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2.05.2013

WAY TOO POLITICALLY CORRECT



Political correctness with all things seems to dictate everything in our culture.  There are no "watergate-ish" types of secrets able to be kept in this technologically broadcast by the moment world we live in either (that is another blog post altogether!).  I'm not saying either of those are bad, parts of them are good.  Both though have been taken far beyond the boundaries they were meant to help keep!

We all take ourselves way too serious.  Me included at times, though mostly I probably should take myself far more serious than I do much of the time.

The Atlanta Braves were faced with having to stop their tomahawk motion associated for years and years with that team and its fans because of its potential categorizing or offending the Native American culture.  Please!  That's the team name for crying out loud!  And in the Native Americans own history is that motion and the tomahawk!  Do we then take that out of history too?  Why is that offensive?  I'm sick of the over political correctness of every blasted thing. 

When I was a kid there were two cartoons that might never be made nor aired in our current culture; Fat Albert and Jonny Quest

"Fat Albert" was about a group of kids (the voice of Fat Albert and several other characters were played by Bill Cosby) and the hijinks they got into.  It was created by Bill Cosby and based on the North Philadelphia group of kids he hung with growing up.  That cartoon, though not offensive, would be probably be questioned by some organization for some reason in our present overly sensitive society.  People would say it paints black peopleincorrectly or places them in a narrow scope. Again, like the Atlanta Braves, I'm not sure how you can argue with real life - Bill Cosby's growing up years. (Yes, I said black people as I also say white people.  It is merely a difference in skin pigmentation not a statement of where you are from.  Personally I don't get why we care about what color someone's skin is.  Do we care about hair color too?  I mean some people are short, some are tall.  We are a bit different.  End of story!)

I get sick of treading lightly because we fear offending sects, groups, or nationalities in life.  Why are we not ok to be who we are.  Yes, sweeping generalizations are narrow but they don't define, they are only markers.  For instance, I am part Swiss and part German in my heritage (ok and probably a mix of other stuff too, a bit of Irish and everything else from Eastern Europe).  I jokingly say I am a lover of peace and neutrality, but am strong minded and doggedly stubborn and relentless at times.  Did I sweepingly take down two nations and condense a whole people group into two statements?  NO!  I can poke fun at myself. 

Why do we have to take ourselves so seriously? 

"Jonny Quest", though not the most riveting cartoon of my growing up years, was about the adventures of Jonny and his father, Dr. Quest.  The cast of characters included an adopted turban wearing Indian (country of) boy named Haidji.  I have to think that somehow in our overly sensitive culture that the portrayal of this Muslim turban wearing Indian boy would be offensive today.  Some group in our now overly sensitive and overly over done political correct world we live in would scream about it for some reason.  I wasn't offended by the cartoon, but was bored.  It was not a riveting story line no matter the ethnic mix!

The Middle School mascot from the school I went to in the 1970's was the Wakarusa Indians. The name of the town, Wakarusa, is native American meaning knee deep in mud.  There were at one time a settlement of Indians there, thus eventually the name of the mascot for the school evolved.  I'm not sure what happened years later (political correctness probably!), but it was changed to the Wakarusa Wildcats.  Ridiculous I say!  And, unnecessary.

Should I be offended that Ricola, a Swiss made throat lozenge company, used someone dressed in lederhosen (traditional Bavarian men's clothing that involve shorts with H-style suspenders) to Yodel R iiii C  O  L a  from an Alpine mountain.  How dare they:)

What about the controversial Superbowl commercial that Volkswagen aired - get happy!  Can you believe white people, native to the United States, were imitating Jamaican dialects, attitudes and phrasings!  There was some scuttle-butt about whether it would be aired or not.  Would it offend the Jamaican culture that "white people" were portraying them in this light?  (The president of Jamaica found it a moment to be proud of - their culture!)  If I could be from somewhere other than the Midwest, Jamaica would be a great place to be - laid back, happy, free.  How is that offensive!!!!!  Come on get happy:)

I am a middle aged white woman of Eastern European descent.  Right there is a boat load of stereotypical things that would make for some great stand up comedy based solely on the people group I am a part of.  Personally I think it would make a great one-woman show.  Men wanna know what a middle-aged white woman is all about and woman want a comrade to identify with. 

Identity branding can be a great thing.  We have flung ourselves far too far in over political correctness!

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