When “Political Correctness” Inhibits Honesty
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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When “Political Correctness” Inhibits Honesty

I have some friends, 300+ on facebook. They represent every aspect of American society. Rich and poor, old and young, educated and uneducated, wise and not-so-wise, liberal and conservative, black and white and gray, and some very opinionated. I have been reluctant to post dramatic political points of view for fear of alienating someone – isn’t that the purpose of ‘political correctness”? Some have “unfriended” me because of points of view. What to do?  What to do?

This latest tragedy in Orlando shook me out of my fear of losing friends.  Some things are too important to avoid in the interest of “political correctness”.  My dearest friend, Peg Merker, is generally apolitical, not interested in arguing for the sake of politics.  But she too was awakened by the Orlando murders.

She posted on facebook:  “Tell me how your right to own an ASSAULT gun is going to protect your family??? Is it going to protect your 16 y/o daughter studying Math in the library at Columbine?? Is it going to protect your only child in his 1st grade class in Sandy Hook??? Is it going to protect your wife, the love of your life, the mother of your children at a party in San Bernardino?? Is it going to protect your brother dancing at a night club in Orlando?? Is it going to protect your soldier husband working at a recruitment center in the Midwest?? What’s it going to take for you people to see that ASSAULT guns are killing what you so selfishly claim to be your right?? Right to WHAT???? Unfortunately your right, is also the right of the criminally and mentally insane…

Peg hits the nail on the head.  And inspired me to become more proactive on particular political issues.  These issues are important – and true friends who disagree will debate the issues without losing the friendship.

I took my newfound courage to a picnic table where friends sometimes gather.  They are from all walks of life – but generally are northwest Missouri conservative.  I said something about guns – all of my friends find the Orlando shooting to be atrocious – and the debate quickly veered away from guns to homophobia and radical Islam and Obama and Trump and Clinton and all of the other issues that serve only to muddy the water and avoid the real issue of wackos owning assault weapons.

I own guns.  Shotguns, rifles, and a 22 caliber hand gun that I purchased to teach my grandsons about gun safety.  I did not grow up with guns.  My father was a hero of World War II and he would not have a gun in our home.  He was a man who experienced the reality of assault weapons and found them to be useless in everyday life.  I purchased my first gun when I was 28 years old.  My son was four and I felt obligated to teach him, and his sisters, about gun safety.  His sisters ignored me for they had no use for even the discussion of guns.

Political correctness cuts both ways.  Trump supporters claim that his lack of political correctness is an asset – they believe he is willing to say whatever is necessary regardless of whether he hurts someone’s feelings.  But those same folks rise up in anger if someone, like me, protests their opinion.  They are essentially saying, “you can only speak if you agree with us”.  If you do not agree then we will trash you and your reputation.  We will call  you names.  We will chastise you.  We will unfriend you on facebook.  Those folks become really nasty and belligerent.  And their tactics have worked.

I have avoided most political points of expression on facebook because I knew there would be a backlash from a group of my ‘friends”.  The Orlando massacre shook me out of my fears of losing someone who claimed to be my friend.

In the future, and particularly in this election year, I am going to be a vocal supporter of human dignity – whether others like it or not.

Now I have to qualify a few things.  Any cause, like gun control, does not justify being mean or hateful or resentful or vengeful.  And that is what happens so often in politics.  People take their cause as being the highest value and use the cause to justify obnoxious behavior – the ultimate result is another act of terror.

Let us have a civil but honest discussion of important issues facing humanity.

 

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. My household members are offended by my political position. I am flabbergasted that they don’t breathe and see beyond their noses. They argue ‘Assault Weapons’ and owning one is a fundamental American right. I have two rifles and a shot gun. I have never shot any of them. That doesn’t say I can’t or won’t, that means they are here because I have the right to have them here. I don’t have an assault weapon. Why? I don’t need it, just that simple, don’t want one, again very simple. If my husband can bring home a big deer each year, we will keep the 30/30. If he can shoot a coyote after our chickens, then we will keep the Mossburg 22. If SHTF the shot gun will be good for a turkey dinner. As for meat in the pot……….I could catch a rabbit in a cage easier than trying to shoot one. My problem is I’m a wuss. I can’t hit any food source, even just a few feet from me. I get to shaking and miss every time. Lord I pray that the zombie apocalypse is just fiction, so I will never need an assault weapon or other high kill weapons. As for losing friends on Facebook, well……….I probably do that every day. The most I ever lost was because I took a stand publicly with the police after the ‘Michael Brown’ situation. The friends I have and keep are those who (many, many do not agree with me) truly believe that in America EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion. Not all those who aren’t my friends anymore, deleted me, there are many more I deleted because they are ranting, name calling, abusive individuals who would settle for a world like 1984. I agree about 99% with your excellent post.

  2. I don’t own any guns. I believe in freedom as long as you don’t hurt anybody. I have always been happy that we have the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. The second amendment is in the Bill of Rights and I doubt that will change soon. I think generally the 2nd Amendment is fine. I think people should be able to own a gun. I don’t think that guy should have been able to go into that place in Orlando and kill all those people. I think that we should have stricter gun laws. I think that we should use advanced technology to help with this problem. I think that facilities should install devices which detect weapons and alert security so that guns can be barred from any facility where they should not be used but could be used.

    These issues should be able to be discussed in a civil manner. Intense anger manifesting in a discussion like this does not result in anything constructive. Unfortunately, I think that this intense emotion is on the rise instead of diminishing. There are many reasons for this. In my view, these situations will continue, and the number of incidents will go up rather than down. It is related to the accelerating ongoing human generated destruction of our global ecosystem. I believe it is due ultimately to rising populations numbers along with the absence of parents who have the personal knowledge and education to pass on higher human values to their children. Our global culture lacks the consciousness and the means to instill humanistic morals throughout our global community. Most homo sapiens live their lives unconsciously, driving human global culture over the edge. I hope I nor anyone I care about winds up in a situation where some unbalnced individual with a gun decides to go postal.