Sunday, December 4, 2011

Political Correctness vs. Free Speech

   In "Guns Guns Guns!" I spoke about the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This short essay is about the First Amendment. Freedom of Speech.

   In America we have the freedom to express ourselves through freedom of speech. The courts have held that this freedom is extended to expression of our thoughts, ideas and talents. In other words, we are free in this country to do or say just about anything we want as long as what we do or say doesn't cause harm or damage to another.

   We can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater and thereby cause a panic which might cause injury to another. We can't slander or libel another person and cause that person to be injured by falsely damaging their reputation or cause them damage financially, however if through print or speech what we say or print is the truth, then we can say or print away to our heart's content.

   We can say or print anything in expression of our own opinions and beliefs as long as we label it as such: "It is my opinion that..." or, "this is what I believe to be the case..."  This lets us say these things since they are our own words, thoughts and expressions.

   A number of years ago the term "Political Correctness" crept into our vocabulary. Being Politically Correct means saying things in such a way that no one anywhere at any time will be offended by our words or thoughts. In my opinion it's a load of crap!

   Thankfully, Political Correctness isn't written into the law - yet. We are not required to conform to the ideal of political correctness - yet. The First Amendment still protects what we can say or write but political correctness somewhat dictates how and when we can say what we want to say. Best not say something that will be contrversial and/or make someone uncomfortable!

   Some people have become so pampered, sheltered and coddled that they have grown to be too thin-skinned. So thin-skinned that they feel that they should be offended by off-handed comments made by others. Comments that are not intended to offend but are used in unguarded casual conversation.

   We have to be alert! We have to think ahead so that our words will pass through our internal PC filter and come out clean and pure as the driven snow so that we won't be pounced upon by the PC Police!

   Recently an actor used the word "Trannie" on a television show; "Trannie" being a pejorative (slang) term for a transsexual (A person who has undergone sexual "reassignment" surgery [changed from male to female or vice-versa]). The word "Trannie" is just easier to use, everyone knows what it is (not a term for an automotive gear-change mechanism). Being politically correct is mentally exhausting! The actor found himself in the position of having to apologize profusely for using a common word to describe an uncommon situation. Sad!

   So many people are too quick to take offense at nothing at all. Words that are neither designed to damage nor intended to hurt another person or group. These folks have found a friend in attorneys who do nothing but file lawsuit after lawsuit claiming emotional damage or harm to their clients who felt insulted or put upon by the careless words of another.

   People say things that are never intended to harm others but it does happen. People say things all the time. More people should say to themselves "That is none of my business" or "That wasn't intended for me" or "So what? I'm not going to let it bother me" or even "I'm a better person than that - I forgive you".

   As The Geezer, I have learned to let my skin grow a bit thicker. Life's too short to let this kind of behaviour get to me. I'll say what I want to say! I was here before Political Correctness but after the First Amendment to the US Constitution. I'm immune! I'm The Geezer!

9 comments:

  1. I agree! People get up in arms over the most trivial things. I blame the media and the lawyers.
    LPC

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Its interesting the post was removed .....seems like someone is a little weak willed when it comes to polititical correctness, eh?

    You should be able to accept what's thrown your way, correct?

    Hipocracy, one way streets, et al.

    Weak...but what else should one expect.

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  4. Political correctness has nothing to do with it. Offensive foul language has no place here.
    End of story.

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  5. I agree, you can make your comments in a civil way, but offensive foul language is not appropriate in a public forum. You never know who is reading. If you can't disagree in civil language don't both posting your comments! People feel free under the badge of anonymity to act and speak in crude ways that would not be tolerated in public.

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  6. "Some people have become so pampered, sheltered and coddled that they have grown to be too thin-skinned. So thin-skinned that they feel that they should be offended by off-handed comments made by others."

    You be the judge....ha! weak sauce.

    You seem more like a child than a geezer...at least thats my opinion.

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  7. Dear "Anon": I unfortunately read your comment before the Geezer deleted it. He was right to do so. That kind of talk, whether written or spoken in public is not acceptable. Way to go, Geezer!

    Hope you don't kiss your mother with that dirty mouth!

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  8. I agree, "Anon" is the one being childish, feeling put upon because people wouldn't let him use whatever foul language he/she felt like. The Geezer was right in removing your comment. If you don't like what he writes don't read it...if you want to read play nice, you can disagree without being disagreeable and foul. Way to go Geezer!

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  9. OOOh! da' ironings.

    Lulz

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I'd be interested to hear your comments. Thanks for reading The Geezer Guide!