Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Deconstructing Political Correctness: Do we really want to go there?

I have a secret, when my best friend and I are together we say horrible things about other people. We use terrible language, we repeat bigoted jokes we made as kids. We giggle because as good liberals we know its wrong and bad....and that what makes it so us. If you overheard us you'd think we were assholes, which might be true, but we'd prefer not be such visible assholes.
Sigh, who needs PC if we did this?
So why being Politically Correct is important, especially if you're whitish, like me. I was actually born in Honduras, to a Honduran....but at first glance I'm a whitey.   Political Correctness is important because politeness is dead.  Chivalry in all its good intentions is seen as archaic and patronizing. Manners used to be the lubricant that smoothed over social interactions. So holding the door, or women and children first in the lifeboat, are sweet sentiments, but as George Costanza of Sienfeld taught us that's its okay to knock over an old lady when trying to escape a fire. Not only is it okay, but it's pretty damn funny.  PCness is a replacement for what used to go as good manners or some cases common sense.

The Donald's Trumpolution is working hard to destroy the whole political correctness built by minorities in academic and corporate settings so people can just be just like me and my best friend in our most drunken intimate moments.  So white people can just shout out "Nigger" in the workplace cafeteria and laugh at the expense of anyone who might be offended. Political Correctness is about not being an asshole to the brown, black, gay, female within listening range of your voice. When they are not offended, they tend to work, compete, study and produce more.  Because people who are not pissed off work better and steal less office supplies.

I understand that it might be hard to not say offensive things about people.  Believe me I do it all the time. And yes, you can be sent to the human resources department for making fun of white people, my Cuban husband was written up for being overheard at the office party for saying "he's sad, he dances the white man dance." 

On Sunday I was at the Oasis Cafe on tony Key Biscayne.  A very white middle aged woman stormed out of the packed establishment, disdainfully yelling to her husband in a nice Porsche "THEY WON'T HELP IF YOU DON'T SPEAK SPANISH". Obviously upset that nobody in the shop was actually speaking English and she really didn't want to wait in a long line, because the Porsche was sitting in the street with the engine idling.

What you have without Political Correctness and world without manners is just rudeness unchecked. I do believe that  Political Correctness can go too far and there are plenty of examples where it's used as tool to dampen discussion and free speech. However with the decline of strong social conventions known as manners what's the alternative?