Politically Correct Silliness

September 1, 2000

U.S. News and World Report columnist John Leo occasionally collects examples of politically correct silliness. Today I thought I would share a few of his examples of our cultural craziness.

The British Labor government authorized a pamphlet urging teachers to ban the children's game of musical chairs on the grounds that it promotes aggression and allows the biggest and strongest children to win. The booklet's author, Sue Finch, says "Musical statutes is better because everyone wins." John Leo suggests we get rid of all the damaging kids' games. Goodbye to Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Monkey in the Middle (violence toward animals), Jacks (sexist), and Hopscotch (obvious mockery of limb-deficient disability). Although he is kidding, I'm afraid someone will take him up on his suggestions.

He cites the latest politically correct statements from Stockport College in Manchester, England which I mentioned in an earlier commentary. Words like "history" have been banned because they contain the masculine sounding syllable "his" within them. They have also banned the phrases "ladies and gentlemen" because these are offensive notations of class. Also you cannot talk about "slaving over a hot stove" because that minimizes the horror and oppression of the slave trade.

And examples of political correctness can be found much closer to home. He talks about Seth Shaw, a counselor at a public elementary school in Fort Worth. He made the mistake of saying "Hello, good-looking," to a new female employee. She turned out to be the non-nonsense instructor of the school's sexual harassment workshops. Shaw's off-hand comment was treated as a serious offense. He was suspended without pay for 20 days.

John Leo has lots more examples. They all serve to illustrate that we have a society that needs to reconsider where we draw the lines. Political correctness has drawn the lines in some bizarre ways.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.