I know the content of my last few posts have been more political than grumpy mummy content. However, being a grumpy mummy does not strictly just involve being a mummy……more just being grumpy (something I do with such ease). But you will probably be glad to know….for now….my political opinions (aka rants and raves), are just about out my system….for the time being.
It is also a big decision to post political content, as there is always chance of being lambasted by people who misinterpret your words, or take them out of context, or just completely disagree with you!
There will always be the “White privilege” brigade…..the “tone deaf” brigade…..me…that’s me..…I am that brigade!! However, the “politically correct” brigade, is where I branch off in another direction. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the way I see it, is that when it comes to racial discrimination, people are ignorant, and hence, intolerant of other races and cultures. I also believe that they are not totally to blame for this. This increasing culture of political correctness, is not only going to keep racism very much alive, but is going to reverse so much of the progress that has taken place over the years. Will it not create a breeding ground for racists to become more racist, or turn many of the ignorant and uninformed into racists? Bear with me here……..
Intolerance is such a large part of racism. For me, intolerance is the root of all discrimination. This can be further cultivated by adding 1 tbsp of ignorance, 2 ml of upbringing and 1 tsp of being ill-informed, to produce different degrees and strains of bigotry. But bottom line….IGNORANCE CREATES DISCRIMINATION!!
So having said that, how do we educate the ignorant without discussing the subject openly, without debating and conversing about the issue? People have to tip toe around so many issues today…… one has to “watch what we say”, “be careful how we say it” and “stay away from sensitive issues.” How will the ignorant and ill-informed get educated and evolve? How does one manage to get them to understand something, when we are all too nervous to discuss it? These angry and bitter people, will now scream “everything has to be so damn politically correct”, “these people are so damn sensitive”, “they can talk about us, but we can’t say anything about them”….blah, blah blah. Has this not done the EXACT OPPOSITE of what this new era of political correctness is supposed to mend???
Let me explain by way of an experience I had approximately 30 years ago…….. damn….I am old!!!!!! This is something that has always remained sharply etched in my mind. I was in practise, and employed a Candidate Attorney (C.A), who was doing his practical training with me. Yes…..he was a Black guy…..not “an African” (the way people who are too scared to use the word “Black” when referring to…….well, a Black person……lest they be banished to purgatory for using a “politically incorrect” term). For me, an “African” is a person from Africa…..but that’s just me. Anyhoo back to my experience (which took place an upsettingly long time ago dammit!!) My C.A and I, together with a few others, were standing waiting for an elevator. When the elevator opened, he entered before me. Some buffoon took it upon himself to reprimand him for having no manners, as he “should let the lady go first”. My first thought was would he have done this if my C.A had been White? My second thought, which I verbalized, was “how dare you speak to my employee like that??” He just crept back into his shell and scuttled away.
My C.A was very dejected (understandably, since he had just been reprimanded by said buffoon, and couldn’t dare defend himself). I then apologized on behalf of buffoon, but he then proceeded to explain to me, that the reason he did that, was because in his culture, the man has to enter a room first to ensure it is safe for the woman to enter. Simple…got it…understood and actually appreciated the custom.
Now, if we had not been allowed to have this discussion, I would still be ignorant to this. This gentleman (buffoon), putting aside the manner in which he handled the situation, felt that he needed to teach a young man manners…..HIS manners. Perhaps if a conversation could have been had amongst all of us, that moment would have been an opportunity for him to learn about, and appreciate someone else’s custom. The next time he saw this happen, he might even have smiled and appreciated the behaviour that made him so angry on that day. Now imagine that snowballing?
The different cultures in South Africa are so incredibly diverse. That is what makes this country so special! There is even diversity within the Black culture itself There are various tribes that each have their own unique characteristics. Their culture is expressed in their arts and crafts, their fascinating folklore and religion, clothing, cuisine, music and languages. How do we understand, learn and become TOLERANT of our neighbors, our fellow man, if we are too scared to have these discussions??
Regarding political correctness worldwide, I get the feeling that political correctness is taken to a whole other level internationally. I also truly get the impression that racism is a much larger problem overseas than it is in Africa. Africa (for the most part) is a continent of very even tempered, unassuming and self-deprecating people. It is possible that in Africa, the Black population is the majority, so the ratio of bigots to humans is on a much smaller and controllable scale.
Overseas, things are quiet on the surface, but it appears that there is a lot of frustration erupting under the surface. Eventually this just then manifests as anger and hatred. So Pleasantville on the surface is the goal, despite all this anger and hatred bubbling under the surface? Totally absurd!!
Regularly seeing on the media how Black people in America are victimized, abused or murdered by the authorities is insufferable. It is agonizing for me to see what is happening, and it is even more disturbing when you witness how they escape any kind of accountability. Every so often, a bunch of people, who feel they have had enough of this insufferable behaviour on the part of the authorities, take to the streets to voice their anger and pain, only to be condemned for their ”unacceptable behaviour”. However, without this behaviour, the perpetrators would never be held accountable. Even then, when these protests draw attention to the problem, all that happens is that some bogus investigations and here and there (when the authorities have not managed to succeed in the ”we thought he had a gun” defence), there might be some bogus suspensions that take place……. just to keep everyone quiet. All the while, knowing the media, as they never fail to do, will move on to the next newsworthy story, and these offenders will quietly be sent back to their workplace to continue their abhorrent behaviour. This, only to have the same thing happen a few days, weeks or months later!! Retribution is non-existent. It is terrifying.
For me, this situation is becoming more blatant and taking place more nonchalantly than ever before. It is as if the more stringent the rules of political correctness become, the more these racists, bigots…..MURDERERS want to laugh in the face of these rules. It is like poking the dragon. It just makes them more angry, more toxic and more IGNORANT!!!
Perhaps there is such a thing as being too politically correct? Or perhaps we have lost the plot?? Don’t misunderstand me, there is most definitely a place for political correctness in our society. There are so many people who need to know that they need to be mindful of what you say. That racial intolerance (or any intolerance for that matter) cannot be condoned. They also need to be mindful of being tone deaf…..although the majority of tone deaf people have no idea that their words or actions are actually tone deaf. However, to have a better understanding, tone deaf people would need to be educated on why their words or actions were perceived as being such. How do they understand this, if conversations cannot take place?
As I see it, the climate of political correctness, has created the scenarios of words or conduct becoming national and sometimes international calamities, in anything from 0 to 60 seconds! We are missing the chunk in between the words or conduct and the calamity…….DISCUSSION….DEBATE….KNOWLEDGE!!!!
Look at it this way…….if I was speaking to someone about a blonde lady, who was standing next to a brunette lady, and someone asks “which lady are you referring to”, I would reply “the blonde lady.” Yes, I get this analogy is different, as there is a history of oppression, yes I get that there are dimwits who need guidelines to behave in a socially acceptable manner, but can we not JUST CALM THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THE *&^$#@%$ DOWN????
Let’s rather try and talk to each other, learn from each other and maybe one day, love and respect each other. Comprende??