Tim Dunkin
November 11, 2009
Death by political correctness
By Tim Dunkin

Faddish, trendy America is a nation that is perpetually ripe for the introduction into the mainstream of our culture of just about any and every bad idea. Some of these ideas, while kooky, are relatively harmless. Others, however, are dangerous and destructive, not only to our culture, but even to the very stability of our society.

One of these destructively bad ideas is political correctness, also known as "PC." PC originated as a fashionable left-wing idea back in the 1980s, infecting the halls of learning on the nation's college campuses. PC is actually an application of the broader anti-rational and destructive academic trend known as deconstructionism, a method of investigation that seeks to undermine and destroy confidence in absolutes of any sort (whether in the realm of literature, philosophy, theology, sociology or any other) and replace them with subjectivism. For instance, a deconstructionist approach to a literary text would say that there is no one meaning intended by the text's author. Instead, the text is a mass of contradictions that cannot be relied upon to provide insight into what the author meant, therefore the deconstructionist critic is free to more or less invent whatever meaning he wants out of the "contradictions" inherent in the text. This method was pioneered by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, but ultimately traces back through the Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger to Friedrich Nietzsche.

As an application of this critical approach, political correctness originally had as its fundamental premise the belief that all cultures, all civilizations, all ways of life are equally valid. Under the dictates of political correctness, one cannot say, for instance, that modern Western society with its emphasis on the freedom of the individual, protected natural liberties, and its advanced technology and standard of living is superior to other societies in which barbarism, backwardness, and tyranny are the norms. Indeed, to even describe these other societies using terms like "barbarian" or "backward" is a gross heresy to the PC multiculturalists.

As the idea took hold, PC broadened from the realm of revisionist anthropology into a general understanding that nothing can be said to be better than anything else (except, of course, everything else being better than the capitalism and Christianity of dead straight white male slaveholders from long ago). All of the underpinnings of Western civilization must be deconstructed, called into question and shown to be hollow and vain. Patriarchy and the traditional family are evil, while postmodern feminism is good. Marriage is just a construct designed to enslave womyn into a system of organized rape and exploitation. Homosexuality is just as legitimate of a choice as heterosexuality. So is polygyny. So is bestiality or any number of other perversions. Indeed, all of Western civilization and the traditional social elements upon which it is built are nothing but colonialist, capitalist, and Christianist excuses for the exploitation of womyn, gays, and people of color, and should be opposed at every turn. Ultimately, by the time PC left the narrow confines of university classrooms and academic journals and reached the demotic point, this set of ideas had morphed into a general sense that nothing that is "offensive" towards any preferred minority or other social group should be tolerated.

Like most ideas from the Left, especially those that arose in the insulated ivory towers of academia, PC is ultimately a form of censorship and social oppression, designed not only to discourage certain activities, but even certain thoughts. I've mentioned before that the political and social Left form a knowledge-control cult. By that, I mean that they literally seek to control both the flow of knowledge to the individual, and subsequently the range of thought and expression allowed from the individual. Often, the means sought to punish wrong speech and thought is through government sanction. But when that is not feasible, recourse is sought through economic pressure, or even outright violence.

This is, of course, the direct antithesis to the freedom of speech that Americans have traditionally held dear. But see, freedom of speech is just another artifact of those dead white males who perpetuated the virus called "Western civilization," so hey hey ho ho, like the rest of Western Civ, it has to go.

And go it has. We all know the examples that can be given. Say something seemingly innocuous at work, and the next thing you know, you're in HR, with your job on the line. One case recently even saw a woman with a small American flag on her own desk hauled up for "insensitivity" based on a complaint from a co-worker not even a citizen, here on some type of work visa who was from some America-hating Middle Eastern rathole. The modern workplace has become a bastion of the politically correct bureaucrat, as businesses seek to soften their image by presenting a "tolerant" and "diverse" face to the public. PC serves to make the American workplace a distinctly unpleasant place to be if you're not a constant complainer.

Of course, if you try speaking the truth on any number of issues on a college campus, expect to be pilloried. PC is definitely detrimental to the ability of non-radical leftist students to obtain a quality education. It's to the point where scholarly writers even have to use code words and roundabout to discuss things like crime statistics (since, well, certain protected groups tend to contribute more to these than do others), population genetics, IQ, differences between the genders and the races, etc. lest they be punished by the PC enforcers. Just ask Larry Summers, who had impeccable leftist credentials until his unfortunate neanderthalish incident back in 2005, when he suggested that men and womyn had different aptitudes at certain academic subjects, after which he was hounded until he was forced to resign as the president of Harvard University.

The PC crowd isn't even above violence. There have been incidents on American campuses where rampaging gangs of leftist and/or minority students have trashed, burned, and vandalized student newspapers because of something un-PC that was written in them. And of course, the gay mafia has emerged as one of the more aggressive perpetrators of PC-induced hostility. In California, supporters of Prop 8 which banned gay marriage in 2008 and which was supported by many Obama voters have been assaulted and terrorized. Churches have been attacked, and individual supporters of the initiative have had their livelihoods and lives threatened. The gay mafia has announced the same thing is to happen in Maine where gay marriage was defeated by an even wider margin than in California where representatives of "gay rights" groups have openly said that they're going to "find out" who voted against gay marriage, presumably so they can "deal with them."

Even beyond these examples, however, we see that political correctness has emerged, especially in the years following 9-11, as a deadly threat to Americans. How? By the fact that it hampers us from being able to defend ourselves against the existential threat to America posed by radical Muslim terrorists. Far from waking up and getting serious about dealing with the threat of Islamofascist terrorists, America has largely followed a course of politically correct head-in-the-sand relativism towards the people who would like nothing more than to destroy America and behead any who don't convert to their particular version of lunar idolatry. Even in the midst of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ostensibly being fought to destroy foreign supporters of terrorism Bush was telling us "Islam is a peaceful religion." The FBI the people who are supposed to be investigating and stopping acts of terrorism on American soil have relied upon the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with high-ranking members who are known to have supported terrorist organizations, to train its field agents in "sensitivity." The new watchword of the PC thugs is "Islamophobia," which can be defined as "a willingness to speak the truth about the ugly aspects of Islam."

So we see the PC infection having deadly results at Fort Hood, in Texas, where a Muslim terrorist masquerading as a U.S. Army Major ambushed and killed 12 unarmed American soldiers, and wounded 30 others. But wait we can't call it terrorism. Instead of calling a spade a spade, the news media concoct all kinds of stories to explain why Major Nidal Malik Hasan would have gone on his shooting rampage. Perhaps it was post-traumatic stress disorder except that he had never been in combat. Maybe he just empathized with the soldiers with PTSD that he was counseling and broke from the stress except that he reportedly spent many a counseling session berating them for participating in "the war against Islam" instead of trying to help them through their psychological difficulties. Perchance Maj. Hasan is really the victim here, since at one point several years ago, some guy in his apartment complex allegedly tore a pro-jihad bumper sticker off his car and keyed it? Sure, since we all know that a shooting spree is the entirely appropriate response to a stolen bumper sticker and a keyed car. One thing that the media and the commentators and apparently the President of the United States himself are all agreed on is that we can't "jump to conclusions" that radical Islamic beliefs had anything to do with a guy shouting "Allah Akbar" while shooting unarmed people.

How did this happen in the first place? Again, we see the prints from the handcuffs that political correctness places on common sense and right reason. Since the shooting, it has come out that the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense had plenty of warning signals about Maj. Hasan. He was open in his support of terrorist suicide bombers. He gave a medical lecture once to his colleagues that had little to do with medicine, per se, but a whole lot to do with what the Qur'an says about the anatomy of the necks of infidels who don't convert to Islam. He had been reprimanded several times for trying to convert wounded and traumatized combat veterans to a radical form of Islam, and rebuking them when they didn't. For crying out loud, the guy had tried to contact al-Qaeda. What's worse the powers that be knew about all of this, but concluded somehow that they didn't have to watch out for him since he didn't "seem violent." Sudden jihad syndrome never does, until it happens. That's why we are supposed to have seemingly intelligent people piecing together clues like these so that threats can be recognized before they "seem violent."

But no because Maj. Hasan is (unfortunately, I still have to use the present tense when referring to him) Muslim, these warning signs had to be ignored. This is for the same reason that TSA personnel at airports spend so much time frisking and wanding sweet little Lutheran grannies while waving through glowering Muslim guys with full beards wearing shirts with Arabic writing all over them. Because we don't want to "stereotype." That might offend somebody. Muslims are one of the protected classes in the PC hierarchy. When a Muslim commits an act of terror on American soil, we need to be more concerned about the potential for "backlash" against the Muslim community than we are the families and lives of the victims of the terrorism. In the case of Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army bureaucracy which is as thoroughly politically correctified as any corporate headquarters in America couldn't "appear" to be picking on him because of his religion. That's only allowed when a Christian chaplain prays in the name of Jesus, don't you know?

Political correctness has crossed a threshold in recent years. It has gone from being an obnoxious annoyance to being a very real threat to our very lives. When our own government abrogates its responsibility to deal with known terrorist sympathizers lest it offend him or one of his radical buddies, you know that a critical point has been reached where we need to start pushing back, even if means some massive civil disobedience in resistance to the stupidity being foisted off onto us. Certainly, it's time for conservatives to stand up and stop being silent in the face of this theft of our free speech and ability to live lives free from either harassment or terrorism. We need to identify and support leaders who are not only ideologically conservative, who not only support the Constitution, but who are also leaders who will be willing to stand up and buck the PC trend, even if means taking some flack from the talking heads and Hollywood-types. If we want to keep our freedom of speech and our ability to dissent from the leftist propaganda that passes as "news" and "education" today, then we better stand up now and start speaking out. What do we say? Whatever we want to, that's what. That's what free speech is all about. It's about not letting ourselves be cowed into not saying certain things because somebody might be offended, or even try to punish us for it. If they try, then fight right back whatever way you can. Don't let them get away with it. It's not until we, as conservatives, get serious about shoving the PC police back that we'll truly enjoy our freedom to speak our minds again. And even more, we have to demand that our government, our leaders, our military, our appointed guardians of peace and public order start getting serious about stopping the enemy of our freedoms, instead of coddling him.

© Tim Dunkin

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Tim Dunkin

Tim Dunkin is a pharmaceutical chemist by day, and a freelance author by night, writing about a wide range of topics on religion and politics. He is the author of an online book about Islam entitled Ten Myths About Islam, and is the founder and editor of Conservative Underground, a bi-weekly email newsletter focusing on foundational conservative worldview and philosophy. He is a born-again Christian, and a member of a local, New Testament Baptist church in North Carolina. He can be contacted at tqcincinnatus@yahoo.com

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