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Category Archives: Political Correctness
Roberta Schaefer: The history of political correctness and why its gone way too far – Worcester Telegram
Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:26 am
Has political correctness gone too far?
Absolutely! But to prove the case, it is helpful to recall the origin of the term political correctness, and how the phenomenon it describes has come to be a dominant feature of contemporary political and academic life.
The term first appeared in the Marxist-Leninist vocabulary following the Russian Revolution (really, a coup) of 1917 to describe strict adherence to policies and principles of the Soviet Unions Communist Party. Political correctness was invented by the communists to camouflage the truth about events and policies in the Soviet Union that had resulted in mass murders, the starvation of millions, and slave labor camps. It was politically incorrect to reveal such facts; the party line was for all loyal communist party members to promote the same politically correct truths about the good life under totalitarian government. (In addition, it entailed strict adherence to the Soviet Unions current foreign policy: American Communists firmly opposed military preparedness against Nazi Germany during the operation of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, then a swift turnabout to being pro-war once the Germans invaded Russia.)
How could a practice so contrary to American principles of freedom of speech and the press come to be widely tolerated in American society, especially in the academy, several decades later? The early 1990s witnessed the rise in college campuses of politicized curricula and teaching methods, typically on behalf of causes advocated by the political Left especially in issues relating to race, class, and gender. Students were increasingly taught that the United States is an inherently racist society; that, contrary to the claims made in the Declaration of Independence, our political regime was designed to serve the interests of a rich minority at the expense of other citizens and that Western society as a whole was intrinsically patriarchal, benefiting male oppressors at the expense of their female victims.
More importantly, an increasing number of college faculty made clear to their students that any expression of dissent from these views would cause the students grades to suffer. (Early works documenting these developments were Dinesh DSouzas Illiberal Education and Roger Kimballs Tenured Radicals). Even when professors claims went directly contrary to known facts (such as that the greatest known emancipation of slaves in world history occurred in the U.S. during the Founding era, that Americas free economy has offered historically unparalleled opportunities for hundreds of millions of immigrants and their descendants as well as, over the past century, African-Americans - to rise in economic and social status, along with political influence, and that women in the Western world enjoy far greater freedoms than their sisters in less-developed societies, it was made clear that the open statement of these facts was unwelcome, lest it interfere with the advancement of favored liberationist causes.
Nowadays, the reign of political correctness (PC) extends well beyond the academy, into the domain of ordinary language in the name of not giving offense to selected groups. Hence, a blind person should be called visually impaired (or, better, differently abled); homeless people are temporarily displaced; illegal aliens should be called undocumented immigrants; one shouldnt ask a stranger where hes from because thats a microaggression implying that he doesnt belong here. Meanwhile, back in the ivory tower, professors are directed to add trigger warnings to their syllabi, warning students that course readings might include materials (like Huckleberry Finn) that might distress them; and law schools may avoid teaching courses dealing with rape, for the same reason. The number of offenses continues to grow, feeding on the successes of PC censors. The woke person keeps up with the list of offenses and adds to them, hoping that by altering language, one can change beliefs and overcome all inconvenient facts.
But political correctness now entails much more than transforming the meaning of words. It means prohibiting the appropriation of anothers culture. The University of Ottawa banned yoga sessions on the ground that the activity is a Western appropriation of Indian-Hindu culture, and therefore, a reminder of colonial oppression. A white man dressing as a Native American to celebrate Thanksgiving as planned at the Goddard School was banned for the same reason. Should La Japonaise, a famous painting by 19th-century French Impressionist Auguste Renoir of his blonde-haired wife wearing a magnificent red Japanese kimono be removed from Bostons Museum of Fine Arts? At this rate, how will people from varying cultures ever be able to communicate and learn from each other?
Political correctness has also become synonymous with an unwillingness to engage in discussion with those who are judged to hold un-PC views. This past December Holy Cross minority students occupied half the seats in an auditorium in which best-selling journalist Heather MacDonald was giving a lecture based on her recent book The Diversity Delusion, and then staged a walkout ten minutes into the talk, just after she had remarked how fortunate all students at such a well-endowed institution were to spend four years with access to vast library facilities and courses taught by professors who earnestly wanted to help them succeed. Instead of staying to listen, the protestors marched out chanting slogans, while campus police, doubtless acting at the direction of higher-ups in the College administration, prevented the 80 or 90 students whod been kept out from occupying the vacated seats.
Such intolerance for the expression of dissenting views directly belies the claim of the PC crowd to be standing up for tolerance and diversity. By their account, the only speakers who should be tolerated are those who agree with him. Diversity may apply to the color of peoples skin, but certainly not to the expression of alternative points of view which colleges were once expected to encourage.
PC carried to its extreme has the capacity to destroy Western culture entirely. At a recent Paul Gauguin exhibition at Londons National Gallery, patrons are informed that the French painter had sexual relations with young girls during his stay in Polynesia, taking advantage of his privileged Westerner position. An audio guide asks, Is it time to stop looking at Gauguin altogether? In other words, appreciation of the arts must be viewed through the PC lens of racism, sexism, gender bias, or hurt feelings. No longer can they be seen, read, or heard for their beauty or craftsmanship, or to enhance our understanding of the human condition. Everything is political.
By any consistent standard of political correctness, Shakespeare is certainly un-PC. To cursory readers and audiences, Taming of the Shrew promotes misogyny; Othello contains racist remarks; The Merchant of Venice contains an anti-Semitic strain. (Only a close study of the plays, of the sort most contemporary English professors avoid, would overcome these impressions.) Even Kate Smiths classic rendition of God Bless America was dropped from the Yankee Stadium soundtrack because she sang what is now regarded as a racist tune at the age of 24 at the behest of her record company; while the words to the comic standard Baby, Its Cold Outside! have been altered because the original lyrics could imply an ensuing pressured sexual encounter. (Meanwhile, rap singers who celebrate sexual subjugation of women and use words like ho and the otherwise dreaded N-word get a free pass.)
If the PC purity test continues to rule, then its time to close the libraries, the museums, the concert halls (Richard Wagner composed great operas but is also deservedly notorious for his anti-Semitic tract Jewishness in Music), and especially the universities. The only way out of the PC dilemma is to push back against the tide. And there is some evidence that its possible. According to a 2018 nationally-representative poll of 8,000 conducted by the group More In Common, 80 percent believe political correctness is a problem in the US. This includes 74 percent of those aged 24-29, 79 percent of those under 24, and 75 percent of African-Americans. The only polled group that expressed strong support for political correctness were those characterized as progressive activists a group characterized by high incomes and high levels of education (what did they actually learn?) and are mostly white. But these are the people best positioned to impose their attitudes on the public through their domination of the media and education (starting in elementary school).
Yes, political correctness has gone too far. Woke me when moderation, toleration, and common sense return.
Roberta Schaefer is the founder and former president of Worcester Regional Research Bureau.
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Posted: at 11:26 am
Taking a topic that might have been ripped from recent headlines and liberally filtering it through the lens of satire, playwright Joshua Harmon challenges the concept of political correctness in smart, provocative ways.
Taking a topic that might have been ripped from recent headlines and liberally filtering it through the lens of satire, playwright Joshua Harmon challenges the concept of political correctness in smart, provocative ways.
The result, Admissions, opening Thursday at The Gamm Theatre, pushes past mere analysis of the challenge faced by the administrator of an elite prep school who tries to sanitize the process of choosing the student body, offering an often hysterical illustration of how easily such efforts can go horribly wrong.
The basic story line focuses on a husband-and-wife team of administrators who are incredibly vigilant about making their school diverse, says Bryn Boice, associate artistic director at the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, who is making her directorial debut at The Gamm.
She says that Harmon creates intriguing depth as he forces the couple to dig into their moral reserves after realizing that the Ivy League dreams of their white son might be derailed in a similar push for inclusivity.
Sherri is faced with a decision that affects her grip on her own world view, Boice says. It makes you laugh and then gasp. We can see ourselves trying so hard, and the ridiculousness of trying to be even better.
Noting that Harmons dialogue reflects what white people say behind closed doors when they think no one is listening, she talks about the steps Sherri must take to demonstrate diversity at the school. Does she need to stage photos for the admissions catalog, for example?
She is contorting to make a better representation of the school, and you wonder if nobody fixated on this, would anything ever change? Things like this are what makes people gasp, Ah! Its true! she says. Everybody sounds right, but everybody sounds wrong.
With the recent college admissions scandal still simmering in the nations headlines, the timely topics raised in Admissions are provocative and, Boice says, tease at thoughts that preoccupy us as a society. Most importantly, when Sherris son does not get into his chosen school, Yale University, but his friend of mixed race does, how should he feel? How should his parents feel?
Some of the policies Sherri has been working toward may or may not be creating a feeling that Im a white kid and I dont matter anymore. Thats another gasp moment, Boice says. By the end, it feels like Sherri has grown, and we all start questioning why we are trying to make it a more inclusive society.
Harmon, she adds, does an even-handed job with the topic, representing all sides of the argument. After being overlooked by Yale, for example, Sherris son asserts that the goal of maximized diversity has gone too far. On the other hand, his father finds his attitude bratty and privileged.
Thats what makes it good writing, she says. This is a smart show for a smart audience.
Admissions runs through Feb. 9 at The Gamm, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. For more information call (401) 723-4266 or go to http://www.gammtheatre.org.
Posted: at 11:26 am
I want to express my appreciation for the column in the Jan. 10 paper: President Trumps Move Against Evil by Star Parker.
Parker stated: The muted reaction of leading Democratic politicians to the elimination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani reinforces my sense of what divides our country and differentiates the two parties. One part of America still believes that there is good and evil, and one doesnt. I would agree with her.
It is my belief this reality exists because of our acceptance of values that would deeply disturb our Founding Fathers. We not only have abandoned Biblical principles that our Founding Fathers accepted and used to guide the formation of our nation, but many would deny the existence of God and the book he wrote to help mankind establish a moral compass. This has established a relative perspective for existence and allows for a belief system that encompasses the belief in political America Everything is about politics including redemption itself. (quoting Star Parker).
I agree with Parker when she makes this observation: Only someone who does not believe there is good and evil, experiences no joy when evil is defeated. Moral abdication makes it easy to bring confusion to political perspective and then judge actions by their political correctness rather than a higher moral code.
The removal of Qasem Soleimani may have been, in the eyes of liberal Democrats, politically incorrect, but Parker makes a valid observation by quoting President Ronald Reagan, There is sin and evil in the world, and we are enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.
I believe that is the same ground our Founding Fathers stood upon when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. I am also convinced that evil things will continue when good people do nothing.
Removal of Soleimani was morally the right decision to make. It is my hope and prayer that our political leaders will understand this and return to this foundational principle.
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Posted: at 11:26 am
The civil rights revolution, to Caldwell, is nothing less than constitutional in scope or, more precisely, anti-constitutional, because it overturns the de jure constitution of 1788, with all the traditional forms of jurisprudential legitimacy and centuries of American culture behind it, replacing it with a new, minoritarian constitution that pushes race-consciousness into every cranny of society. White men, the losers in the new order, responded by adopting their own identitarian, victim-group mind-set. They fell asleep thinking of themselves as the people who had built this country and woke up to find themselves occupying the bottom rung of an official hierarchy of races.
And so here we are, not one country but two, governed by two constitutions, not one. Democrats, loyal to the post-1964 constitution, could not acknowledge (or even see) that they owed their ascendancy to a rollback of the basic constitutional freedoms Americans cherished most. Republicans, loyal to the pre-1964 constitution, could not acknowledge (or even see) that the only way back to the free country of their ideals was through the repeal of the civil rights laws. The combination was a terrible one rising tensions along with a society-wide inability to talk or think straight about anything.
Nor is even that miserable dispensation the whole of it. Engaging in what Marxists call heightening the contradictions, Caldwell argues that the oppressive imperialism of civil rights laws is not incidental. Citizens, he writes, must choose between these two orders. There never was a moderate, limited way to keep the promises of integration. Civil rights was always this way: Dignity was an integral and nonnegotiable part of what was demanded, and a government interested in civil rights must secure it, no matter what the cost in rights to those who would deny it. Associational freedoms and property rights were always on the chopping block, incompatible with the 1964 act. Caldwell notices that it tended to be segregationists who philosophized in this vein and yes, he does go there, quoting an old-time Southern segregationist to the effect that a merchants right not to serve blacks is simple justice.
Perhaps the author should have come up for oxygen when he found himself suggesting that the Southern segregationists were right all along. Reading this overwrought and strangely airless book, one would never imagine a different way of viewing things, one that rejects Caldwells ultimatum to choose between these two orders. In that view my own America has seen multiple refoundings, among them the Jackson eras populism, the Civil War eras abolition of slavery, the Progressive eras governmental reforms and the New Deal eras economic and welfare interventions. All of them, like the civil rights revolution, sparked tense and sometimes violent clashes between competing views of the Constitution and basic rights, but in my version of history, those tensions proved not only survivable but fruitful, and working through them has been an engine of dynamism and renewal, not destruction and oppression. I worry about the illiberal excesses of identity politics and political correctness, but I think excesses is what they are, and I think they, too, can be worked through. Being a homosexual American now miraculously married to my husband for almost a decade, I cant help feeling astonished by a history of America since 1964 that finds space for only one paragraph briefly acknowledging the civil rights movements social and moral achievements before hastening back to But the costs of civil rights were high.
Perhaps most depressingly, Caldwells account, even if one accepts its cramped view of the Constitution and its one-eyed moral bookkeeping, leads nowhere. It proffers no constructive alternative, no plausible policy or path. The author knows perfectly well that there will be no repeal of the civil rights laws. He foresees only endless, grinding, negative-sum cultural and political warfare between two intractably opposed constitutions. His vision is a dead end. Unfortunately, it also seems to be where American conservatism is going.
Posted: at 11:26 am
You enter the word directly into window, Inga-Lill Aronsson explained, in a panel debate on classification and knowledge organisation in the masters programme on archival science, library and information science, museum and heritage studies at the end of the autumn semester in 2019.
This was reported as a provocation by four students present, stating that she had no right to use this word since she was not of colour and had not experienced racism.
According to the rules, a meeting was arranged that included the head and deputy head of the department, the trade union representative and the human resource specialist for equal rights (likavillkorsspecialist) from the university administration. At this meeting Aronsson was informed about the discrimination rules, but also forced to promise to never use the n-word again. During the meeting the word was never outspoken, but referred to as the n-word, Aronsson told University World News.
The university also deleted video footage of the entire panel debate, which had been recorded for distance learning purposes.
The meeting was reported in Universitetslraren, the newspaper of the Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers (SULF), and the issue was taken up last week by Gran Rosenberg, opinion editor for Radio Swedens Good Morning, World! Easily offended programme. He asked listeners in a programme on 12 January who should really be offended, the long-term lecturer reprimanded by her own university, or the students who did not even show up when their complaint was discussed?
Often it is sufficient that an investigation is started, Rosenberg said. No smoke without a fire is a suspicion that it is not easy to free oneself of. Notably when the smoke effectively can be strengthened and made eternal on social media.
Instead of making a formal complaint against their teacher, the students should have raised their hands to discuss the matter with her, he suggested.
Rosenbergs intervention triggered a debate on the Facebook page Universitetslckan (University leak), which within two days gathered 83 comments, most of them warning against political correctness.
Aronsson told University World News the incident raises an important principle. It is related to safe spaces at the university but also to academic freedom, and the search for knowledge. Today, unfortunately, too many people are hesitant within the academy to be associated with any of these tricky issues because it has consequences for your career.
I was prepared to let the journalist use my name, because it is a real concrete case. It can be discussed, with the purpose to make a change.
But Reine Rydn, deputy head of Aronssons department, who attended the meeting, when asked why the word negro should not be used, told University World News that was a matter of the universitys equal opportunities policy, but if you ask for my personal opinion, I can reply with a counter question: are there any reasons why we should use that word at lectures?
Stockholm University Professor of Linguistics Lars Melin told University World News: From my linguistic perspective, it is easy to see that more and more people believe that words possess magical powers. They can be in the service of the good, for example, the new unisex pronoun hen claims to seriously make us more equal [in Swedish he is han, she is hun and hen is the new sexually neutral word proposed].
But usually the words are in the service of evil. The n-word opens for apartheid, Ku Klux Klan and lynching.
This is pure nonsense, but the believers are becoming more and more aggressive. Strangely, they care more about the words than the well-being of black people.
Commenting on the issue, Lena Adamson, associate professor of psychology at Stockholm University, told University World News: In the 1960s and 1970s the engagement of students and their activism was directed towards war and injustice in the world. Today this is mostly directed inwards towards academia, in my view in a devastating and unacademic egocentrism.
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Posted: at 11:26 am
Sen. Elizabeth Warren played to a friendly crowd when she visited Brooklyn last week. The rally at Kings Theatre on Flatbush Avenue an ornate peoples palace kind of joint with fleur de lis in the molding and vaudeville ghosts in the rafters was a 4,800-person shot in the arm for her campaign, which had been flatlining of late. Julin Castro, young, Latino and recently out of the presidential race, had just endorsed Warren and there seemed to be a sense in the air with a heavy hint from the mass-produced We Julin signs circulating that the campaign was looking for a little good news out of the evening. The crowd scanned as largely young and professional, and a little girl sitting just in front of me waved another sign: Im running for president because thats what girls do.
Just under a week later, the Warren campaign would be at war with Sen. Bernie Sanders over Warrens claim that Sanders told her in a private 2018 meeting that he didnt think a woman could win the 2020 presidential election. This salvo from Warrens camp was seen as a response to reports that talking points for Sanders volunteers characterized Warren as the choice of highly educated, more affluent people, a demographic both key to Democratic electoral success and associated with Hillary Clintons supposed out-of-touch elitism. Within a few hours, what had been a cold-war battle to define the left wing of the Democratic Party had gone hot. The handshake-that-wasnt between Sanders and Warren at Tuesday nights debate seemed to inflame tensions even more.
Whats curious, though, is that the rift isnt over policy particulars. The Warren vs. Sanders progressivism fight seems to be more stylistic, an unexpectedly tense class war of sorts within the broader progressive class war. Should progressive populism be wonky and detail-oriented and appeal to college-educated former Clinton voters? Or a more contentious outsider assault on the powers-that-be from the overlooked millions of the middle and lower-middle class?
The groundwork for more open hostilities was perhaps laid at the start of last weekend with some numerical tinder. As I boarded a plane for Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday night, I scanned the results of the just-released Des Moines Register poll. The survey showed Sanders leading in the state with 20 percent of the vote, a notable shuffle in the race from the last poll from that pollster, which showed former Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the lead and Sanders scrapping for third place with former Vice President Joe Biden. Saturday afternoon I found myself in Newton, Iowa, listening to Larry Hurto, 68, reciting the full results of the poll to me from memory as he waited for Sanders to arrive at a rally. With Sanders, Hurto told me, What you see is what you get. Kim Life, 60, told me shed voted for Clinton in 2016 but felt that, this time around, Sanders was the man for our times. Things in the world are so unstable, she said. He hasnt changed in 40 years. Warren, she told me, was more influenced by corporate America than she let on.
Variations on this theme Sanders as credible progressive curmudgeon and Warren as vaguely deceptive opportunist popped up as I followed Sanders across the state. America is a country whose politics are pheromonal; voters are largely attracted to certain candidates not for their policy positions but for the cut of their jib or the familiarity of the story at the heart of their self-mythology. And among the Sanders-committed, there seemed to be a sense that the candidates famous frankness was his greatest asset and it could well be with certain groups.
The other part of the controversial Sanders campaign talking points on Warren was that her supporters the wealthy, well-educated ones would already show up and vote Democratic no matter what shes bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party. At his rallies, Sanders was putting his electability foot forward supporters waved Bernie beats Trump signs while he spoke. In November, The New York Times polled battleground state voters and found that persuadable, white working-class voters had policy views that aligned with some Sanders/Warren proposals, but by a margin of 84 percent to 9 percent, they say political correctness has gone too far. They say academics and journalists look down on people like them. Nonwhite persuadable voters supported systemic change candidates and single-payer health care, but 50 percent approve of Trump, a man known for pushing the boundaries of correctness, political or otherwise.
The anti-political-correctness voters and Trump-approvers are perhaps the demographics where Sanders has the greatest chance to make inroads. While his trademark directness isnt anti-PC, its of a sympatico strain, in a way: I dont care what you think, Im going to say and do what I please. The Sanders brand is based entirely on that slippery, overused quality that politics so prizes: authenticity. He has believed in the same things for decades and advocated for them in the same polemical style. Even his heavy Brooklyn brogue remains unchanged despite his having left the borough in the 60s. It speaks to being from a place.
Of course, Warren still has the flatness of the plains in her voice, but maybe thats harder to pick out of the American pantheon of dialects and accents. Plus, the patina of Harvard elitism might stick more to a woman, with voters being more apt to see her as overly liberal in a cultural sense rather than an economic one ironic, in Warrens case, given that the cornerstone of her candidacy is radical economic reform. Her tightly constructed, loosely delivered stump speech in Brooklyn Warren likes to pump her fists while she talks and bend down as if she might jump across a stage was adept at connecting her famous plans together as a bid for big, structural change. Whatever issue brought people to the rally, Warren said, I guarantee its been touched by money. It was a solutions-oriented 45-minute verbal march; though, of course, both Warren and Sanders know that unless Democrats win the Senate in 2020 (unlikely) and hold onto the House, much of their potential agenda as president would be stymied from the get-go.
But each know that rhetoric wins the day. While they share so many policy goals, its obvious their appeal is somewhat divergent. There is certainly a gap between the demographics of Sanders and Warren supporters. According to FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos polling, conducted using Ipsoss KnowledgePanel, about 34 percent of people considering voting for Warrens have household incomes of over $125,000, compared to around 22 percent of potential Sanders supporters. And Warrens potential backers are particularly skewed toward college-educated Democrats, while people considering Sanders and Biden are more evenly distributed across education levels.
Sanders is not wrong in pointing out that Warrens populism and make no mistake, it is that; she does her fair share of billionaire-bashing has resonated with a different audience than his. In part, its because her packaging of populism is meant to extend an ideological hand to the establishment Democratic voters who cottoned to Clinton in 2016 but regretted, perhaps, their inability to see that the country was ravenous for system-busting talk. She scratches the itch of big ole change but understands that the Democratic Party is filled with people who are still comfortable within the system, even if they have intellectual critiques of it.
Sanderss selling of populism is conscious of its place in the sweep of progressive history. In Iowa, he talked about how not so long ago, public education was seen as a radical idea and cited the aphorism, It always seems impossible until its done, to explain the mental block the country could overcome to accept Medicare for All.
On Saturday evening, Sanders held a rally in Davenport that opened with performances by a collegiate singer-songwriter This one is about my babysitter and how as you get older your relationships change and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Tlaibs voice rose in emotional peaks and cracks as she spoke of her childhood in Detroit, which in her memory is perfumed with the rotten-egg smell of hydrogen sulfide. She bemoaned the building of bougie condos in her city. We need somebody thats courageous, that wont sell us out, she said. Im exhausted about the broken promises, these polished speeches I dont care if you said the same thing. With Sanders, she said, you see this person and hes real. It was as succinct an endorsement as a 2020 Democratic candidate could ask for; though, as we all well know by now, whats real is ambiguous and mutable and very much according to ones taste.
But of course, the crowd cheered; there was no higher praise.
Laura Bronner contributed analysis.
Make sure to check out FiveThirtyEights Democratic primary forecast in full; you can also see all the 2020 primary polls weve collected, including national polls, Iowa polls, New Hampshire polls, Nevada polls and South Carolina polls.
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Posted: at 11:26 am
Don Heacox, For the Headlight Published 12:59 p.m. MT Jan. 16, 2020
Heacox(Photo: Courtesy photo)
Although there are some striking parallels, we can all agree that, despite his middle initial, Donald Trump is no Jesus. There should also be total agreement that both are controversial. They both challenged the elite of their times. Jesus opposed the hypocrisy of Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious elite of the Israelites of the day.Trump has no problem telling todays emperors of political correctness they have no clothes, going to excess in revealing graphic details of the anatomical deficiencies revealed by their nakedness, to extend the analogy.
The people of Jesus day were looking for a military messiah in the tradition of David and most failed to recognize Him as a spiritual messiah. Despite often boosting the morale of his followers, Trump could hardly be confused with a spiritual messiah. It can be argued that he has been an economic messiah, generally freeing the economy from the burdens of high taxes and excessive government regulation.
His economy has provided historical opportunities for the people. This is demonstrated by record unemployment, wage gains, and numbers of people working, especially in industries Obama declared dead in this country. Even economic disparity has been narrowed by some measures.
Both generate amazement that it has been so difficult to separate their followers from them. The lives of saints are chock full of stories of Christian martyrs that inspired others to join the then fledgling Christian movement.
The mainstream media and Democrat establishment just cannot believe their relentless attacks on the candidate and President Trump havent eroded his support. Antagonists have believed followers of Jesus and Trump are delusional. Ironically so at times, for the antagonists have seemed delusional as well on occasion.
Both pro-Trumpers and Christians have been persecuted, though being kicked out of restaurants and suffering some mild physical violence for wearing a MAGA hat or Trump t-shirt doesnt compare with the continued torture and murder of Christians for being Christians in several parts of the world. I suspect that, unlike with Christians, the persecution of Trump fans will cease after his demise or leaving office.
In one way, Trump seems strangely naive compared to Jesus. Jesus understood the division he would bring to the world and the persecution his followers would face. Trump, at first, seemed surprised at the intense resistance and antagonism he received from trying to place Americans and America first and the attacks on his followers. He appeared initially unprepared for the intensity of the hostility toward his election.
Both followers of Trump and of Jesus should know that world views matter and are not easily changed. Those believing in Jesus as prophet, priest, savior, and king have tended to be strengthened by resistance. So have Trumps followers.
Some Trump antagonists have tried to use Christianity as a weapon, suggesting Jesus would not approve of Trump and that true Christians (whoever they may be these days) would not follow Trump.
Jesus seemed to be above politics, although certainly aware of them. I doubt that he would be amused by the Democrats pandering to black voters in black churches and Republican rallies in evangelical houses of worship.
I suppose a case can be made that Trump favors greater religious freedom than many of his opponents. Jesus would likely sought an alternative to assassinating Major General Qasem Soleimani, the Quds Force Commander and terrorist mastermind.
Both Jesus and Trump warrant respect, only Jesus warrants worship.
Don Heacox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: at 11:26 am
One evening this week, I was rereading Lord Byrons great poem Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, and came upon a startlingly accurate description of Cancel Culture. Writing in the early 1800s, Byron describes a civilization that has ceased to search for truth but weighs everything in customs falsest scale:
Opinion an omnipotence, whose veil
Mantles the earth with darkness, until right
And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale
Lest their own judgments should become too bright,
And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too much light.
Now, yes, I know I cant enlist Byron who used to refer to the more conservative William Wordsworth as Turdsworth as a spokesman for conservatism. But in this moment when the left insists that all disagreement with their orthodoxies equals bigotry and evil, when speaking simple truths like a man is not a woman can cost you your reputation or your job, who can fail to recognize a world in which men grow pale lest their own judgments should become too bright and their free thoughts be crimes?
This week alone, the left renewed its attempts to vilify the Oscar-nominated film Joker as somehow racist, which its not. When a Bible that was used to swear in commanders of the new Space Force was blessed in a ceremony at Washington National Cathedral, an anti-religious group called the blessing a shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism. Even Stephen King, one of our great storytellers and a reliable anti-Trump leftist, was attacked when he said he would never consider diversity in matters of art but would only judge it by its quality.
These attacks are relentless and can often be costly. Writer Chadwick Moore, a gay former liberal, says he has been repeatedly banned from Facebook for not towing the homo-leftist line. His latest thirty day expulsion was for posting an article he wrote entitled Rednecks Are the Least Racist People in America, based on his own experiences bolstered by research by Thomas Sowell and historian Colin Woodard.
And much worse. In Australia, a young gay conservative who protested Drag Queen Story Hour at a library in Brisbane, committed suicide after being viciously defamed by the so-called LGBTQ Community.
Conservatives tend to treat the fight against such leftist bullying as a side skirmish compared to such major battles as who wins the 12th district in Ohio. They may roll their eyes and tweet their tweets but at the same time, they teach themselves to watch their words lest they lose their social media platforms or their sponsors or their jobs.
Which, of course, is the whole point. In order to funnel power away from the individual and into the central government, the left is selling a utopian fantasy based on utterly false ideas of human nature and human enterprise. The greatest danger to that fantasy is any expression of the simple truth. Silencing that expression is what political correctness and Cancel Culture are for.
And any conservative who thinks the political fight to save the country from leftism can be won without confronting those devices is an idiot. The fight against Cancel Culture is not a side skirmish. Its not even a major battle. Its the war.
In the first two weeks of this year, President Trump eradicated a major terrorist, faced down the evil regime in Iran, made a new trade deal with China and had the new NAFTA-style deal ratified in a bi-partisan vote all while the economy soared to new heights and low- and middle- class workers of all races saw their wages finally begin to rise. Indeed, lower income households have seen their net worth increase by 47 percent since the president took office.
And yet, the RealClear Politics polling average has Trumps approval rating at 44.3 percent. About half the people want to see him impeached and removed from office.
Well, why not? Trump is himself the victim-in-chief of Cancel Culture. He is repeatedly and relentlessly portrayed as racist, sexist and otherwise phobic by a news media that gives him 93% negative coverage, according to the Media Research Center. The stone lie that he said there were very fine people among white supremacists continues to be shamelessly repeated this week by the New York Times Charles Blow. And Democrat candidate after candidate declares the American economy serves only the rich, unchallenged by their poodle press.
If we cave in to leftist bullying, if the relentless political correctness of social media and the press goes unchallenged and Cancel Culture thrives because men grow pale lest their own judgments should become too bright, and their free thoughts be crimes, then the American public will ultimately follow a leftist fantasy straight into leftist reality, which is another name for hell.
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Posted: at 11:26 am
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What does it mean to be politically correct? One definition involves not unfairly discriminating or offending others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or class. Examples include using racist and sexist language or refusing to acknowledge the right all individuals have to be treated fairly and equally.
The second definition, as I detail in A Politically Correct Dictionary and Guide, involves imposing politically correct language and group think on individuals in areas like marriage, gender and sexuality, the environment, refugees, immigration and the nature and importance of Christianity.
Best illustrated by George Orwells novel 1984 controlling language is a key strategy employed by totalitarian regimes to manipulate people. In 1984 what is described as Newspeak leads to a situation where thoughtcrime is impossible as there will be no words in which to express it.
The slogans War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is Strength used by the Party and Big Brother to indoctrinate citizens exemplifies Orwells belief that if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
In todays politically correct world if you oppose the rate of immigration you are attacked as xenophobic, argue marriage involves a woman and a man you are condemned as heteronormative and homophobic and defend the benefits of western civilisation and you are guilty of white supremacism and for being Eurocentric.
Proven by Israel Falou being sacked by Rugby Australia for expressing his views about homosexuality and other sins and the continued attacks on Margaret Court for opposing same sex marriage Christians are especially vulnerable if they dare to oppose what the cultural-left describes as politically correct.
Such are the attacks on Christians and Christianity that George Weigal in The Cube and the Cathedral uses the term Christophobia when describing the way Christianity is being attacked by neo-Marxist inspired secularism. Drawing on the work of Joseph Weiler he describes Christophobia as an extreme ideology that refuses to acknowledge Christianitys contribution to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
While political correctness is a relatively recent term that become widespread in the early 90s it is important to understand that the cultural-left ideology underpinning it can be traced back to events in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.
This was the time when a group of Neo-Marxist academics founded what became known as the Frankfurt School in Germany on the basis that the fight to overthrow capitalism needed to focus on the culture wars.
Michael Gove, the former UK Secretary of State for Education, in his book Celsius 7/7 argues The thinkers of the Frankfurt School revised Marxism as primarily a cultural rather than an economic movement. In place of anger at traditional capitalism, scorn was directed at the reigning values of the West.
The academics involved realised the communist revolution was never going to occur in the West through violence and that the focus had to shift from economic issues to the battle of ideas and the long march through the institutions like universities and schools, the church, family and the media.
The cultural revolution of the late 1960s involving the student riots in Paris, Vietnam moratoriums and the rise of the youth orientated counter-culture movement signalled the resurgence of political correctness drawing on a rainbow alliance of cultural-left theories including: Neo-Marxism, postmodernism, deconstructionism and radical feminist, post-colonial, gender and queer theories.
Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, describes the 60s cultural revolution as an epochal event dominated by radical, secular critics who conceived the whole evolution of history, beginning with the triumph of Christianity, as an error and a failure.
Such is the force and dominance of politically correct language and group think that the Safe Schools program indoctrinates students with the belief that gender and sexuality are social constructs and they can self-identify as to whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+).
Universities are no longer committed to what T S Eliot describes the preservation of learning, for the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom.
Instead knowledge and truth are seen as social constructs employed by the ruling elites to disadvantage and disempower already marginalised individuals and groups.
The rise of identity politics, victimhood and the argument that there is nothing beneficial or worthwhile about Western civilisation, especially Judeo-Christianity, can all be attributed to the success of the political correctness movement and the cultural-lefts long march through the institutions.
Notwithstanding the prevalence and power of the PC movement there are signs that not all is lost. A recent ABC survey titled Australia Talks found that 68 percent of those who responded felt political correctness has gone too far. Scott Morrisons success in winning last years election with the support of the quiet Australians also is worth celebrating.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of A Politically Correct Dictionary and Guide (available at kevindonnelly.com.au)
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Posted: at 11:26 am
This week, we have seen the true toll of political correctness. PC isnt just irritating or stupid. It isnt just woke students banning sombreros or schools getting iffy about Baa Baa Black Sheep. PC destroys lives.
A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions. Partly because they were worried that drawing attention to the grooming and exploitation of mostly white working-class girls by Asian men might incite racial hatred and damage multicultural relations.
Lets put it plainly: they sacrificed girls to political correctness; they thought that preserving the ideology of multiculturalism was more important than protecting girls from harm.
The independent review into grooming and abuse in Manchester in the mid-2000s, published yesterday, makes for grim reading. It says there were up to 57 victims, mostly white girls aged between 12 and 16, and 97 potential perpetrators, mostly men of Asian heritage. The review makes clear, from some of the evidence it acquired, that some of the abuse networks were made up of predominantly Pakistani men. That is, similar to Rotherham, Telford and other parts of the UK, this was a case involving what is sometimes referred to as a Muslim grooming gang.
The girls were groomed, sexually abused, plied with drugs and raped. They suffered, in the reviews words, the most profound abuse and exploitation. But little was done to help them. Their abusers were not brought to justice. And this catastrophic failing was in part fuelled by what the review refers to as Greater Manchester Polices concerns about sensitive community issues. As one news report summarises it, the police were keen not to be seen targeting [a] minority group. As a result of this PC cowardice, of this mad multicultural sensitivity, the abuse continued.
The review focuses on the tragic case of Victoria Agoglia, a 15-year-old girl in the care of Manchester social services who died from a heroin overdose in 2003. Social services were aware that Victoria was being exploited. She was being injected with heroin by the gangs who used and abused her. She reported being raped. Scandalously, little was done to assist her. Following her death, the coroner said she was known to provide sexual favours a repulsive way of describing the sexual abuse of an underage girl by older men. As the independent review says, such a view of Victoria and her tragic fate significantly underplays the coercion and control and harrowing experience she was subjected to.
Think about this: we live in a time in which a middle-class womans complaint about overhearing a sexist joke or having a hand briefly placed on her knee becomes a huge scandal and can even dominate news coverage, and yet a vulnerable working-class girl can experience horrendous genuine abuse and a coroner, influenced by the view of social services, will refer to it as sexual favours.
Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Augusta following Victorias death. They identified 57 victims and 97 potential perpetrators. Yet hardly any of these people were brought to justice and their activities [were not] disrupted, as the review says. That is, they carried on abusing. Operation Augusta was wrapped up early and resources were devoted to other, less sensitive crimes. As the review says, The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators.
This is a scandal of epic proportions. The very organisations that are charged with looking after young people who are at risk of abuse failed to do their duty. And they failed to do their duty because they did not want to ruffle community feathers; because they believed, as so much of the establishment does, that ordinary Britons are a vile racist throng and if we hear about an Asian grooming gang we will go crazy. They let their ideology their commitment to political correctness and to multicultural censorship distract them from the task of protecting girls from the most profound abuse and exploitation.
The silence around grooming gangs, in which largely Muslim men abuse largely white working-class girls, has gone on long enough. We need a serious debate about this.
And yet even discussing it is difficult. People are branded racist if they bring it up. Youre an Islamophobe if you talk about the background of most of these men. Sarah Champion was thrown out of the shadow cabinet for daring to write about gangs of Pakistani men abusing girls in her constituency of Rotherham. Corbynistas and Muslim groups accused her of racism.
This unwillingness to talk about, never mind take seriously, the abuse of hundreds of white working-class girls across the country can also be seen in the response to the Manchester scandal. As some people are pointing out, many of todays newspapers have not led with this story in the way we should expect them to, given it is a huge social and political scandal. Whats more, feminists, so-called progressives and the allegedly pro-working-class left are silent about the whole thing.
There are no hashtags. There is no #MeToo solidarity for these abused girls. There are no expressions of concern from the left. Just shameful, cowardly silence. Make it go away, is the attitude of these people. Indeed, this week we have had the truly grotesque spectacle of lefties expressing more concern for a duchess, Meghan Markle, than for 57 working-class girls who suffered profound abuse. Theyve shed more tears over a few rude headlines about the painfully privileged Duchess of Sussex than they have over the revelation that working-class girls were degraded in the most awful way because the authorities couldnt be bothered to help them.
All day yesterday the chattering classes were droning on about white privilege while ignoring the reports about white, mostly poor girls in Manchester being abused. The cognitive dissonance is complete: All white people have privilege, they cry, as a review reveals the abuse and rape of white girls by mostly Pakistani gangs.
We have to talk about this. We have to talk about how officialdoms shameful reluctance to investigate these kinds of cases allowed the abuse to continue. We have to talk about how the cultural elites silence on these crimes further denigrates the victims, treating them as if they are unworthy of public sympathy. We have to talk about how the new elites denigration of white working-class communities as backward and stupid and trashy could well inflame some peoples view of these communities as unimportant, as worthy of abuse. And we have to talk about how the ideology of multiculturalism, the PC unwillingness to look community tensions and divisions in the face, is harming the country.
If we dont talk about this, far-right elements will continue to make mileage from this issue, girls will continue being abused, and societys divisions will never be tackled. Only honesty and firmness can stop these things from happening again.
Brendan ONeill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan ONeill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy
Picture by: Getty.
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