Monday, June 16, 2008

Political Correctness is not Politically Correct

Our Austrian correspondent ESW has sent us another translation from the Austrian press, this one an editorial about political correctness.

First, ESW’s introductory note:

Here’s a commentary I found excellent because it highlights Austria’s MSM. Die Presse was the only newspaper featuring Al-Rawi’s latest coup, and the rest of the media ignored it. The entire country is consumed by PC, and it is sickening to see and experience.

I have a friend, for instance, who called me up when the Susanne Winter incident broke (she called Mo a pedophile), asking me whether I had told her that. When I said no, and told her that what Winter had said was the truth, my friend was shocked. “You can’t say it that way,” she said.

I asked her how one can say that Mo was a pedophile, she said you should simply put it another way. Which way, she did and could not say. And my friend considers herself to be non-PC!

Below is ESW’s translation of the editorial in Die Presse :

Political Correctness is not politically correct

By Hans Winkler

If supposedly considerate speech is extended concerning “right” and “wrong” content, political correctness will be a threat to itself and a danger to freedom of expression.

“Don’t call me nigger” was the title of a paperback series in the 1950’s published by the Catholic Herder publishing house. The young reader in me back then got a first lesson of what would later be called “political correctness” around the world and what would become an important intellectual movement. PC, meanwhile, as the abbreviation is known, originally comes from the U.S., where in a multiethnic society different groups fight for recognition and representation. In order to help the traditionally disadvantaged, practical measures for equality like “affirmative action” (“positive discrimination”) were instituted, particularly quotas in the education system.

When discrimination against minorities by the majority culture appeared not to be effectively ended, an extensive system of handling the alleged sensitivities of minorities and outsiders by linguistic twists soon developed, especially in the academic world of the east and west coasts. The white, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon man should be no longer be considered as quintessential. The word “Caucasian” has its source in the PC world.

Discrimination in both directions
- - - - - - - - -
It is understandable that blacks as a group in the United States were primarily identified as those requiring most of the political correctness. The scornful words “nigger” and “Negro”, which is a loan word from the Spanish, were initially replaced by “black”. But even this reference to skin color seemed discriminatory, so that today in the stilted and informally used “African-American” prevails.

[…]

Serious business or invented to ridicule?

The iron determination and moral seriousness with which the representatives of political correctness have operated their cause have also led to excesses, and we do not know whether they are serious or were invented to be ridiculed. We know that today a child may not be called “difficult” any more than he may be said to be “showing signs of behavioral problems” — the stopover on the way to total political correctness — but as “exhibiting original behavior”. It would be wise to ask whether these tortured words stigmatize these children even more than they are already stigmatized in real life.

[…]

There is a special form of PC in the struggle for equality for women. In order to escape the accusation that they are discriminating against their students, American professors have started to use only the plural form of “students” or, alternately, “she” and “he”. In the German-speaking countries women have been very successful in this matter, and the German language has proven particularly vulnerable to rape on behalf of PC. All word forms remotely sounding as if they were male have been replaced by the word “inclusive” — meaning: including the female.

[…]

The core of PC is not using names for something or someone that one would not want be called oneself, because it could hurt or offend. There is a new and different dimension in political correctness when it is no longer just a new word that is introduced in order to help minorities or help those too weak to be emancipated, but views and opinions on minorities, the weak, or ethnic and religious groups are seen as non-admissible.

A case in point that we have experienced recently in Austria was hardly noticed in the public and in the media, apart from a few commentaries in this newspaper. In [the city of] Traun a parish had invited the German Islamic scholar Christine Schirrmacher to take part in a lecture. Schirrmacher teaches in Löwen, Belgium, and is director of the Islamic Institute of the German Evangelical Alliance. The integration official of the Islamic Community in Austria and member of the Vienna city council for the Socialist Party, Omar Al-Rawi, intervened in advance of the event, and was successful in demanding that the speech be canceled.

Al-Rawi cited as the reason for his intervention that the speaker encourages “Islamophobia”. This is an allegation that does not need to be proven, and for which there is no counter-evidence, because it is considered simply a position of hostility toward Islam. There is no “Islamophobia” anywhere in Schirrmacher’s speech, which can be read online. If it had been given, it would have taken stock of the history of Islam in Europe and included a friendly plea for a “coexistence” between Islam and European-Western civilization. However, Schirrmacher does warn of the advancement of political Islam and a “shariah-friendly” legal opinion among Muslims, which will undoubtedly lead to the establishment of legal double standards.

Small piece of freedom lost

Al-Rawi’s action follows a thinking and pattern of activity which Schirrmacher knows well: “Some Islamic organizations today urge that nothing negative about Islam should be published, as this is discrimination against Islam. If it is not written from a Muslim perspective, it is to be stopped.” It will be important to follow closely to what extent the Western society is prepared to defend its hard-won freedom of the press and of expression. In Traun, at least, a small piece of it has been lost. Al-Rawi’s impertinence is not surprising, but it is shocking that the parish in Traun was intimidated by him. He, however, says it was “convinced”. “Mrs. Schirrmacher can speak wherever she wants,” he generously says, but not where his arm is long enough to reach her.

The former German president Roman Herzog wrote the following words: “Political correctness cannot act as the legitimate limit to freedom of expression.” One could also say that political correctness can and should also cease to be politically correct.

Related links:

14 comments:

latté island said...

A minor correction: "Negro" wasn't always derogatory. For instance, United Negro College Fund. Negro, colored and black were neutral, descriptive words. Nowadays people do say Negro and colored in a negative way, but up until the 60's or so, that's basically what everyone called black people until they started using "black" and "African-American." Winkler, not being American, may not know this, so it's important to clear this up for international readers.

Also, Winkler writes, "In the German-speaking countries women have been very successful in this matter..." It's very important to make the distinction between women and orthodox feminists. I consider myself a feminist, but I completely repudiate PC and orthodox feminist attempts to control language. Conflating women and orthodox feminists has done a great deal of damage. WRT this issue, "feminists" may have been successful, women haven't.

USpace said...

Whoopi Goldberg said that she's not African-American, she didn't come from Africa, she said she's just an American.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
political correctness

the way it discriminates
and creates groups of victims


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
ALL Whites are racist

people of other races
can never be racists

.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.
.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help Halt Terrorism Today!
.
USpace

:)
.

VinceP1974 said...

I'm an Abdominal-American , since that is where I am from.

costin said...

Politically Correctness is just a simptome of a civilization gone mad which lost it's contact with common sense and feels the need to regulate every little aspect of people lives. If you distance yourself and take a glance at PC from a distance you realize what terrible creatures it has brought into existence.
When the west will get over it, everybody will realize how crazy, stupid and alienating it really is, but until then, more dame will be done in its name

bogsidebunny said...

VinceP1974 said...

"I'm an Abdominal-American, since that is where I am from."

No you are NOT an Abdominal-American

You are a WOMBAT-AMERICAN because you really came from the WOMB and that is where you is AT before you become an American.

Makes sense to me!

Afonso Henriques said...

"The scornful words “nigger” and “Negro”, which is a loan word from the Spanish, were initially replaced by “black”. But even this reference to skin color seemed discriminatory, so that today in the stilted and informally used “African-American” prevails."

I really thought it was from Portuguese. I still do though. Here and in Brazil "Negro" is the non-offensive word. "Black" is somehow offensive, though nobody will be pissed off by it.

The P.C.ism concearning the "Mongoloid" (Trissomia 21? anyone?) here is indeed one of the more ridiculous.

"In the German-speaking countries women have been very successful in this matter, and the German language has proven particularly vulnerable to rape on behalf of PC. All word forms remotely sounding as if they were male have been replaced by the word “inclusive” — meaning: including the female."

Funny. Here it went so ridiculous that Santana Lopes, our worst Prime Minister ever (known also as Disco Stu), starts speaking to the Nation in all his style like:
"Portugueses e Portuguesas" (meaning "Portuguese males and Portuguese females") instead of the inclusive and generalist male term:
"Portugueses" (meaning "[All] Portuguese")

Afonso Henriques said...

"I consider myself a feminist, but I completely repudiate PC and orthodox feminist attempts to control language. Conflating women and orthodox feminists has done a great deal of damage. WRT this issue, "feminists" may have been successful, women haven't."

Latté Island,
If you are a woman, I would like to know how and why are you a femininist. Thank you.

"Whoopi Goldberg said that she's not African-American, she didn't come from Africa, she said she's just an American."

Sickening, it makes me remember an even sickening event, that of a now Naturalised Portuguese football player, Pepe:

"I am Portuguese because I'm here... I don't care about Brazil, I am here, I am not a Brazilian"

Fricking Camaleon!
Is it with people like this we are supposed to share a country with?
Damned!

IgnorantInfidel said...

"Mission Accomplished" Gas, $5.00 a gallon and we cannot continue to spread the Bush legacy of fear throughout the world Bush should be tried in front of the Haag Tribunal for war crimes and crimes against his own people. ...”

Your comments regarding the POTUS are severely misguided at best, at worst they are the hate speech and fear mongering you describe regarding the victim(s) of the forest fires Mission Accomplished Comment. Please provide us with specific ‘war crimes’ committed by the POTUS. Please do not repeat the typical litany of political talking points. List the specific crimes and the verifiable FACTS to substantiate your claims. If there were REAL crimes to be prosecuted one would think that the leadership of the Democrats, or the activists at Move-On.org or Media Matters would have filed formal charges and sought indictments. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) has tried several times, unsuccessfully, to have President Bush impeached. But it seems his attempts have fallen on deaf ears.

“... Many of us felt we were glimpsing something dark, something frightening and – in theological terms – something genuinely evil. Many sensed that this was only a shadow of something more serious beginning to appear throughout the county. Our discomfort with the increased hate-motivated behavior needed expression. Those who hate presume that the rest of us don't care. ...”
First you/we must clearly define ‘hate’ and ‘hate speech’. Hate speech should not be so broadly defined as to include any and all terms that make one feel uncomfortable. For example if a person immigrates to the USA that person is an immigrant. If that person follows the rules, regulations, and established laws that person may become a resident LEGALLY. However, if that same person does not follow the rules, regulations and established laws their immigration is ILLEGAL, they are an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT.
Too many people in too many groups do not want to endure a critical analysis or answer legitimate questions. They characterize all questions, or statements of fact they don’t like as hate speech, xenophobia, or racism. Because of Political Correctness [PC] and Multi-Culturism[MC] we can not openly and fully discus issues we face. PC and MC restraints are in effect, conversational straight jackets. The group La Raza frequently classifies critics of illegal aliens as racists. This is hypocritical because La Raza means ‘the race’.

Unquoted remarks are my own posted as Reality Check
[emphasis is mine]

Findalis said...

PC is the opposite of Free Speech. There are times one must insult another person. It is called criticism. And it is a healthy thing to do.

Diamed said...

"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

--Orwell.

Here is the problem folks. If we get rid of political correctness, if we actually tell the truth, and call a spade a spade, revolution would have to remake the whole world from the bottom up. The entire world is currently based on a lie. Namely, that the sexes are equal and identical, the races are equal and identical, sexual orientions are equal and identical, cultures are equal and identical, religions are equal and identical, beliefs are equal and identical, on and on and on.

Everyone knows that when you start saying some people/religions/sexes/orientations/cultures/beliefs are better than others, you create conflict. Basically, upon announcing that, you simultaneously wish to see one triumph over the other. You are engaged in the struggle. Recognizing the truth would be volunteering to fight for its logical implications. How many people are willing to do that?

Political Correctness is not a dumb, silly overkill by over-sensitive ninnies. It is the lid to a boiling pot of endless conflict that will wrack the entire world if the lid is ever blown.

For those who would rather have peace, even if this peace intolerably favors certain groups at the cost of others, political correctness is an easy price to pay. They may secretly even know all this, but choose not to think about it due to the frightening consequences of the truth. Those who live in more or less safe neighborhoods, making a generous amount of money, who expect to live to age 75, have very little incentive to start a world war, or a civil war. Their battle cry is "can't we all just get along?"

Bush is right. Democracy, prosperity, and freedom give people a love of peace. They love peace so much they become lethargic. Peace becomes an addiction, to be purchased at any price. Soon enough peace is worth even the loss of democracy, prosperity, and freedom--and the circle is complete. This isn't really a contest of ideas, the truth is clear and obvious to anyone. It is whether people are willing to face the truth, or prefer to just live out their days in peace and plenty, and leave the problems up to someone else.

latté island said...

Afonso wrote: If you are a woman, I would like to know how and why are you a femininist. Thank you.

Feminism has had a long history. The people who represent themselves as feminists are actually far left fanatics. They've co-opted something that started out as a movement to enable women to fulfill their potential and get better treatment in the workplace, etc. When I came in on it in the early 70's, it was liberal, not communist. Things have changed so much, I no longer associate with so-called feminists, because they aren't feminists, they're far left fanatics. One example: in the 70s, women wanted to learn self-defense. We absolutely were not pacifists. If, at that time, feminists had known about the oppression of women under Islam, close to 100% of feminists would have been anti-Islam. Now the converse was true. My generation was feminist, the current generation are traitors to women who have stolen our brand name. I have much more to say, maybe I'll write something longer and post it at my blog one of these days. Thanks for your question, Afonso. The world needs to hear from real feminists like me, not those idiots. And for what it's worth, my personal problems are not the fault of men. I love men. Anyone who blames others for their problems needs to be in therapy, not politics.

latté island said...

I highly recommend Phyllis Chesler's The Death of Feminism. She tells the whole story better than I can. Dr. Chesler was there from the beginning, even before me, and she is almost alone among big name feminists in opposing Muslim oppression of women. She's also pro-Israel and pro-American.

Afonso Henriques said...

Latté Island,

Thank you very much for your response.

(Maybe it is just here but) I feel that there are three types of self declared women:
The feminists (60%)
The puritanist, male obaidnig Conservative (30%)
And the ... well, lets forget this 10%...

I also feel that the "femininsts" always try to hit the institution of man and convert the more girls possible to their cause.
What I've realised is that a gross majority of the self declared "femininsts" are not real evil femininists...

So, and it is getting confusing, in my crusade to erase femininist, I usually start to hit self-declared femininists and leave alone the real femininists.

It's real confusing... I think many women say they are "femininists" because they have a greater loyalty (this is really not the word, byt I believe you can understand) towards other woman then towards men. Not because they want to destroy the man and civilisation or the sort...

I think you should stop call yourselves femininist, otherwise, I will not be capable of waging my Crusade properly. lol

Thank you. I really don't believe I expressed myself ok though.

John A said...

"... PC, meanwhile, as the abbreviation is known, originally comes from the U.S."

Well, no: it was the French Communist Party in the twenties.
*Where did "PC" speech come from? Communism! *