I could call the title a racial slur, but I am told that “traditional Americans” don’t like to be called racists. I don’t blame them; I don’t like being called a racist either. In my life, I have had the joy of experiencing the racial daily double; called a bigot one day, and a race traitor the next. We do like to throw labels around in our culture. The very idea of political correctness, sprang from the notion of letting folks know when something they were saying was unintentionally repugnant or hateful. If someone was saying something that wasn’t p.c., there was an opportunity to pull them aside an educate them. Unfortunately, it has evolved into gotcha politics on one side, and an excuse to play the oppressed victim on the other.
I sometimes wonder whether we have made any progress. Prior to his announcing his candidacy for President, Barack Obama expresed concern for the “coarsening of our culture”. Words were becoming ready weapons, and the standards of civil discourse were breaking down. It would be interesting to hear his thoughts on that topic now. Needless to say, some feel that because they can, that they should. We can, generally, say what we wish in this land of the free. Although, by way of a memo to Glenn Beck, free speech doesn’t protect you from boycotts or criticism.
It would seem that political correctness has outlived its usefulness, and is now causing collateral damage. Good “traditional Americans” are turning on one another in fits of Tourette’s-like attacks. I suppose that all of the repressed rage and verbiage has to go somewhere; if you aren’t allowed to drop n-bombs on people in public, then a new, politically correct target must be found. Enter the Muslim.
Now I know that they attacked us on 9/11. It would be too much to ask for the victims of p.c. to stop generalizing anyone, so for the purposes of argument, I will accept that all Muslims want to destroy America (hey, I am just trying to be neighborly here). So I understand (wink) that the notion of someone with a Muslim father has to be one of them. We don’t want to burden the victims of p.c. with too much information; its just easier to go with the birther, 5th column, Manchurian Candidate theme, and be done with it. So I guess I can go with South Carolina State Senator Jake Knotts when he complains about the “raghead” in the White House. I can write this without fear, because this column isn’t about political correctness.
This column is about accuracy in labeling. The good Mr. Knotts dropped his wisdom on us in a blast against a Republican running for the Governorship of South Carolina. Nikki Haley, who recently made the national news when a right wing blogger claimed to be having a relationship with her, is the children of Sikhs. Incidentally, what is it about the Governor’s Mansion in South Carolina that gets everyone (allegedly) to “hike the Appalachian Trail”? Eschewing obvious political attacks, Mr. Knotts, a good Christian, said this;
“We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion,”
(Haley) is a “f**king raghead.”
A little back-story might help. Sikhism and Hinduism are primary religions in India. Sikhs are typically from Punjabi State in India, and believe (among other things) that it is a human right for people to worship any God they choose. Sikhism might be the only religion where conversion of non-believers is against the ethic of the religion. Hindus believe, more or less, in a way of life rather than a specific deity. I may be slightly off point with the descriptions, but suffice it to say that Indians, most of who are Hindu or Sikh, are emphatically not Muslim. Apparently by the way, in our free country, it is no longer OK to be a Muslim; I guess I should have stipulated to that earlier. Back to the point, Hindus fought a bloody civil war with Muslims, resulting in the division of British colonial India into Muslim Pakistan and East Pakistan ( Bangladesh), and Hindu India. It is not immediately clear then, that Niki Haley and Barack Obama can both be ragheads. What Mr. Knotts’ comment is lacking is context; perhaps a descriptive slur to distinguish the two sub-classes of raghead? I mean, God is in the details, is he not?
My plea then, is a simple one; when you feel the necessity to say hateful things about somebody in a political race, please do select the appropriate ignorant, hateful, inbred, backwards, cousin-loving, fat-ass word to depict your target. Anything less just wouldn’t be civil; and we know how good Christian southern gentleman value their civility. In a world where stories like The Good Samaritan, Love They Neighbor, and Turn The Other Cheek, no longer have any relevance to Christians, it simply isn’t fair to God to not properly label the heathens before you complain about them.
The Rational Middle hopes all you ass-holes have a good weekend….