The New antiPC Problem
Muriel Newman has sent out the following as part of her uninformed article on political correctness. She wrote:
"Political correctness occurs when minority groups silence debate on a particular issue to appease their own sensitivities - and to impose their will on the majority of citizens. In other words, a minority group disagrees with an opposing viewpoint so strongly, that it does not want the debate to occur at all. Yet, the suppression of the debate is in itself contrary to the most fundamental of all of our democratic principles, the right to free speech."
Notice how Muriel has created a definition where only minorities can be guilty of the crime. So when I was part of the white minority in South Africa and complained about anti-white rhetoric from radical Leftists I guess I was just being politically correct and trying to silence the "free speech" of people like Robert Mugabe.
Is Muriel so naive as to think that political correctness can not be imposed on minorities by majorities?
What was it when Jewish students were required to bow their heads in submission to a prayer offered up in the name of Jesus? I guess it was it just political correctness if they didn't like it but not political correctness when imposed on them. Muriel seems to think the number game is important. She wants to add up numbers on the various sides of an issue. If the majority imposes its will on the minority she seems fine with that. If the minority complains that's political correctness. She doesn't seem to see things in perspective of rights that people possess but merely on the basis of how many are on each side.
Exactly what are the debates that political correctness silences? She, being a strong antigay advocate, would say that if gays complained about antigay remarks they are merely being politically correct. Is it political correctness if Jews complain about the remarks of Nazis? Or is it only political correctness when Muriel's personal prejudices are the target? Is bigotry against a majority wrong but not bigotry against a minority simply because of numbers?
The majority of Kiwis are, thankfully, not fundamentalists of any stripe. So does this mean that when fundamentalists like Brian Tamaki whinge about how they are being portrayed that they are trying to impose political correctness on their critics? And why doesn't Muriel label the complaints of Maxim and Tamaki as political correctness? They want to stifle debate on certain issues and they are a minority. Or is it only minorities that Newman doesn't care for that can be politically correct.
She doesn't seem to have a coherent definition of political correctness.
But should we be surprised? She uses as one of her sources for her attack on political correctness Frank Ellis, who lectured in New Zealand as a guest of the fundamentalist Maxim Institute. She quotes him quit favourably. Ellis attacks political correctness because he and his friends are often chastised for their racism. Ellis speaks at white supremacist conferences. Extremists are now using "political correctness" the same way that radicals on the other side used "racism". If you criticised affirmative action they screamed "racism" to shut you up. Now individuals like Newman are using "political correctness" to try and shut up critics of their agenda.
When Ellis was brought to New Zealand he was criticised for his connections to racists. He complained he was a victim of political correctness and said he had no responsibility for who attended his lecture. Of course the issue was not who attended his lectures but who sponsored them and who else was on the podium with him. The conference for which he was criticised was sponsored by a white supremacists group that ONLY deals with racist propaganda. The conference was sponsored by Jared Taylor who said "I work to return to a self-consciously white America." When Taylor appeared on one television show the Nazi group Stormfront.org praised his appearance and said he "made a dozen central points of White Nationalism. He made the point very clearly that America would be infinitely better off if it were a homogeneous White nation." Taylor wrote for the Nazi publication Spearhead affiliated with the racist British National Party. Taylor was a major speaker for for the US Populist Party founded by the Jew-hating Willis Carto. The year that Taylor spoke the Populist Party was running David Duke for President. Duke had been a prominent leader in the Ku Klux Klan.
All of this was brought to the attention of Ellis BEFORE he flew to speak at the conference. The matter was hotly debated in the British press but Ellis preferred the company of white supremacists. Ellis has been a contributor himself to publications like "Right Now!" published by Derek Turner who had worked closely with the racist National Front. At the Taylor organised conference where Ellis spoke one of the other speakers was Sam Dickson who had organised fund raising for John Tyndall of the National Front. Tyndall's message was simple: "the next time they call you this [racist] don't be apologetic; surprise them by looking them straight in the eye and saying: 'So what?'"
One of the so-called "academic" publications promoting white supremacy is "Occidental Quarterly". Ellis serves on the editorial advisory board of the publication along with Turner. The neoNazi views of the publication are obvious. Their statement of principles lay out what they believe. They argue that the "West is the cultural compound of our Classical, Christian, and Germanic past." I find the Germanic claim quite interesting. Principle #2 is that "Race informs culture..." They say that civilisation and free governments were created by whites. Principle #3 is that America is not based on a set of ideas but is the product of "specific racial, historical and cultural identities." Principle #4 is that immigration "should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry" i.e. only whites should be allowed to immigrate to the US. Other principles include the idea that "free speech" is under attack by ethnic enemies.
The current issue of the publication says: "White supremacy was able to exist at all only because whites possessed a powerful racial consciousness, and non-whites did not. Today, the situation is reversed-with ominous implications for the dwindling white population." The author of this article, an extremist named Samuel Frances who has worked with various white supremacists groups, said that the most satisfactory solution "would be the voluntary separation of races into distinct nations."
Francis (now deceased) said that "racial separatism" is now the favoured solution of "most whites advocating white racial consciousness" but laments that "there appears to be little prospect of the larger white population embracing it in the near future.". In the meantime he wants whites to do all they can to restrict immigration. He also argues that "'Politically correct' policies and regulations... penalise the peaceful expression of white racial consciousness and identity." And thought it important that white nationalists fight "political correctness" so as to have free reigjn to promote their agenda.
Remember that Frank Ellis, is still on the board of this publication. He was on the board of this racist group when Maxim invited him to speak in New Zealand. To compound the problem Maxim published a monograph by Ellis, which is the one that Newman quotes.
The publication in question mentions an outspoken racist group in the United Kingdom by name. Ellis says this group is attacked merely for not "being politically correct". Yet what is it that makes them politically incorrect? Racism! They are a white nationalist group. That is why they are attacked.
Over and over we find that extreme racists are downplaying their bigotry by attaching the label "politically incorrect" to these theories. They are not racists just politically incorrect. They are not advocates of white nationalism they are just politically incorrect. They are not anti-Semites, they are just politically incorrect. That the Left went to some outragious lengths to stifle legitimate debate is now being used by extremists on the other side to justify vicious beliefs.
Ellis has worked closed with these very groups. His book on political correctness, published by Maxim, is meant to attack political correctness because these groups see politically correctness as an obstacle to their promotion of racism. That certainly is the view of "Occidental Quarterly". And Ellis made it clear that is his view as well. When he used a white nationalist organisation as the premier example of a group being attacked only because it was politically incorrect he made clear what it is he is trying to defend. He, in that statement, equated political incorrectness with racism.
I am not saying that Newman is doing this. I doubt she is. I don't think she's a white nationalist. She has her own favoured groups to attack-particularly the gay community.
But too often the antiPC campaign is being used as a cloak for justifying bigoted remarks and hateful attitudes. I've long been a critic of political correctness myself. But these days I feel uncomfortable criticising it. Not because being PC is a wonderful thing but because the antiPC advocates are using their campaign to cloak some very hateful views. I do not think that those who advocate freedom should even mention political correctness anymore lest they be identified with some very bigoted people.
I do support defending the right of association, property rights, and freedom of speech. But I think we should drop the term "political correctness" from our vocabulary to clearly avoid any association with hate groups.
All items in this journal reflect the personal opinions of the author and are not necessarily those of the Institute for Liberal Values or its Board members.