KATIE ZERR: Racism backlash not out-of-control PC

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines politically correctness (PC) as agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.

We live in a world where the PC Police have made voicing an opinion or even sharing a story with friends and family a chore as we tiptoe carefully to choose words that will not offend anyone.

Like many other things, PC has become something that started off with great intentions and now has become nearly laughable in efforts to keep anyone from saying or doing anything that might cause an uncomfortable feeling at any time.

It has gotten so out of hand, been so overused and exploited by so many groups and individuals, that it is difficult to take it seriously.

It has though, also become the weapon that has exposed the hate and intolerance that has been seeing resurgence in this country and has been exposed by an explosion of social media in the past decade.

Through cell phone videos, Twitter, Facebook and other instant sources of communication, people’s initial reactions, thoughts and conversations have come back to bite them in the butt countless times.

The owner of the Los Angles Clippers basketball team is a great example. Is Donald Sterling a racist? Yes, there is no doubt. His girlfriend, V. Stiviano, said in an interview that she doesn’t believe he is a racist, but that he was raised in a different time.

That is absolutely the lamest excuse anyone has ever used. Anyone older than 40 was raised in a time when the world was more tolerant of racism. Most of us have come to realize that we would not want anyone, whether black, red, yellow, green or blue, referring to us or our family with words that are insulting, disgusting and ignorant. We know it is wrong and we will not do it, nor will we tolerate it.

Most of the civilized world has grown and realized that racism is an insidious form of hate that is unacceptable.

Sterling is a man who has been in business for 60 years. He is obviously smart enough to make billions. He should be smart enough to realize that harboring thoughts and voicing hateful opinions is not only unacceptable, but also just plain stupid.

Wolfeboro, N.H., Police Commissioner Robert Copeland, 82, admitted to using a racial epithet in describing President Obama, and it cost him his job.

The chairman of the largest hospital system in the San Joaquin Valley used the same slur in a memo and it cost him his job.

Paula Deen admitted to using that same language decades ago and it cost her an empire she had built out of nothing.

Yet, that same slur, at this time in history is being used over and over again. We are being shown that as a nation, even though we think we have evolved from such disgusting discourse in this country, that we were not ready for a black president.

Politically correctness and evolution of mankind? It matters not to some in this country when it comes to this president.

Even though politically correctness has gotten out of hand, we can’t brush off racism as the PC-ers screaming just to be heard.

Racism, whether overt or covert, fuels hate and hateful action. Unstable and small minds don’t need much to spur action. All that is needed is that trigger that says it is okay because the target is subhuman and needs to be gone.

We have heard a lot of that lately, whether it is outright or cloaked in disguising language.

The message is the same and it is wrong.

Disagree with politics, call others incompetent or liars if you have the proof. We need to call others on the carpet if we feel they are wrong or are harming our country. That is our job.

We don’t need to tiptoe around issues or not express that we disagree with others. That is needed in a free and democratic society. It is a freedom that we hold dear.

What is asked is that we don’t exploit that freedom or that we let ignorance become acceptable. Do not spur more hate, intolerance and possible actions from which we will never recover.

We are supposed to be more evolved than that.

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