimize their cause, to misuse what is not racist. When we act with a mob mentality we are no better than the “other” mob we are trying to “resist.”