Originally Posted by Eric_Boyer
Spin is a good word for this.
It requires quite a bit of stretch of my imagination to blame the atrocities of Germany simply on a succesfull propoganda machine. The truth was, and still is, that anti-semitism runs very deep in Europe, as it once did in America. These feeling stem not from words that were spoken, but in a belief of wrongs that were committed for hundreds of years.
I'm not sure how America was able to shed these feelings but it seems we were successful at it and I don't believe it can be attributed to the politically correct crowd.
Yes, anti-semitism did and does run deep in Europe, which is why pograms cropped up in Eastern Europe and inquisitions in southern.
But name a few, name ONE, of those wrongs that were committed by Jews to incite such hatred. ONE. The Nazis drew on that deep seated resentment, but they still needed to frame the debate, to find the words that brought the longstanding biogtry of SOME to the place where it could translate to the compliance of the many.
The old saying "The pen is mightier than the sword" is most certainly true. The pen represents the WORD, and the sword never comes from "nowhere". It follows the words.
PS OF course, our own specific idea of "political correctness" has protected the right of the Jewish minority here. But not always so well. Jews, like Catholics, and blacks have traditonally been the target of the right wing extremists and their many many many organizations.
Just a little bitsy net surf will remind us much that "political correctness" is needed in the US. Some SCARY stuff out there.
The overreaction to the perceived anti-semitism in Mel Gibson's Passion of is an example of trying to head off potential backlash against a minority perhaps a little too heavy handedly. Did Newsweek really need to do that cover story? I do not know. But Jewish leaders certainly felt compelled to restate that "Jews did not kill " before the films release. That such eminently rational people felt the need to question the film's portrayal of Jews as less sypathetic than the Romans, and more culpable, reflects the very real fear our Jewish minority feels. If a mere movie can make a community fear backlash, what does that tell us? It isn't ALL their imagination.
Minorities need some measure of "political correctness" in any society , for basic reasons of security. There are folks out there,and many of them, who hate based on religion, skin color, and ethnicity, and some of them do something about it. They have their rights to the expression of their race hatred only within limits.
Besides, it isn' t the government that in the end sets the tone for what can and cannot be said. It is US, it is society that makes the decisions on "politically correct" speech. And our society has decided, not any law, that you can use words like "g*ok, sp*c and k*ke". But don't expect to be welcomed into polite, educated society if you do. Don't expect to hold a job where a company's rep is in danger from your ignorance. Expect to wash toilets for a living. Expects to be beyond the pale. It's your choice. In a democracy where majority consensus sets the standard, we collectively have decided certain speech is anathema.
Yup, we are free to use, legally speaking, any manner of "politically incorrect speech", we so choose, short of inciting violence. But the values, mores, and choices of the vast majority of oir own population has made the social decision to rise above race hatred, and to protect our minority populations. The restriction on speech comes via human dignity, and decency, and is a reflection of our national strength and character. One can remain a neanderthal if he or she chooses, but understand the price that comes with it is knowing the rest of the society marchs on without you. And so do the benefits of civilization.
The way a nation treats its minoities has always been said to be the true measure of "degree" of civilization. The way we as a society are currently, if belatedly, choosing to protect our minorities makes me proud to be an American. We are doing a LITTLE legally (hate crime legislation), but MORE socially, (unacceptance for racial slurs and the like). This, imo, is the right balance. We don't want govrenment telling us what we "shouldn't say. We want our neighbors, peers, and fellow citizens to. We want to frame the debate ourselves, with the language we feel is appropriate, and we have.
For me it's a source of patriotism, not complaint. What some choose to call "political correctness" I see almost always as postive evidence of the continued upwards development of a great society, one that couples economic and technological progress with the elevation of human rights, AND the protection of minorities.
Who knows? Historically speaking, we just might be onto something that really does look impressive 1000 years from now.
I'm signing off on this issue.. the trials and tribulations of AB are much more compelling right now. LOL