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