During my lifetime, I have seen many things change. Many things are for the better, like never hearing a word that would stop me in my tracks, and cause a sick feeling in my stomach. You know, the slur for African-Americans that begins with an ‘n’. From my earliest recall, it was something I knew innately was wrong, and not a single person had to tell me.
There have been many more of those steps during the time I’ve been alive, though most were much less offensive, such as never calling women ‘dames’ or ‘skirts’, or any of a number of other derisive terms.
However, there have also been a number of things that have become politically incorrect to say, which, for the life of me, I can’t figure out where the problem is.
Such is the word used by many to indicate people who are very vertically challenged. But that is part of the problem, we now use euphemisms to describe many things, which the too sensitive have decided to rant about.
Little people are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to ban the use of the word “midget” on broadcast TV.
The group Little People of America said Sunday the word is just as offensive as racial slurs.
The request was prompted by an April episode of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” that the group said was demeaning.
In the episode, contestants created a detergent ad called “Jesse James and the Midgets.” The contestants, including Joan Rivers, suggested bathing little people in the detergent and hanging them to dry.
Calls to the FCC and “Celebrity Apprentice” host Donald Trump were not immediately answered Sunday. NBC Universal representatives didn’t immediately respond to e-mail messages, and the telephone rang unanswered at their Los Angeles office.
Aren’t we letting this get a bit out of hand? The only time I’ve ever heard anyone use the term midget in a derisive manner, it was the tone of the voice that was the problem, and the same dismissive, disgusted attitude could have equally been conveyed with little person. Besides is it not the proposed action described above, that is the problem, not the word used?
Too much today is made a problem by too many.
When I use, or have heard anyone else use, the term Oriental, for people from the areas east and south of the eastern borders of Russia, and north and west of the continent of Australia, it is merely informational, indicating place of ancestry, not anything else. Yet I’m told that using it is no longer politically correct.
When I use the term actress, instead of actor, it is not a slur, it is informational, After all, I don’t believe that the Romance languages have gotten rid of the gender components of certain nouns and nearly all adjectives, which is where the trend started. Certainly, if you wanted to convey clearly, and succinctly, that a certain person whose job it is to perform in the theater was a woman and happened to be named Robin Carter, would not the use of the description actress be best? Actress has never been a description used to deride anyone, as far as I know (unless modified by the word blonde), so why the problem?
As long as I’m discussing the problem with all this political correctness, what about the term African-American? How many generations removed from living on that continent must someone be, before we can simply refer to them as black? My ancestors came from France, yet I don’t insist on being called a French-American, nor do I get upset when referred to as white.
Can you imagine what could be wrought if people whose ancestors originally hailed from Africa and Asia, suddenly became indignant that they were not being correctly referred to as exactly where they came from? So that, for instance, someone became irate when referred to as an Asian-American, instead of a Chinese-American? Or a person, whose ancestors came originally from Chad, became really miffed when referred to as an African-American?
These identifications and classifications are being taken to absurd lengths. How far do we take this, before everyone agrees that it is all too much?
I don’t get worked up when people incorrectly identify me, though I don’t see how they can. I have dark hair, and eyes, with a mustache, and very light skin, but many people I meet ask if I am of Mexican ancestry. I think that they need to observe a little better, but I don’t get upset. (Perhaps they make the mistake because so frequently I am seen eating Mexican food, my absolute favorite kind.)
I like to think of myself as enlightened, progressive, and reasonable, but things like this seem way too precious, and needless, as I think that correctness should be decided upon by the intent of the majority, and not the overly vocal minority.
“I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.”
I said, “You’ll be sorry.”
He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?”
I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”
– Emo Philips.