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Monday, February 27, 2012

Political Correctness Is Killing Free Speech

If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." — Samuel Adams

Today the New York Times reported that an ESPN anchor was fired and another writer suspended for a so-called “racial” slur:

ESPN announced Sunday that it had fired one person and suspended another for using an ethnic slur last week in describing Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. It also said that it had discovered a third use of the offensive phrase, on Friday night.

The fired employee posted a headline on’s mobile Web site that used the phrase in a headline about Lin that appeared from 2:30 a.m. to 3:05 a.m. Saturday, after the Knicks’ loss to the New Orleans Hornets the night before. The phrase had two meanings, one of them an ethnic slur. The name of the employee was not released.

Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor, was suspended for 30 days for using the same phrase during an interview about Lin on ESPNews with Walt Frazier, the Knicks’ TV analyst for the MSG Network. Lin is of Chinese descent; his parents are Taiwanese.

Max Bretos, an ESPN anchor, was suspended for 30 days for using the same phrase during an interview about Lin on ESPNews with Walt Frazier, the Knicks’ TV analyst for the MSG Network. Lin is of Chinese descent; his parents are Taiwanese.

On Twitter, Bretos apologized and said, “My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community.”

ESPN apologized Saturday for the two incidents but noted Sunday that it had become aware that a commentator at ESPN Radio New York, which carries Knicks games, used the same phrase Friday after the Knicks-Hornets game. The commentator was Spero Dedes, the Knicks’ play-by-play voice, who is an employee of Madison Square Garden.”

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using "chink in the armor" in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind — and he was devastated when he realized his mistake.

"This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny," Anthony Federico told the Daily News.

"I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy."

The headline — "Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin's 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets" — appeared on ESPN's mobile website at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and was removed by 3:05 a.m.

We have been using phrases like “chink in the armor” for hundreds of years. It was used in the Middle Ages to describe a weak spot in a knight’s armor where an arrows or spear would be able to kill him. It had nothing to do with racial slurs or insults. Any racial connotation is in the mind of the beholder, not in the words of the speaker.

Of course Rosie O’Donnell’s comment about “slanted eyes” was considered funny. After all Ms. O’Donnell is lesbian lefty so that’s okay.

In another case at Gatwick Airport a cartoonist was detained for over an hour for a so-called racial comment about the clothes a Muslim woman was wearing.

The Daily Mail reports: David Jones, the creator of the popular, animated children’s character Fireman Sam, was recently accused of racism and held by Gatwick Airport (United Kingdom) security for an hour. The situation, which Jones calls an “Orwellian nightmare,” occurred after he commented about a Muslim‘s woman’s clothing.

After noticing how easily the woman, whose face was almost covered in itsarticle-2106631-06B8B96C000005DC-101_233x350 entirety (she was wearing a hijab), was able to get through the security process without showing her face, Jones, 67, commented, saying, “If I was wearing this scarf over my face, I wonder what would happen.” It was this statement — a short quip — that landed him in hot water.

Here’s how the situation unfolded: When Jones entered the metal detector, his artificial hip apparently set off the alarm. He was subsequently searched and, though nothing was found, a security guard notified him that he was being detained because he had made an offensive comment. Jones, of course, maintained that he had done nothing wrong.

Once he made it to the other side of the checkpoint, officials allegedly article-2106631-07B695F7000005DC-233_468x334accused him of racism. A Muslim security guard had purportedly overheard his comment and said that she was offended as a result. At this point, security staff, an airline administrator and a police officer spent the next hour trying to coerce Jones to apologize. He claims the group told him, “we now live in a different time and some things are not to be said.” What?

Although he has continued to defend himself against racist charges, in the end, he did admit that his comments “could” have been taken offensively and the incident was resolved. He was then able to rejoin his daughters, with whom he was traveling.

“What I said had nothing to do with the woman’s religion. It was the fact that her face was covered and she seemed to have passed through that part of the security process without showing it,” he claims. ”I was adamant I was not going to apologize because I had done nothing wrong.’

Jones, who believes his rights were trampled, is planning to lodge a complaint against the airport and against British Airways.

“Something like George Orwell’s 1984 now seems to have arrived in Gatwick airport. I feel my rights as an individual have been violated,” he explained. “What I underwent amounts to intimidation and detention. I am not opposed to having this level of security but it must be equal for all.”

A Gatwick Airport spokesman admitted that a woman who works in security was offended by Jones’ comments and that the “security team is looking at what happened to ensure the incident was handled in the right way.”

On June 6, 1989 I was arriving at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Frankfurt. When I arrived at passport control I had to get in a line with about 200 people from various third-world counties like Uzbekistan, mostly Muslim. I looked over to my right and the rest of the passengers from my Lufthansa flight were buzzing through the area reserved exclusively for EU passengers. Suffice it to say I was getting very frustrated. After about 45 minutes I arrived at the passport station and presented my passport to a young lady who was manning the station. After flipping through my passport she asked what the purpose of my visit was and I replied “business.” She asked what the business was and I replied “a visit to a UK firm I was doing business with in Wales.” She then stamped my passport and said I was good to go.

This was not enough for me. I asked her if I could ask a question. She smiled and replied yes. I then asked her why I, and American whose uncle had landed 44 years ago to the date on Utah Beach during the invasion of France to liberate Europe from the Nazis, was forces to go through the line with all of these third-world people with documentation problems while the folks who were killing them with bombs and V2 rockets were breezing through with no problems.” She looked at me for a moment and offered a serious apology stating she did not agree with this policy, buy it was the law. I told her I did not blame her, but the policy was a bit skewed and went on my way. I am sure she told her supervisor of the incident. What would happen to me today if I said the same thing?

In yet another recent example of the stifling of free speech by the progressive left was the firing of the conservative writer and commentator Patrick Buchanan by MSNBC.

Cliff Kincaid writes in Liberty Extra:

Patrick J. Buchanan, who has been a major figure in the conservative movement for over 40 years, was fired from MSNBC after the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) concluded in Washington, D.C. Buchanan was not a featured speaker at CPAC, but his former colleague, Joe Scarborough, was. Scarborough, the co-host of a little-watched MSNBC program “Morning Joe,” is a former Republican congressman who pleases the liberals by making sure he doesn’t sound too conservative on the air. He takes shots at conservatives to make himself more palatable to the left.

Buchanan seems to be considered anathema by some newcomers to the conservative movement, mostly because of his criticism of America’s foreign wars and pro-Israel foreign policy under George W. Bush. One can criticize those stands and his occasional use of inappropriate language on sensitive issues while acknowledging Buchanan’s stature and place in the conservative movement.

An editorial writer at a young age who was trained in journalism, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. politics. He has written a number of books, some more controversial than others, as a look at the top of his website will attest. He crossed into government service by working for Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and later ran for president himself. At Reagan’s service, Buchanan was a fierce advocate for freedom against communism.

I first met Buchanan while working for Accuracy in Media. AIM founder Reed Irvine admired and respected Buchanan. This was the norm among conservatives who recognized Buchanan as a fighter against liberals in the media and elsewhere. Buchanan asked me to write an article for his newsletter, “Patrick J. Buchanan From the Right,” about the rise of conservative talk radio. I had hosted a radio show in the early 1990s.

While Buchanan was in the Reagan White House as communications director in the 1980s, I had the opportunity to fill in as the conservative co-host of a then-popular CNN program, “Crossfire.” Buchanan had been the conservative co-host and Tom Braden was the liberal co-host. The “crossfire” aspect also included the fact that there were conservative and liberal guests who sat in the middle, getting questions from both sides. I joked that the slogan of the program was, “Don’t talk while I’m interrupting.” I got into trouble with the producers when I asked the Ambassador from Libya to “please shut up” after he insisted at length that Libya was not involved in international terrorism. Nevertheless, the show had a lot of educational value and was great fun. It was advocacy journalism at its best.

The days of “Crossfire” are gone. The show was cancelled and a true “crossfire” on the issues is not permitted any more by some important media organizations which cower in fear when attacked by the left. It is significant that Buchanan has been forced off the air essentially by the same left-wing forces that previously claimed the scalp of Glenn Beck, who departed from Fox News because of his scrutiny of anti-American hedge fund billionaire George Soros. In both cases, the Soros-funded Media Matters and the Van Jones-founded Color of Change played roles in their ouster.

On his Politico blog, Scarborough issued a joint statement with Brzezinski: “Everyone at Morning Joe considers Pat Buchanan to be a friend and a member of the family. Even though we strongly disagree with the contents of Pat's latest book, Mika and I believe those differences should have been debated in public. An open dialogue with Morning Joe regulars like Al Sharpton and Harold Ford, Jr. could have developed into an important debate on the future of race relations in America. Because we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Mika and I strongly disagree with this outcome. We understand that the parting was amicable. Still, we will miss Pat.”

Amicable? I see no evidence of that. Buchanan told Sean Hannity on his Fox News program that he had been the victim of an un-American blacklisting for his views on racial matters, as expressed in his new book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?

It is significant that black agitator Al Sharpton, who made false racial allegations against white police officers in the notorious Tawana Brawley case, continues on the air on MSNBC while Buchanan has been let go. This has everything to do with the fact that Sharpton, a “Morning Joe” regular, is a loyal stooge of Obama and a faithful Democrat. It seems he will remain a member of the MSNBC “family” no matter what he says or does.

But to speak up for the interests of what Buchanan would call European-Americans, in terms of defending the Christian foundations of the U.S., is a grievous sin to the liberals. This is what the blacklisting of Buchanan really means. It is telling that Scarborough apparently felt compelled to denounce Buchanan’s views while lamenting his leaving the MSNBC “family.”

Another difference is that the buffoonish Sharpton has the intellectual depth of a saucer, while Buchanan has a deep knowledge of history. Buchanan has the intellectual ammunition to argue and win his arguments. Taking Buchanan to task for some of his comments should not mean conservatives have to fall into the trap of reading him out of the media and the conservative movement.”

On the other side of the spectrum are the left-wing protestors who can say anything they want with impunity. A report posted on The Blaze states:

“On Valentine’s Day, according to, the union teachers decided to make their grievance personal by protesting in front of the Delsea school board president’s home.

Unfortunately, the school board president was not home—but his children were, including his daughter whose teachers were among those protesting outside her home.

While the group of teachers, support staff and aides – who have been in contract negotiations since 2010 – were demonstrating within the boundaries of the law, school board members are “appalled and disgusted” with the union’s call to picket in front of Mario Christina’s home while his children were present.

Christina, who had no comment following the incident, was not home when the picket line assembled outside his Chew Avenue residence. His daughter, whose Delsea teachers were among the crowd, was home at the time.

The leader of the union protesters, Union President Christine Onorato (who also teaches children at Delsea ), appears to be unapologetic about protesting in front of a student’s home.

“It was a simple expression of our democratic right to express our discontent of not having a contract,” she said. “This was something our membership expressed, and our negotiating team said … we are going to do it.”

Apparently, this teacher’s union thug finds targeting individuals at their personal residence a legitimate tool in the union arsenal—even if inside the home are students of the very teachers protesting outside.

To someone like Onorato, the student(s) inside the home she and her union thugs were protesting are mere collateral damage.”

I could site many more examples of this double standard of “free speech” imposed by the left, but I am sure you can find them by browsing the news. So how did all this political correctness nonsense get started and what is the purpose behind it?

The late Charlton Heston once said, "Political correctness is tyranny with manners” and he was right on target

The rationale of political correctness (PC) is to prevent supposed minorities from being offended (the manners) — to compel people (the tyranny) to avoid using words or behavior that may upset Muslims, homosexuals, women, non-whites, the crippled, the stupid, the fat, the ugly, or any other minority or special interest group identified by those who define PC. Its primary method is the redefinition or replacement of words and behavior in order to avoid offense, to be sensitive to the feelings of minorities and special interest groups.

Before we can examine PC and its effect on politics, we must first understand PC's origin and purpose.

The concept of PC was developed at the Institute for Social Research, in Frankfurt, Germany, in the early 1920s otherwise known as the Frankfurt School. The institute considered why communism in Russia was not spreading westward. The conclusion was that Western civilization, with its belief that the individual could develop valid ideas, was the problem. At the root of communism was the theory that all valid ideas came from the state, that the individual is nothing. The institute believed that the only way for communism to advance and spread was to help Western civilization destroy itself, or else force it to.

The Institute was founded in Frankfurt am Main in 1923, where it was (and as of 2005 once again is) affiliated with the University of Frankfurt am Main. It was founded by Felix Weil, a student of the Marxian philosopher Karl Korsch, with an endowment provided by Weil's wealthy father. Its first director, Kurt Albert Gerlach, died before making his mark, and was swiftly followed by Carl Grünberg, a Marxist historian who gathered together fellow "orthodox" Marxists at the Institute, including his former pupil Henryk Grossman. Grünberg was followed by co-founder Friedrich Pollock.

Following a non-fatal heart attack, Grünberg was succeeded in 1930 by Max Horkheimer. Horkheimer rapidly became the guiding spirit of the Frankfurt School, a group of thinkers that was born under his directorship at the Institut. Horkheimer edited the group's journal Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung (Journal for Social Research) and wrote essays defining a critical theory of society. [Source: Wikipedia]

Click here to read my April 17, 2011 post about “The Toxic Effect of Cultural Marxism in Our Schools “

The institute said that by undercutting Western civilization's foundations by weakening the rights of individuals through the change of speech and thought patterns, by spreading the idea that vocalizing beliefs was disrespectful to others and had to be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustice, Western civilization could be destroyed. The institute wanted to call its method something that sounded positive — thus "political correctness."

Another communist, Chairman Mao Zedong, in China in the 1930s, wrote an article on the "correct" handling of contradictions among the Chinese people, thus giving us the PC concept of "sensitivity training."

Today we can add socialism to communism. Does the addition of that economic philosophy alter the original intent of PC in any way?

Here are two specific examples of PC and of not being sensitive.

First, a famous PC incident occurred in Washington, D.C. in 1999. David Howard, a white aide to Anthony A. Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., correctly used the word "niggardly" in reference to a particularly small budget item. This reference upset one of his black colleagues, who interpreted it as a racial slur and lodged a complaint. The use of the word "niggardly" was not PC due to its phonetic similarity to the racial slur "nigger," despite the fact that the two words are etymologically unrelated. Howard was not "sensitive" or PC. He actually resigned his job, but was reinstated after a national outcry over the conflation of unrelated terms.

The cited incident (and others like it) raise the question, "Are we now to abandon the use of certain useful words in the English language in the name of sensitivity and PC?"

We can now examine how PC specifically affects politics.

PC particularly serves mediocre politicians and the bureaucrats they appoint. It is used to hold on to jobs, silencing critics and threatening anyone who questions their abilities. If the offended party can strike back with accusation of racism, discrimination, prejudice, and hatred, then PC has done its job. PC is a way of covering up incompetence and corruption. It has worked well in the U.S. for decades: attack the accuser. Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP, wrote, "Let me tell you something about political correctness: when politicians start overdoing it with PC, rest assured they're either hopeless at what they do or have screwed everything up big time."

The current uproar about the Health and Human Services (HHS) edict on birth control is a good example of the PC problem. The HHS edict said it wanted to expand "health care preventive services." But that PC phrase included some services that were contrary to the First-Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. PC tends to eliminate any possibility of the discussion of the rightness and wrongness of a particular action through the restraint of free speech.

As a final example of PC run amok, consider this: Why have "swamps" been replaced by "wetlands"? Why have "rainforests" replaced "jungles"? Are they not the same things? A government that wants to spend taxpayer money on conservation needs to avoid the negative connotations involving parasites and disease, so it redefines/replaces words in order to be more PC. The preservation of wetlands is a much more noble cause than preserving a mosquito-infested swamp.

Let’s look a few other words that political correctness has changed in our lexicon. Government spending is now “investment; abortion is called “choice”, an act of terrorisms by a Muslim on a U.S. Army base is called “workplace violence, male homosexuals are called “gay”, and wealth redistribution is called “equality.”

The continuing necessity for PC and sensitivity indicates that the ideal of societal equality (as defined by the PC-definers) has not yet been realized.

Where, ultimately, can PC take us? One forecast was published in 1949 by George Orwell. In his book 1984, Orwell, characterizing "newspeak," wrote, "The destruction of words is a beautiful thing." Big Brother, the personification of the power of the state, through newspeak "simplified" words (gave them definitions he determined) to better control society. With the simplification of words, the younger generations knew only Big Brother's version of reality. Is PC today's newspeak? Yes!

For over 90 years the left, communists, socialist, progressives, and environmentalists have been changing the lexicon of our language to suit their world view. They believe that by controlling the language they can change the world to their liking. They are the masterminds.

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