Labels & Political Correctness
Prejudice & Censorship ???
Labels and Political Correctness
Or Is it
Prejudice and Censorship
I tried having a serious discussion with a friend, this past week, regarding the immigration policy of the United States; a subject with very emotional overtones depending upon the intensity of one’s beliefs. It was only after our inability to reach any agreement what so ever, other than that this matter is a very important one, requiring very serious-thoughtful deliberation, did it occur to me why we’d become so stymied. Only later did I recognize the other characters that were present in this drama and realized what an impact they had upon our failed discussion.
Now I am one of those dreaded Republicans, fraught with that stigma and, of course, all else that goes with that “label;” while my friend, I will simply say, is more liberal. I will not label him because it is this very practice of “labeling”, I believe, is one of the primary reasons we and so many others today are incapable of reaching any kind of understanding or agreement on just about anything. Labels like Political Correctness have become the two greatest inhibitors of constructive dialog today.
Now labels do make life easier for many as when someone is labeled those doing the labeling know immediately who and what the labeled person is. They know their beliefs and what behaviors can be expected. Labels put everything and everyone into very tidy well defined neat packages, making everything quite easy for everyone who either applies or accepts these labels for they know exactly what they have, what they are dealing with and can expect. Perfect. Except most individual values, beliefs and perspectives don’t always fit into those well defined neat packages that some like to foist upon others. All too often people’s values and beliefs are mixed, not always consistent one with the other or flowing in one steady predictable stream, primarily because Homo sapiens are complex beings and must be recognized as such. My poor in-laws still can’t understand how this Republican can be pro choice, in favor of women’s rights and approves of gay marriage. They insists I’m really a Democrat in wolfs clothing because I simply don’t fit into their neat little box which they have constructed for me. I’m not congruent with the label they have applied, which is unsettling. I’m simply inconsistent with their prejudgment or is it really their prejudice? And since I am certainly not unique, I can only imagine how many others, on both sides of the isle, are the same. I suspect a lot. A complex mixture of values and beliefs that cannot and should not be pigeon holed simply for the sake of expedience. But because labels are so readily applied these days very few, it seems, will every take the time necessary to try to understand, let alone discuss, another’s perspective, primarily because of political correctness which advocates the sheer avoidance of any expression that might be perceived by some to be inappropriate. A real rock solid canon. An expression that might be perceived by some to be inappropriate. Are you kidding me??.
How can anyone have any open and honest discussion with another, regarding anything, if the labels attached already identify and determine who and what one already is and, of course, their predetermined position on everything? Particularly when any discussion of a matter might offend someone somewhere ?How can one discuss, negotiate or worst yet reach a compromise on any subject that can’t even be discussed because someone might perceive it to be inappropriate. You can’t. It is not possible and that is why this nation has been at such a stalemate for lo these many years. Nothing can be discussed because it might be perceived by someone to be inappropriate, therefore, the subject matter is out of bounds, it is off limits and consequently remain unresolved. Mired in the bogs of labels and political correctness. Because after all, why is it even necessary to sit down and discuss anything with anyone whose label already identifies who and what they are. Particularly since such a discussion just might be perceived as offending someone somewhere. Which reminds me of my sophomore year in college where I discovered Nietzsche who is quoted as saying “There are no facts only interpretation.”