Correctness: The Cee Without the Pee

Postcard from my great grandmother's collection. Postmarked 1907. Raphael Tuck & Sons, Valentine Post Cards, Series 108, Art Publishers ot Their Majesties the King & Queen.

Postcard from my great grandmother’s collection. Postmarked 1907. Raphael Tuck & Sons, Valentine Post Cards, Series 108, Art Publishers of Their Majesties the King & Queen.

I’ve thought about my understanding of the phrase “politically correct” and concluded that fathoming its semantic range is above my pay grade. My way forward is to drop “politically” and fasten myself to the “correct” part. The Golden Rule is full of correctness in my understanding. The lex talionis is not.

We may be prone these days to impute malice where none is intended, or invent it where none exists. I don’t know who’s leading that charge in social media, but outrage doesn’t undo the mischief, as my colleague points out.

Postcard from my great grandmother's collection. Postmarked 1909.

Postcard from my great grandmother’s collection. Postmarked 1909.

My dad was born into Depression-era rural America, a kind man but also a product of his culture. I heard antiquated slang for African-Americans pass his lips anecdotally, but never hurtfully or in the hearing of someone it might reference. Those tropes were latent in his discourse, embedded by place and time, but he evolved. He would have been repelled by implied or overt comparison of black people to apes or monkeys.

I’m afraid such nonsense continues to crop up stubbornly in our place and time. One-hundred-fifty years after Appomattox we still have room to grow in correctness.

Postcard from my great grandmother's collection. Unstamped. San Antonio, Home of the Alamo, Gulf Breezes and Sunshine. Weiner News Company, San Antonio, Texas.

Postcard from my great grandmother’s collection. Unstamped. “San Antonio, Home of the Alamo, Gulf Breezes and Sunshine.” Weiner News Company, San Antonio, Texas.

[Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.]

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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