Dear People who “Tell it like it is”,
At what age is it that you get to be casually racist? Where you get to say what you think and not worry about the offense you cause, and whatever you say gets written of as you being old and from a different time. Recently I met up with some Australians who had a 1950’s style vocabulary towards anyone of a non-white skin hue. They were not being derogatory towards anyone just the language they used is from a bygone time.
Maybe I should have pulled them up on what they said, but inevitably I know it would turn into one of those “political correctness gone mad” kind of conversations where you end up being told that you can’t call [historically oppressed group] anything anymore in case it offends them. but is being restricted to what you can say a useful concept for society or does it stifle honest conversations?
I very much subscribe to the right of anybody to say what they want, restricting anyone’s speech is the first step for any democracy towards tyranny, but I also believe that nobody has the right to offend or upset other people. It’s not easy to maintain that balance but too often now we seem to be warned against offending someone before its even happened. Look at the so called “War on Christmas” which seems to be a construct by Fox News to fill in the slow December news cycle.
I have never seen anyone of any faith go on a march against 25th December, so why are we insisting on Winterval or The Holidays? Renaming a festival to avoid upsetting faiths who couldn’t care less is crazy, are we thinking about changing Thursday to something else to avoid upsetting the Christians in society with the flagrant use of a pagan god? Think of all those nations that were oppressed under Roman rule, when will July and August be rebranded to avoid reminding the Jewish population of the Roman Occupation in 0 AD (oh I’m so sorry, isn’t it now Common Era).
Being careful with what we say creates the bland business speak we have that invades every day life, the safe and careful speeches of politicians that try to say nothing in case any of their words can be jumped on with a suggestion that in some way they said something they shouldn’t have. Being free to say what’s in your mind let’s others see who you really are, if the language you use is hateful and bigoted then at least we know what is going on inside that head.
Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.
Source: Shape Up or Ship Out