Politically correct. We’ve been lectured on it, taken to task, borne accusations and been confused by it. It’s been used as a weapon against us, intended to nudge us into accepting what others want us to think, feel, and instructing us on how we’re to act.
In the beginning, many attempted to conform because they didn’t want to seem crass or tacky or unenlightened. They wanted to be accepted, respected, and to come across to others that they were sensitive, aware, and didn’t wish or intend to intentionally offend.
What’s happened however is that being politically correct has gone too far. What began as sensitivity became a sword to manipulate, and along the way, the obvious, the evident, and the logical strained, and the truth got muddy and then obscure. Common sense flew out the window and then departed altogether. The proof of this is all around us.
This morning on Facebook, I visited Witty Woman’s page and saw a photo (credit is given to original poster [unknown]). Notice, if you will, the tag:
“Curved Yellow Fruit.”
We can’t even call a banana a banana anymore?
Common sense has definitely left the building.
As a writer, I can’t help but love words. Words carry express meaning. They evoke emotion, provide clarity, are a means by which we communicate—understand and are understood. But when I see things such as this—where we can’t call a banana a banana—I worry about us. We’re destroying our tools to effectively communicate, to understand and making it impossible to be understood.
How many times have we heard and uttered, “Say what you mean, and mean what you say?” Many times—and not just during election cycles, but in everyday life. We say it, we hear it, we feel it. It grounds us, makes our positions clear. It sets our expectations; when others say it, we know what to expect. But what are we to make of curved yellow fruit?
I’ve never claimed to be politically correct. I don’t deliberately hurt others and I try to be sensitive, but I just don’t have the patience or see the sense in dancing around something with euphemisms or gangly phrases. A banana is a banana. Whatever something is, it is. Recognizing and accepting that fact is the shortest and surest route to truth and it doesn’t leave open for interpretation a lot of nonsense that causes confusion and misunderstandings that then require a ton of work to clear up.
If we believe that all things and everyone deserves respect, and we speak and act accordingly, then there’s no need to burden ourselves with the politically correct. It’s positive attributes are inherent naturally. And its negative attributes, we don’t want to embrace anyway. (That would be the weapon, manipulation, nudging aspects that stomp on our choices and put our choices in the hands of others who think they know better than we what is best for us.)
Curved yellow fruit. Stunningly silly—and not at all clear. When you hear those words—without a photo—do you think banana or crooked neck squash or some other curved yellow fruit?
Opt instead for honesty. Respectful, clear, concise straight talk. Because a banana, like a human being, is what it is. And isn’t calling it something else disrespectful? Its identity is being denied; of course, it’s disrespectful. A banana is a banana. It is what it is.
Common sense needs a swift return. Indeed, it does—with logic and basic intelligence and clarity riding shotgun.
Driven to excess, most things head over the cliff leaving sense and logic and clarity behind in the dust. Politically correct clearly is among them.
Splat! That was it, hitting bottom beneath the cliff and landing right beside the curved yellow fruit.
© 2014, Vicki Hinze
© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is Down and Dead in Dixie. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. www.vickihinze.com.
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