You Can't Say That!|
April 18, 2011
It's now official: The truth shall no longer set you free. In our new era of political
correctness, the truth is more liable to get you penalized, demonized or fired.
Last week, a female juror in a high-profile American mafia murder trial found this
out the hard way.
When asked on a court questionnaire, "Name three people you least admire," this
potential juror answered, "African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians." Her
answer enraged a federal court judge in New York, who promptly sentenced her
to indefinite jury duty, for
her "racist" answer. This woman was penalized for being truthful.
Under the guise of being sensitive to "feelings," political correctness has succeeded
in effectively censoring any uncomfortable "truths" that do not comport with liberal
Censoring inconvenient truths is not a new phenomenon. Starting in 1994, AEI fellow
Charles Murray and fellow author Richard Herrnstein came under fire for their best-selling
book The Bell Curve
, in which they wrote about differences in
race and intelligence
and discussed implications of that difference.
Murray's whole body of scholarly work was roundly denounced for daring to point
out that the general IQ of African Americans was lower than those of white Americans.
Of course, no one objected to the fact that their research also found that the general
IQ of Asian Americans was many points higher than white Americans.
Murray and Hernstein found, to their dismay, that their fact-based research challenged
the leftist notion of "equality." Both authors were demonized as racists for daring
to point out that differences do indeed exist among differing races. They weren't
supposed to say that, much less prove it scientifically.
Harvard's former president, Lawrence Summers, also found out that voicing un-politically
correct "truths" can exact severe consequences. In a 2005 speech, Summers dared
to suggest that, the under-representation of women in science and engineering could
be due to a "different availability of
at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization.
Feminists took umbrage at the suggestion that the under-representation of females
in the scientific community might be due to female preference rather than male oppression.
Summers was forced to resign. And to soothe the hysterical feminists who objected
to his politically-incorrect yet fact based opinion, Harvard vested $50 million
bucks in Harvard's feminists studies program. Overlooked, or deliberately ignored,
in this delicious fracas was the fact that Summers statement was a valid opinion.
But he wasn't supposed to say it.
Political correctness is an approved form of censorship. Based on emotional
appeals at the expense of reason, political correctness mandates that inconvenient
truths or facts be swept under the carpet. Or else.
Free speech, guaranteed to all Americans under the first amendment, is on it's way
to becoming moot. The political, media and intellectual elites who control the terms
of national debate and the rules of civil society have succeeded in censoring opposing
views, limiting debate and demonizing dissent. Perception is on its way to becoming
our new reality.
The lady juror who answered truthfully to her court questionnaire is merely the
latest example. Though many may express horror at her forthrightness, and are quick
to label her a racist, she, like all of us, forms her opinions through an accumulation
of her life experiences. She is no different from myself except for the fact that
she, through either ignorance or courage, dared to be truthful. She hasn't yet learned
that in today's America, there are more and more things that are just not allowed
to be said.
Her case is important, because for the first time, the unwritten and ever changing
rules of political correctness have taken on the force of law. She is being forced
to perform indefinite jury duty, supposedly until she starts thinking the right
way. Does this sound familiar?
No-one wants to be thought of as stupid or, in liberal parlance, "un-enlightened."
No-one wants to be publicly labeled a homophobe or a racist. Under this threat,
more and more Americans are comfortable adopting the assumption that 'if everyone
thinks it is so, then it must be so.' They are willing to suspend their very own,
inexpert but common sense opinions in favor of a widely held perception. A perception
based on expert media and political manipulation as opposed to factual conclusions.
Truth, common sense and reality are now routinely suspended. It is OK to publicly
revere one's vagina but acknowledging racial realities is verboten. Dangling a cross
in a jar of urine is considered daring - but mentioning God as our savior means
you're a fringe kook.
Daring to suggest that AIDS sufferers share responsibility for their disease means
you are mean spirited and lacking compassion. (Advocating the expenditure of other
people's money is the new "compassion.") And blaming the poor for the life choices
they made that contributed to their poverty is considered beyond the pale.
Censoring uncomfortable truths or opinions is the goal of the PC police. Acquiescing
to these arbitrary rules enables and validates them. And though it is un-politically
correct to say, I personally believe that those who are politically correct are
weak people. Sheep who are either unable or unwilling to form their own opinions.
Intellectually lazy sycophants who have so little confidence in themselves that
they are willing to let others define them and determine their actions and opinions.
all. Can I say that?
She lives in South Carolina
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