“The term [political correctness] first appeared in Marxist-Leninist vocabulary following the Russian Revolution of 1917. At that time it was used to describe adherence to the policies and principles of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (that is, the party line).” — Britannica.com, on the origin of the term “political correctness”
It is not that “political correctness” has run amok, political correctness has always been amok.
The same is true for so-called cancel culture.
Remember the old joke about Puritans? That they are terribly afraid that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time? Now you can say, “politically correct” types and the cancel culture, are those terribly afraid that someone somewhere is being offended.
When the constabularies of “wokeness,” who see racism behind every lamppost, run out of lampposts they begin to invent new ones, making them up. The “liberal progressives” who have shunned traditional religion or Judeo-Christian mores as their moral north star, only recognize one sin: racism. Oh, racism is a sin, all right, but not the only one. There is another sin race hustlers may want to pay attention to: Calumny: the making of false defamatory statements against an innocent person to slander their reputations and otherwise do them harm personally or professionally.
Thus, its adherents make hysterical attempts to virtue signal that they are not racist and accuse anyone who disagrees with them as being so. This is not a healthy state of affairs. Unhealthy because some innocent people accused of racism are going to begin to resent this false characterization and mount a backlash. In some — unequipped with the words or education to reject this accusation — may actually begin to harbor racists attitudes out of frustration. This is no excuse, but the tendency is there among some people.
For the “progressive left,” it is no longer enough to call innocent people “racist.” Now they call people “White supremacists.” I am not young, but I am White and in my long life I have only met one White supremacist. It was in a penitentiary which I was covering for a Catholic newspaper I was editing. The man was so excited about how he met Jesus and completely turned his life around, he was hugging his Black fellow inmates, rejoicing and praising God.
Other than that, I have never met any “White supremacists.” White supremacists, however few there may be, live on the outskirts of society. It is flatly ridiculous to continually and erroneously point them out in present-day America. It may have been accurate in the time of the late Sen. Robert Byrd but not now.
I live in Oklahoma, the state with the largest number of American Indians per capita. I have observed my Indian friends catch themselves referring to themselves as “Indians,” stop, look over their shoulders and correct themselves: “Er … Native Americans.” As if they were afraid of some politically correct type coming down on them to correct how they are to refer to their own people.
It is notable that the main enforcers of this sort of race-baiting and cancel culture are predominately White; highly educated, apparently trying to work off their White guilt. They also seem to be women wanting victim cred who are ashamed of their “Whiteness” and of the one group half of which it is acceptable to hate: White men.
Anyway, who are these people? Who are these arbiters of who or what we are allowed to read or own? Who elected them? Who said they are worthy of obedience? Why do so many think they must bend the knee to their pronouncements? They act as if they expect and require obedience.
Not only do they not deserve any obedience, they do not deserve to be taken seriously other than in the violence they commit, as we saw in riots plaguing U.S. cities last summer.
Again, the politicians and proper authorities were too afraid and intimidated by the “woke” groups Antifa and the group Black Lives Matter to return order to their cities causing lost lives and innocent people’s businesses to be destroyed. Pathetically, Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, made an attempt to “get down” with the rioters and try to be “woke” and be “buds” with them, only to be shouted down to chants of “Quit your job!”
Or can we forget the pathetic news clip of the young man in Portland who shouted “I’m on your side! I’m on your side” as the anarchists broke through the plate glass window of his business and proceeded to destroy it. He didn’t understand that anarchists don’t have any “side.” They just want to destroy everything in their path.
Make no mistake. Woke culture, political correctness and cancel culture represent a direct threat to our rights and liberties as Americans. They are totalitarian in nature. They are a clear and present danger to our republic.
It is past time to cancel “cancel culture” before it does any more damage.
• John Mallon holds degrees in theology and is retired as contributing editor of Inside the Vatican magazine.
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