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Lackland AFB official emails directive against use of words like 'boy' and 'girl'

Updated on March 13, 2017
Airman working on aircraft engine
Airman working on aircraft engine | Source

Free speech under fire at Lackland AFB

Just when we thought the butchering of free speech by political correctness might wane, a senior member of the Air Force stationed at Lackland, AFB has sent an email to airmen directing them not to use words like “boy” and “girl”. Hopefully the Air Force official's zero tolerance language mandate won't prompt any troops to say “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” out loud because that particular well-worn metaphor is on the list. As a Vietnam veteran I support the U.S. military, but when some dictator wannabe goes rogue on human rights it is our troops who need protection.

“Please be cognizant that such conduct is 100 per cent zero tolerance in or outside of the work climate,” the email read. “Let’s capitalize on our richly diverse climate, and help others seek assistance if they are struggling with compliance.”


PC run amuck promotes intolerance, infringes on rights

While the (as yet unidentified) senior Air Force official claimed to be advocating tolerance and civil behavior - and some of the words and phrases on the list were undoubtedly offensive - to blacklist words and phrases like “colonial, blackball, you people” and "sounds Greek to me” grossly violates the First Amendment of the American Constitution. Such uninspired, misguided leadership by any official in position to command soldiers to fight unpopular wars on the other side of the world is PC run amok. By the way, the word blacklist in the last sentence was italicized because it too is on the official's linguistic hit list.

The emailed directive that arrogantly advises troops to study the list of words and phrases that “may be construed offensive” also warns of "100 percent zero-tolerance" for those who fail to adhere.


Air Force Claims it Has No List of Prohibited Terms

When a Fox news reporter contacted the Public Affairs Office at Lackland and asked what was offensive about the words “boy” and “girl”, the spokesperson managed not to use any blacklisted words but conveyed little in the way of information.

“The Air Force has no list of prohibited terms,” the spokesperson claimed. “It was sent out by an individual simply reminding Airmen to be respectful to others.”

Left out of the Air Force response is the definition of “100 percent zero tolerance” as written by the Air Force official whom feels so strongly that the words “boys” and “girls” are offensive.

"It's a good thing America isn't fighting a war on political correctness, because our military would be losing," the Family Research Council responded. "Have we come so far that simply uttering a person's sex is cause for chastisement?"

Below are 10 of the words and phrases from the list of American vernacular that the Air Force, at least at Lackland, considers offensive: (1) Boy (2) Girl (3) You People (4) Colonial (5) Blacklist (6) Blackmail (7) Blackball (8) Sounds like Greek to me (9) Blondes have more fun (10) Too many chiefs, not enough Indians

While most of you people understand how blacklisting words like “boy” and “girl” is problematic for troops with children, it’s apparently all Greek to the PC official at Lackland AFB. Nevertheless, the arbitrary suspension of the First Amendment rights of soldiers by a military leader should be grounds for blackballing him or her from all command positions. Furthermore, while using the phrase “blondes have more fun” is inappropriate on occasion, Clairol has suggested as much for over 60 years and in 2004 the company registered annual sales of about $1.6 billion in hair products. Speaking of blackmailing soldiers with PC language directives, the Air Force might want to audit Lackland to determine if there are a few too many chiefs, and not enough Indians, on that base.

Tell us what you think about free speech in context to story

Do you think the Air Force should ban words like "boy", "girl" and "blacklist"?

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      For the Love of Pete!! (That shouldn't offend anyone named Pete, will it?) Too bad if it does!...Oh Larry, "Political Correctness" ~~them's fightin words to me!

      Since the very first sorry day this bunk began to be preached, I have had my own personal sermon about it. Believe me, I let it be known, every chance I get. I do not confine myself to a bit of it and I will not. The ways we have expressed ourselves for decades is just fine. Since WHEN have people listened so intently to every single syllable uttered by anyone and everyone~~in the first damned place?? Furthermore, who the hell amped-up the the DNA in the human sensitivity gene? What's with all this defensiveness over exaggerated offensiveness? I am offended!! As my Dad, a proud Marine would always say...."That's OK. You'll get over it. In the meantime, do what I just told you to do or I'll give you something to be offended about!"

      I am seriously sick-to-death with all of it. It's destroying the "human" in humanity....the "real" in reality.... and the sense in Common sense!

      I better stop now, because BOY OH BOY...can this GIRL get herself BLACKLISTED for telling BLONDE JOKES. The truth is, they don't have more fun! They're too busy bleaching their naturally beautiful brown hair, until it looks and feels like Straw!

      Gosh, I sure hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings. I have zero tolerance for such things! Thanks for this great hub, Larry. I needed this!....Peace, Paula (I'm not usually this obnoxious. I'm actually worse.)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 months ago from the short journey

      Your point on how service men and women must leave their boys and girls home to serve their country in other places is crucial to the discussion. By the way, banning words takes book burning to a whole new level.